Monday, January 16, 2012

Country Life = A boy's collection

One afternoon when Jessica was home for the holidays, she went with her dad and me to sort through some things that had been left behind in the house he grew up in. While Jessica and I looked through some boxes out in the main room, George looked through the closet.

All at once he started giggling.

"Look at this!"

More giggles.

"Oh no! This is proof I really am a packrat!"

The proof was in the decoupaged jar.

The jar he doesn't remember, but we're guessing he probably made it in school. Maybe an art class project. He wasn't a fan of school, so it's no wonder he forgot making it there.

The jar was stuffed full. For several minutes, he pulled stuff out of it, giggling the whole time. I wish I would have had the camera with me at the time, because he threw a good bit of it away while he was sorting through it.

But he did keep a few things, a sampling of what had been in it since he was a boy...

At first he couldn't figure out why he had this, then he remembered. His favorite team had been the Kansas City Chiefs, and he had a rain poncho with this patch on the back.

George grew up back a private lane, 1/4 mile or so in length. He and his brother and sister would walk to the main road to catch the bus. At the end of their lane was a little bus stop building, where they could wait if it was raining. One morning, George left his Kansas City Chiefs rain poncho on it's shelf when he went to school.

That evening, when he came home, the poncho was gone, though the patch was laying there. When he told his mom, she remembered that earlier in the day, during the rain, she had seen a motorcycle stop at the end of their lane, then it took off.

Apparently, the rider was getting soaked, saw a bus stop, and took a chance that he might find a coat. It was his lucky day so to speak. He took the poncho, but tore off the patch that was evidence.

George stuffed the patch in his jar.

Also in the jar was the typical school boy rulers and pencil stubs. A little plastic football. A change holder. He has no idea why he had a shoe horn in there. The metal tag by the protractor is a dog tag from 1956. (He wasn't born till 1961 - he was already getting into old stuff!)

The golf tees were from when he would play golf in the back yard. He didn't have a golf club, but a croquet mallet got the job done.

But his favorite find was the metal pieces in the front of the picture. What are they you ask?

A 3 point hitch for his Ford toy tractor...

That tractor was his favorite toy when he was a boy. As you can see, he took very good care of it. He has many fond memories of playing with it in the dirt under a shade tree right beside the house.

The neighbor boys - a set of brothers - had the same tractor. But they were rough with theirs, and tore it up. All that was left was the 3 point hitch, and George rescued the hitch. He had put it in the jar, but by the time he became an adult, he couldn't remember what happened to it, and would wonder about it every so often.

He was thrilled to find it in the jar!

And for the record, the day he found it, he called it a packrat jar.

But now, he prefers to call it his time capsule.

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