Kent culls through a collection of memories 0
I'm not saying that I am one to hoard. I like to think of my collection of vital materials as the preservation of society as the Waltons have lived it.
There are no stacks of boxes or paper piles that make it impossible to move about the house.
My compilation is restricted to an area that few would visit. No one ever enters the storage room at the back of our basement except to look for seasonal decorations.
Over the years, as a teacher, I gathered a wealth of material to help illustrate my lessons. My wife gently but dutifully told me last winter that since I had retired from teaching back in 1995, she thought perhaps it was time to let go of my classroom materials.
She was right! I had supplies from the early '60s when I was still teaching in the elementary system. My old posters really can't compete with today's PowerPoint presentations. No problem! Other than a few specific items, most went into the recycling.
Next up - my university notes and essays. I was very proud of my accomplishments back then, but again, there was little chance that either McMaster or the University of Toronto would be calling me to take over a class to share my wisdom from the early '70s.
Blue box filling quickly now!
As the filing cabinet drawers emptied and the blue boxes filled, I read some of the materials as I was tossing them away. Can't believe I had kept such nonsense for so long.
Then there was the point when this sorting and discarding almost came to a standstill. One drawer of my filing cabinet was filled with travel and theatre brochures.
The travel brochures from trips long ago brought back vivid memories. I became very selective about what was tossed away.
In earlier days, photos were not preserved in digital formats. They were usually stuffed in a shoe box with the idea that some day they would be placed in an album.
Gradually, I made my way through most of the travel brochures, keeping only those that had real meaning. The photos went back into the shoebox for later. Don't want to rush things!
The theatre brochures were from events Judy and I had attended over many years at the old Crest Theatre, the Bayview Theatre, the O'Keefe Centre and the Royal Alex. This was a most difficult area to cull.
In the end, I tore off the programme covers for safe keeping, throwing out the ticket stubs and the rest of the programmes.
I couldn't bear to lose our memories of Harry Belafonte, Pearly Bailey, Satchmo Armstrong and an evening with the aging Josh Logan, creator of South Pacific. All the covers stayed!
I can peruse them in years to come as I sit in my room at the retirement home, remembering our grand outings. Maybe I'll create a collage of those covers for my wall.
The culling went on sporadically over the dreary days of winter and spring but it really is a very slow process now.
It took more than six decades to create this collection and it can't be disposed of in just six months. Let's just say that the rainy days ahead will be well served as I return to the basement storage room and continue my adventure into my historic times.
Intriguing boxes and ancient newspapers are the next targets.
I'll let you know what I find, eventually.
Anticipating the next rainy day, Kent Walton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.