Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Lost & Found

Does this explain my fascination with Found Things?
Things missing... a rock from Walden's Pond I've carried with me for 42 years through 19 moves, a pair of sandals, a few other minor odds and ends. Prompted me to search through 10 gal storage boxes I haven't looked through in years. There went the afternoon.
Newspapers... the Kent State Shootings, the first MOVE house shootout, the fireman with the body of the toddler, Oklahoma City... lot of others.
Family photos... two that go back to 1860 something.
Love letters from my father to my mother before they were married. Missing in action letter to my aunt... uncle killed over Germany, 1945, tail gunner in a B-17. Photo of me on his lap in 1944. Air medal and Purple Star.
Letter on Luftwaffe stationary to my mother and father from family friend who was one of those who liberated Buchenwald.
High school graduation class picture from the student newspaper... for years, I wasn't sure whether I graduated in 1960, or 1961... it was 1960.
Letter from Scott-Foresman, that they were publishing a letter I'd written to a friend in a reading workbook (describing the 1957 Ruskin Heights F5 tornado that destroyed our neighborhood), and paying me $10 for the rights. Photos of my pottery... has it really been 36 years?
A snapshot I thought I'd lost: my then wife, me and the Vespa 150 we'd ridden, from Wichita, Kansas, to Michigan on our way to Philly, loaded with gear for the trip: September, 1964.
MS of my two novels (they each went through more than 8 drafts--thousands of pages), and poetry going back more than 40 years.
Ribbons from division first prizes, Kansas City Science Fair, 1955, 56 ( was an avid hunter and collector of fossils, spent many hours researching them in the Linda Hall Science Library in KC. So much more, lost along the way.
What if I'd lived a settled life in one place? I'd have to open a museum.

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