Sunday, August 22, 2010

Saving My Past, One Piece at a Time

This weekend I was digging around in some things I've had in storage, including some things from my mom's house. One of the boxes I opened had a collection of things from my childhood.

It was like an archeaology dig. Where else can you find a Barbie hanger, a Mr. Potato head ear, play money and paper dolls? My mom was a dedicated saver. She never threw away any of my toys, or even bits and pieces of my toys. I'm so very thankful. She was always very respectful of my things and as a result I have tons of things from my childhood.

I inherited Mama's tendencies and I have saved every letter I've ever gotten, as well as copies of many I've written. I have ticket stubs and lecture programs and thousands of other things. I have scripts from when I was a TV reporter and audio tapes from my years in radio. I also have dozens of journals and thousands of photos.

I'm not sure what to do with all of these things. I have an extensive record of one life in this time period, but there's nothing extraordinary about it and I don't know that anyone would be interested in these materials. Nonetheless, I feel compelled to keep them. I'm not sure why, but I keep hoping that will become obvious to me at some point. No doubt after I'm dead, and it has all been discarded or dispersed, some historical group will wish they had examples of the very things I have. But no one seems to be able to see that until a sufficient amount of time has passed so that the things are hard to acquire.

Some of the things I've run across are mysteries to me - like a series of these stickers. There must be 30 of them and I cannot imagine why they were there.

Of course, there are also things here that might not have much historical significance, but are fun for me to run across.

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