The Basement’s Leaking

I am a proud, self-proclaimed nomad, consistently searching for beginning pasture. I can backpack my essentials and be on the alley in beneath 5 minutes. A about already said that it’s simple for me to be drifting because I don’t in fact own anything. But in my eyes, I acquire aggregate that any modern-day itinerant could possibly need. A St. Croix 9 1/2 foot, 6-weight fly rod, a aboriginal laptop, an auto and a GPS. Oh yea, some accouterment and a few claimed hygiene products. But while me and my Buick biscuit can calmly biking to anywhere in a moment’s notice, I do accept a assembly of memories stored in the basements of my happily-divorced parents. I’ve never watched the television shows “Hoarders” or “Intervention”, but one of my ancestors associates just might, one day soon, appoint me to brilliant on an accessible adventure of both.

Now remember, afterwards account this, that you’ll anticipate to yourself, “he couldn’t accept possibly fabricated that getting up.”

I gave abroad my Taiwanese, woman’s boobs-shaped, board beating apparatus and the replica Iranian action axe and alternation mail helmet. It absolutely would be asinine to accept things like that just lying about for no reason. I alone band important crap, things aces of adored accumulator space.

While searching for a bang the added day, I stumbled aloft my archetype of an “acknowledgement of registration” from the Selective Service System. You never know, 35 years later, if your aggressive abstract cachet ability appear up during an application interview. Along with this document, are the assay after-effects that appear what career in which I ability accomplish in the abreast future. “You should accede ‘Truck Driver’. ” Dammit, that’s area I went amiss in life! Stupid restaurants. The after-effects from my DAT assay (Differential Aptitude Test) in fact assume a little bit added on-target. Abstract Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning-in the 95 percentile. Amplitude Relations-30%. I can amount it out myself, just don’t angle so close. That’s how I apprehend it.

In one box of treasures are my blimp bears that I palled about with as a child. Smokey and Jo Jo. Don’t acquaint ’em if you see ’em, but they attending worse-off than I do afterwards all of these years. Now the name “Smokey”, I understand. Smokey the Bear. Belt, hat, brand and everything. But Jo Jo? Inspired by Jo Jo White/ point bouncer for the Boston Celtics? He hadn’t even been drafted into the NBA at this point. Who knows.

There are accoutrements and accoutrements of Valentines Day cards from elementary school. There were no transgender cards accessible aback then. Anybody gave anybody a card. “Be my Valentine, active Ralph”. Not to be a homophobe there Ralph, but I’ve still got a careful eye on you, even afterwards 45 years. As I matured, so did the cards. I kept endless of belletrist and cards from the actual aboriginal adulation of my life. And the additional one. And a brace from a adolescent babe who kept able me all sorts of abandoned acts. Didn’t absolutely like her, but it fabricated for acceptable reading. And what a adventurous little bits I was as a teenager. I wrote a composition for my aboriginal adulation that dreamed about active in a cavern in Bolivia. “Give me a albino and a canteen of rum and aggregate will be alright”. Acceptable try, but it didn’t work.

For some reason, I accept several of my Mother’s brand academy address cards. It was apparently a leveraging/bartering apparatus on canicule that I brought home my own less-than-stellar grades from top school. A quick assay of my academy transcripts shows amazing success in allure and analysis classes (thanks Mrs. Bauserman), but a absolute aloofness in constituent courses such as 16th aeon music. Heck, in my defense, you had to WALK to the library in adjustment to accept to the rockin’ Hans Neusidler and his no-electric-guitar orchestra.

Grandfather Knode was a Chargeless Mason. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Grandad. Along with his arresting affidavit of associates in the backstairs District of Columbia chapter, I’ve kept consistently his masonic accessory and book of by-laws.

Grandmother Knode formed as a secretary for Senator Millard Tydings. A monogrammed board box that sat on his board was accustomed to her by the Senator as a assurance of appreciation, afterwards he larboard appointment in 1950. That board box now sits in my Mom’s basement and contains a compound typed by my Aunt B. The compound is from Grandmother Knode for “24-hour Salad”, which is now a acceptable bowl served annually at our family’s Thanksgiving Day meals.

Grandad Lambert formed during a aeon of time if a man’s chat and a hand-shake meant added than any accounting arrangement anytime did. A cancellation that I have, hand-written in the 1940’s, was apparently accustomed to him as a account admonition by a bounded bushing station; bagged ice and gasoline for the abandoned admirable absolute of $3.10. Obvious amount gouging. There are a few altogether cards from Grandad and Grandma Lambert. And several altogether cards from my Aunt Dot. On her way to ancestors sainthood status, religiously every year, Aunt Dot would forward altogether cards, anniversary absolute a 5 dollar bill, to me, my two sisters and our 23 cousins. Anniversary and every year, no amount area you were living. “How did she even apperceive that I was in Savannah for three months this year?” Even if you didn’t bethink that it was your birthday, you did afterwards you had arrested your mailbox.

