It’s hard to let go after all these years

It's hard to let go after all these years By Bob Karolevitz How do you know what to get rid of?

We�re downsizing to move to town after 37 years at Cedar Crest Farm, plus some 17 years of accumulation in Washington State before we moved back to South Dakota.

The first to go was all that obsolete letterpress printing equipment. I loved that Chandler & Price platen and the lead type � although I never used it much.

It took five guys to get the heavy press to the museum where it should have gone years ago. But, needless to say, I couldn�t part with it.

After all, it reminded me of those days long ago when I majored in Printing & Rural Journalism at South Dakota State College before it became a university.

How we loaded it into the U-Haul for the trip across half the United States I�ll never know.

Phyllis, Jack Gunderson (her brother), his wife, Diane, and I hefted it up � all thousand-plus pounds of it � into the truck for the long ride. Of course, we were younger then!

(Some day I want to write the odyssey of that historic press which has a story all its own, including the death of a hobby printer whose widow sold it to me. It was already old when I bought it.)

What books do I dispose of? Do I keep all that were autographed to me, like Al Neuharth�s Confessions of an S.O.B. and Colin Powell�s My American Journey?

There are others, too: like Jim Phillips� Sourdough Sky, Paul Tanner�s Sidemen (he played trombone with the late Glenn Miller�s band), Laddie E. Kostel�s A Century of Baseball, Ralph R. Palmer�s Country Horse Doctor, Red Stangland�s O Lutefisk, Bob Lee�s Last Grass Frontier, Chuck Cecil�s Stubble Mulch, Bob Hagen�s Totally Oregon, Myron Floren�s Dear Friend, Linda Hasselstrom�s Windbreak and many more.

They all said nice things about me (and Phyllis, too), but I can�t save everything. For instance, there are dozens of biographies in my research library: the life of Lawrence Welk, Knute Rockne, Benjamin Franklin, most of the presidents, Pope John Paul, Madame Curie, Buffalo Bill, Babe Ruth, Al Capone, Crazy Horse and lots of others.

I didn�t read them all, but they were grist for my writing mill. I�ll miss them, too.

Then there are pictures, hundreds of them not in Phyllis�s albums. A lot of them are relatives, but some I don�t even know.

Of course, this doesn�t count my wife�s stuff � or the things in the bathroom, the liquor cabinet, under the sink, on the grocery shelves, hanging in the clothes closets, etc.

Thank goodness for Stephen Van Buren, the archivist at South Dakota State, who took boxes and boxes of my personal files, including the typewriter on which I produced dozens of books before it clunked out.

Downsizing, I now know, is for the birds � which reminds me that there are books galore on identifying our feathered friends.

Like I say: �How do you know what to get rid of?�

� 2005 Robert F. Karolevitz

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