Day 189

Rainy day memories

It’s one of those days when I really don’t want to go out and find a picture to take. Instead, I went through a box of miscellaneous stuff that I have been reluctant to throw out. Most of these objects are from my high school and college days.

Lets start in the upper left corner. It isn’t easy to make out what the rectangular gray/black object is, so I’ll tell you, it’s a whetstone. Whetstones are used to sharpen steel implements. This particular whetstone was given to me by my dad when I was in the Boy Scouts. I was supposed to use it to sharpen my jackknife, but I never quite got the hang of it, which was alright because I never used the knife enough to dull the blade.

The round item to the right of the whetstone is a telephone receiver diaphragm. This one came from a telephone in the dorm where I lived at IU. Somehow we found out that if you remove the diaphragm from the earpiece of a telephone and then called that telephone’s number, the phone would continue to ring even after the receiver was picked up. It was a common practical joke back in the 60’s. Back then we called it a boreass, but evidently that term has fallen out of favor. When I googled boreass this morning I found only two references that seemed to meet that definition.

Moving on, below the whetstone on the left is a pair of dice. I don’t remember where I got them, but I would guess it is from some board game because they are smaller than regulation size. There is probably an interesting story behind these dice, but I don’t know what it is. I just find it impossible to discard a complete set of anything.

The shorter red object below the whetstone is a plastic letter opener. I think it’s interesting that a letter opener advertises Drewrys Beer. I must have gotten this from my dad because Drewrys was his beer of choice for a long time. Drewrys was brewed in South Bend, so it was a local beer. The brewery was sold to G. Heileman Brewing Company in the 70’s and was closed soon after.

Below the letter opener is a harmonica I bought for myself shortly after moving to Auburn. I thought that since I would be living alone I could teach myself how to play without disturbing anyone. It wasn’t the first time I had tried to learn the harmonica, but it was the last. I love to listen to music, and for a while I was competent on the guitar, but I don’t have the patience to learn another instrument, simple as it may seem. My dreams  of being another Bob Dylan faded quickly. Another part of that dream being just a dream was the fact that I had no talent for writing songs.

You probably recognize the long red plastic object running diagonally across the picture as a double-ended shoe horn. The advertising copy on the double horn reads “A SHOE HORN TO FIT ANY FOOT – A CLASS RING TO FIT ANY FINGER” There is an arrow pointing to the left that is labelled MEN’S and an arrow pointing to the right labelled LADIES. The Company name is Herff Jones, located in Indianapolis. I obviously got this when I was in high school, though I don’t remember it. I think it’s interesting that they though men and women needed a different size horn ( I can hear Bob’s off-color comments now), and that MEN’S has an apostrophe while LADIES does not.

The small object to the right of the show horn is a can opener. I either picked that up when I was at Region 7 Canoe Base while in Explorer Scouts, or when I was in the Army. It is a P-38 can opener developed in 1942 and use with K-Rations and later C-Rations. We ate some C-Rations at the canoe base while camping, and of course we ate C-Rations while in the field in the Army. While I’m not a fan of C-Rations, I did start to enjoy cooking while camping at the canoe base.

Below the P-38 are for marbles that I played with when I was a kid. Need I say more?

Below the marbles is a novelty ballpoint pen shaped like a rifle. This was another knickknack that I got from my dad.  You can’t read it, but this was an advertising from the Prairie Tavern in Rolling Prairie. The pen is clever in that there is spring slide on the side that “cocks” the pen. Pull the trigger and the ball point appears, ready to write, if you don’t mind the awkward shape of the instrument.

To the left of the pen is a New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs edition of a Gideon Bible. I, along with everyone else in my class, was a gift we received in high school. Back in the dim past this type of thing was not considered a breach of the church/state barrier. In fact on the page facing the title page is a picture of an American flag with a quote below, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. – Proverbs 14:34.” This is the 1957 edition, King James edition.

Finally, to the left of the Gideon New Testament is the Child’s Bible – The Life of Jesus. It is attributed to Cecil C. Carpenter and was copyrighted in 1932. I don’t remember where I got this. It’s 1.75 in. by 2 in. in size. I saw a similar one on the Internet selling for $15. Do you think I should sell it?

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