Inspired by Spring being officially upon us in the northwest (while the rest of you in North America are having “summer”), I went on another cleaning rampage the weekend before CROC, this time focusing on the garage. For the most part, this involved coming to acceptance that the 17″ piece of baseboard, fractional container of petrified plumber’s putty, sourdough incubation chamber, and various other home improvement remnants Are Not Going To Be Used. Ever. Throwing out all this stuff freed up a lot of space on my “workbench,” formerly known as The Horizontal Surface On Which Crap Is Dumped.
In the little space above the garage door were two boxes containing various and sundry memorabilia, packed sometime before I moved here ten years ago. Whereas the bulk of the garage took about an hour to clean — once I was intent on throwing stuff out — going through these time capsules took several hours. Among their contents:
- More backup tapes. I am apparently anal about making backups of stuff. If only I’d do it on media that could be resuscitated in the future.
- The Houston Chronicle from January 28, 1986, events in and around January 16, 1991 and May 2, 1991. The weirdest part was reviewing the periphery events like the DJIA being in the 1500s range, Federal interest rates hovering at 7.50%, and the Yugo GV being marketed for less than $4,000.
- Programs from plays I saw during my month in London in 1995: Les Mis, The Importance of Being Earnest, Miss Saigon.
- Hand-drawn copies of “The Bulk,” a comic book by a guy St Heave and I knew in high school. We’d expected Bob’s enthusiasm and effort to carry him to a plum position drawing muscled superheros at Marvel… not the support farm of a large consumer bank.
- St. Heave art (like the one to the right).
- Maps: Denali, Kenai Fjords, Hawaiian Volcanoes national parks; walking tour of Steamboat Springs.
- Letters, stories, and journals I wrote in college.
- My third grade yearbook.
I tossed (after demagnetizing) the tapes, and recycled the newspapers and theater programs. I’m not sure what to do about The Bulk – part of me wants to find Bob’s mailing address and send them to him, hoping to provide inspiration to rekindle his passion. The maps, art, journals and yearbook I’ll keep, even though they’ve sooooo failed the twelve-months-in-a-box test.
Anyone else hold onto stuff for way too long?
I have thrown out everything – baby pictures, report cards, software manuals – recently I tossed out everything packed into a basement storage area – most of it there for 15 years untouched.
For reasons I cannot explain, I saved and still have every paystub from my 15 years at IBM.
I am amused in a snooty pinky in the air sort of way that you went to the trouble of demagnetizing your centuries old stuff stored on media no one could access anyway.
The oldest thing I have is a t-shirt that I wore in a play when in the 3rd grade (1964), a high-school production of “Ransom” by Cyril Hume. The play was remade into a movie starring Mel Gibson (1996). The shirt has red paint on the front to simulate the blood of a kidnapper that I bit in order to escape.
>Anyone else hold onto stuff for way too long?
I refuse to answer that question on the grounds it may be used to invoke a garage clean-out 🙂
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