A Blast From The Past

For the last week or so I’ve been gathering and sifting through stuff that has been left behind on our last couple of moves. You may be acquainted with the “stuff” I’m talking about… old files and boxes of stuff that you didn’t have the heart to throw away, so you just box it up and find a convenient place to store it. Usually with a sibling, child or parent. That stuff that you don’t have time to deal with or make a definitive decision on. So it just lives a life of its own in a different space.

In my case it is stuff that I left with our youngest daughter in Yacolt, WA. But now she is on the verge of moving, so my stuff needed to be taken away or thrown away.

Well, the hoarder within whispered, “Throw away all the known junk and take all the “good” stuff back to Arizona.” So I did… and encountered the unexpected…the monsoon season shortly after entering AZ. All my precious “stuff” was riding in plastic crates in the back of our open pickup would soon be junk!

CAUTION! Never be disillusioned by the waterproofness of plastic crates. The crate holding correspondence containing photos, genealogy information from relatives long dead, were floating in 3″ of water.

I have spent some long hours since arriving home, doing what I should have done years ago… scanning them to disk.

My office smells older and mustier than I as the old wet paper slowly dries enough to be scanned. Some of the old photos seem to have survived enough that Photo Shop can repair them.

Evelyn’s three documents for which I am most proud are still in pretty good shape. Society of Mayflower Descendants (in the line of John Alden), Daughters of the American Revolution (in the line of Paul Revere), and our Marriage Certificate.

Early in our marriage we began corresponding with our parents via reel-to-reel tapes. Then as technology increased it was via cassette tapes. Somewhere in these crates are some surviving cassettes.

Another way of communicating was a yearly newsletter that went out to siblings, children and cousins. For years it was a joint effort of both Evelyn and me, but by the 1980’s it became more of her burden. I wish that I still had some of the letters from the 60’s and 70’s. They were pretty “Artsy.”

So I thought that I would share the oldest one that I have, just for human interest.

This will also illustrate the problems that we had using “older technology.” Her typewriter (what’s that?) was laying down only half of the “e.” Sometime none at all, but the Christmas letter went out “as is,” because by the time it was finished, it was well into January. This is the scanned version that survived the thunder and rain of AZ.

STRAWN NewYear Letter-1_1985STRAWN NewYear Letter-2_1985