At least Bob’s thinking about changing his ways

At least Bob's thinking about changing his ways By Bob Karolevitz I'm not really cramming for my finals, but Phyllis says it's about time I get rid of some of my treasures she calls junk.

Why does she say that about the two horse collars I was always going to do something with? If I put mirrors in the middle of them, wouldn't they make nice bathroom fixtures?

I've got a Mozall mower I've been saving for parts � in case I ever get another Mozall. And I have lots of partially burned candles I was always going to melt down into one great big one.

My three antique printing presses are reminders of my early training as a printer. It would be hard to part with them or the five cabinets of hand-set type, some fonts of which date back to this side of Gutenberg.

After all, we hauled that tonnage of lead and cast-iron all the way from Seattle, and it would be a shame to get rid of it now.

I'd like to keep the small collection of marbles which I won playing "pots" back in my overalls-and-Keds days. And the Japanese officer's dress sword I brought back from Nippon after World War II isn't taking up much room.

I've got to admit that the stacks of old newspapers do smell a bit musty, but you can never tell when I'll find column tidbits in a yellowed copy of the Vinton, IA, Eagle, the Rathdrum, ID, Tribune, the Sioux Falls Press or the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

The same is true of the hundreds of vintage magazine which are a treasure trove of research material � if I ever get around to reading them. I even have a bound file of the World War I Stars and Stripes which is pretty hard to find a place for.

I've got enough nails of assorted sizes to build a small house with the used lumber I've got stored in the barn haymow. And those cans full of screws, washers, nuts, bolts and brass hooks all come in handy when I need to fix something.

Phyllis is probably right about the old non-working typewriters which I've kept for gosh-knows-why. And I have a sentimental attachment to the dozens of ten-inch pre-World War II records by Artie Shaw, Jerry Wald, Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller which we don't have anything to play them on and which are stashed away somewhere in our storeroom which is full of other good stuff.

For instance, there's a box crammed with funny Polish gimmicks, including a grass-green golf ball, a small wood stove made out of real wood, a coffee mug with the handle inside and a Polish calculator, a board with five holes for your fingers to come through. I was always going to make a special display of them, but I've never gotten around to it. Incidentally, you can always laugh with us, but never at us!

I'm not yet ready to part with my little stamp collection which I haven't done anything with since I was a kid. I looked at it the other day, and there are stamps from places like Danzig, Manchukuo, the Orange River Colony, Saxony and Basutoland which I don't think exist anymore. Maybe I should get the album out in my spare time and bring it up to date.

Unfortunately Phyllis has to dust the cast-iron bus and the tiny Model T Ford which I like to keep on the shelf along with my collection of milk bottles, Prince Albert and Bag Balm cans. I suppose it would ease her work load if I let them go.

Then there are the 14 four-drawer file cabinets full of research folders, obsolete correspondence, out-dated financial records and other worthless items which are filed under a system only I can understand. Phyllis thinks I should just pitch everything that is no longer usable, valid and maybe I will on some rainy day.

She's right, of course. My accumulations have gotten a little out of hand, but when you're a Depression Kid, it's hard to throw anything away.

I guess I should probably change my ways. At least I'm thinking about it.

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