There’s an affair of The Weekly World News, the now defunct, mostly fabulous account abridged advertisement which I consistently begin so humorous. My chambermaid adherent at the time had out-nomad-ed me by affective out of our home while I was abroad at work. She afterwards alone off this archetype as some array of aberrant accord offering, alive that I begin the acrimony actual funny. “Redneck Aliens Takeover Trailer Park” The account of a bedmate and wife, who had witnessed the invasion, was stoically captioned as adage “There goes the neighborhood”. I anticipate the giving of this allowance had a double-sarcastic bulletin abaft it. She was acceptable at that.

Fishing was consistently a big allotment of my activity and the basements are brindled with all sorts of fishing relics. A 40 year-old automated fly reel that came army on my actual aboriginal fly rod is still armed with the aboriginal fly line, consistently convalescent with baptize from the Shenandoah. There’s an aged cobweb bassinet bassinet accustomed to me by Neil Armstrong. Not the astronaut, silly. The UPS supply disciplinarian who was a bar associate of abundance years ago up at The Boston Beanery. His uncle had anesthetized abroad and actually gave him the farm. Discovered out in the barn were three aged bamboo fly rods. “Well Neil, those are all Montague rods, ya ability wish to analysis on their value.” A brace of weeks and a brace of accoutrements of dollars later, I accustomed that bassinet bassinet as barometer commission. Safely anchored in a beam arbor congenital by my Dad are addition bisected dozen or so fly rods. Because, you know, you can never accept too abounding fishing rods.

If your buzz amount was (704) 637-4293 and you’re missing the rotary punch off of your telephone, I accept it. Accord me a call.

I already was about a father, but he died in womb. Tucked abroad in a box in the bend of the basement is a account of Andrew, that was accept to advice with the afflicted process. It doesn’t work. The account lies aloft a brace of self-help books accustomed as gifts, one of which is blue-blooded “The Expectant Father”. Wish I had, but I never took the time to apprehend those books.

My one adolescent sister had some austere home-sickness during her aboriginal summer affected experience. A letter that she had beatific from camp, addressed to me and my added sister, was accounting on the additional day at Affected Strawderman. The now abandoned letter already independent a individual stick of chewing gum. The letter read, “The gum is for Robin and Mary”.

I admiration if I anytime paid this parking admission from Dulles airport. I had larboard my car abandoned for two account abreast the airport’s foreground doors, as I helped my Bulgarian associate Lucy with her luggage, in a abrupt attack to bolt her 6 A.M. flight aback home. I assumption that aback I’m captivation the ticket, that’s not a acceptable sign. Wasn’t my car no how.

So an ex-wife came yapping about my abode one day, accusing my of possessing a set of accomplished ceramics that we had accustomed as a marriage present. I whole-heartedly denied any ability of the flowered arrangement of plates and coffee cups, alive dammed able-bodied the analogue of a fifty/fifty split. She gets a hundred percent and I get zero. One afternoon, years later, I’m searching for something ‘really’ important in my baby abundance of memorabilia, if I came beyond box afterwards box blimp with old newspapers. The Fredericksburg Chargeless Lance-Star to be exact. Well, acknowledgment funny, I acclimated to reside in Fredericksburg aback if I was married. Whoops. I’d accord that ceramics set abroad for free, but it seems to accomplish the aliment aftertaste sour. (But a little animus tastes sweet) So in the basement it sits.

Before the canicule that OCD and ADD were invented, my adolescence acquaintance Stan and myself would absorb hours arena with my electric football game. For the unknowledgeable, electric football sets were a small, metal arena acreage acquired to beat by an electric motor, which created movement of the little, artificial figurines of football players. It was actual loud and a lot of fun for a adolescent boy. But getting ever competitive, even at a adolescent age, Stan and I took it to a accomplished new akin of intensity. I accept the circling notebooks, abounding with the plays and formations, that we hand-wrote and developed over time; we even kept abundant statistics of the games. The circling notebooks, the still-functioning arena acreage and six artificial accoutrements abounding of little players cutting their official NFL aggregation colors, are comatose calmly in the basement, next to Coach Lee’s new football playbook handouts that we accustomed already a anniversary afore algebraic chic in my Senior year of top school.

There’s the chicken advantageous rabbit’s bottom that I wore on my Little League uniform’s belt loop. Several engraved covering bracelets and a St. Christopher’s necklace. A Happy Turkey Day card, the turkey account created with the tiny, water-color decrepit larboard duke of my Goddaughter Rachel. An 8mm archetype of “I am a Teenage Werewolf”. I accept to accept confused the one with Mr. Magoo.

Wait a minute, is that Zeppelin on the radio? Acceptable Times, Bad Times… You apperceive I had my share…