Last month when we were in Yucca Valley, my dad inserted two boxes into the back of our car just as we were leaving and said, somewhat aside, “Here are some of your things we’ve been storing for you.” Since I haven’t lived with my parents for 27 years, and noting the certain gleam in my father’s eye as we left, I was sure I probably did not want those boxes.
I drove around most of March with those two boxes clanking around in the back of the Suburban and only removed them when we needed the space to go to the airport a week ago. I thought I’d open them today. I think the bug to open the boxes hit me for two reasons:
- I have just spent a week in Washington DC viewing some of the most spectacular artifacts—the Constitution, Guttenberg Bible, Wright plane, Old Glory, etc. I’m sure something in those boxes must be a treasure worth saving, storing, and throwing out in 27 more years.
- More importantly, today is trash day.
I’m sure you’re on the edge of your seat. Here’s what I found:
A water damaged clown/harlequin doll thing. While some vague recess of my memory recognizes this, I can’t imagine what caused me to have this on a shelf in my room given my debilitating fear of clowns. Gone.
Baby dolls. Not well preserved. I considered momentarily saving them for a future granddaughter but decided against that. Included is one with a ceramic face that I think might have been from a grandmother’s childhood (?) but she is also water damaged and it looks like a coyote gnawed off one of her hands. Or, it was the clown thing that gnawed it off. Regardless, since I can’t remember the significance, gone.
Some of the ugliest, stiffest stuffed animals you ever did see. The only thing I can think of is that they were remembrances from some teenage knight conquering the skeeball dragon in my honor. Gone.
Dolls from around the world. Ahhh, now these I remember and did wonder where they’d gone. My mom and grandma were travel agents and travelled extensively. They used to bring me back dolls from their travels. Many are quite lovely and special. The poor Vietnamese doll had a mastectomy during storage. She may need some reconstructive surgery, but these are keepers.
Records. (Children, these are the black things that made music. Sometimes you see them in old, black and white movies.) I’m told some records are worth a lot these days…but, probably not these. Here was my full record collection (no offer will be refused):
Helen Reddy, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him”. My favorite song on this one is “I Am Woman” [hear me roar, with numbers too big to ignore…]
Leif Garrett, “Feel the Need”. This features a nice picture of Leif (note, we're on a first name basis) in spandex pants and a leather jacket. I used to have a Tiger Beat shrine to Leif in my closet. He was better to look at than listen to though.
“Annie, a New Musical”. I still love musical theater. I could really belt out “Maybe”.
C’est Chic. It seems funny that I would buy this one with my carefully saved record dollars.
“Grease”. A classic. I still know every word of this soundtrack. We used to act out the music during slumber parties. I had no memory of all of the innuendo the movie contained, however, and was quite surprised when I tried to make a kid watch it with me and was too embarrassed. They were happy for the reprieve, they don’t understand my love for musicals…I think “Sound of Music” should be required viewing at least annually. I don’t know why their father won’t support me on this.
Leo Sayer, “Endless Flight”. I think this one was all about the song, “When I Need You”.
Commodores from the Lionel Richie days.
Two albums I’m surprised not to find: Air Supply (no idea which one(s)) and Stevie Nicks “Belladonna”. I used to swoon over every Air Supply song—how did they know exactly how I was feeling?? Air Supply was the first concert I ever went to.
Stevie Nicks is probably the only artist of all of those listed that I still really love. I loved when “School of Rock” reintroduced the song, “Edge of Seventeen” to my children and they all had to have it on their iPods.
I also remember getting the 45 of “Muskrat Love” by Captain and Tenille one year for Christmas. There was nothing I wanted more. Our little record store in Yucca Valley never had it so my cool Uncle Bob who lived "in the city" had to acquire one for me.
It seems my dad decided to keep the best ones for himself!