Thursday, July 16, 2009

What was I thinking? Chapter 37,592

Yesterday I found a stack of photographs from the 1975 dedication of the Poland, Ohio time capsule (at that time my mother was president of the Poland Historical Society). They were in a just-discovered time capsule of my own.

I am deaccessioning, because after 20 years it's time to bury my parents (No, they're not in the time capsule) so I am cleaning out my storage unit. There was a box labeled OLD STUFF. It was a big box, a heavy box, a sealed box. It was a sleeping dog I would no longer let lie.

Here are some of the things I found inside the sealed box:
The photographs from the time capsule dedication. I wonder if anyone in the village knows it exists!
Programs from celebrations at Poland Presbyterian Church in 1927.
Original membership applications for the Poland Library and Historical Society, probably from about 1924. The one shown is Mr. Steinfeld's.
Youngstown Vindicator roto section clippings about old-house tours (featuring, among others, my grandparents' house on College Street and my parents' house on Water Street) for years between 1945 and 1975.
Two half page roto section pictures from the mid 30s. One shows a group of girls, including my mother and her sisters Billie and Betsy, in Poland Woods. The other shows a group of young people, including Mother, her cousin Weedie, and other people on a horse-drawn sleigh at Zedakers' farm.
Programs from annual Junior Achievement awards dinners for my junior and senior high school years.
Programs for plays produced by my Junior Achievement company -- the only J.A. theater group in existence.
Programs for four years of high school academic awards banquets.

Six years of the Seminarian, my high school paper.
A program for the installation of new officers for the Poetry Club my junior year.
Aunt Betsy's first grade class photo from about 1927.
Letters from and newspaper clippings about a boy I had a massive crush on for years.
Pictures of me, My Hair, and Duke the Dog at the Grand Canyon during our grand tour of the U.S. and Canada.
An envelope containing My Hair. [When I lived in England, I cut it all off. The guy who did it went chop, chop, chop. I saved one hank and sent one to my ex-sweetheart, who still had Duke the Dog. I sent the third hank to my dad, from whom I received a telegram reading AWAITING RANSOM NOTE STOP]

A first-generation photocopy, on horrible paper, of a headline in the London Evening News, January 3, 1972. It appeared in only one edition, then the sub-editor woke up.
Hand-written notes on the contents of the rijsttafel at Garoeda in The Hague.
Hand-written notes on wild boar with juniper berries, after a meal in rural Luxemburg. (Afterwards I was asked to dance by two young men, Siegfried and Adolf.)
Two feet of very heavy chain.
Two empty water pistols.
One unbroken brown egg whose insides have evaporated.

I ask "What was I thinking?" because I cannot imagine a time when all those articles would ever have been near each other. Much less, why are they very carefully packed together in one box? And the chain? And the egg? Some of my past decisions have subsequently mystified me, but this leaves me beyond mystification.

Incidentally, everything listed down to Betsy in first grade is being sent to the Mahoning Valley Historical Society.

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