Skeletons in the Closet

Quote of the Day:

I like boring things.”     —Andy Warhol

TB got a big kick out of this article yesterday about Andy Warhol and his accumulation of junk, the highlight of which is a signed nude poster of Jackie Kennedy Onassis. All I really know about Warhol other than what the article describes is the “fifteen minutes of fame” prediction and soup can art. I’ve never been interested in learning anything more, but now I’m intrigued. Since most of you won’t click the link, I’ll summarize. When Warhol died “they” found he had storage rooms full of stuff/mementos/crap in boxes; enough that it is taking years for a team of archivists to sift through.

If you follow TB you already know I’m an Anticipator. But you also know you can’t pigeonhole me. For example, like Warhol–ok, not exactly LIKE Warhol–but similar to a drastically lesser degree than Warhol, I am also an Accumulator.

I keep ticket stubs from ballgames, museums, concerts and even movies. The hotel has its own pens? I’m taking one. Wine corks from special occasions? Yep, I might “do something” with ’em one day. I have all my childhood baseball cards and boxes of Sports Illustrateds from 1979-1984. Favored T-shirts from down through the ages that can no longer be worn due to poor condition–either the shirts or my own–are still stuffed in the corner of my closet. I don’t pour soup in boxes and seal them shut, a la Warhol, but for someone still waiting on his fifteen minutes, suffice it to say I keep a lot of stuff. Too much, I’m sure.

In fact I wrote last year about trying to simplify. How’d that work out, you ask. Pretty good I’d say. If you stretched out the ages of all  the socks I trashed in a line their cumulative lifespan was Methusalean. Anyway, all this brings to mind a classic Carlin bit on accumulating stuff.

I thought you might enjoy seeing some of my stuff too. Check it out.

10 years young and still in heavy rotation

10 years young and still in heavy rotation

Just one of many souvenirs from the summer of '83 still on hand

Just one of many souvenirs from the summer of '83 still on hand

supposedly a Bulldog, looks like a cow, believed to be inherited from my Dad's stuff, though he denies it

supposedly a Bulldog, looks like a cow, believed to be inherited from my Dad's stuff, though he denies it

Trial memento from TX. I don't know why, but even today, I failed to trash this.

Trial memento from TX. I don't know why, but even today, I failed to trash this.

Made this one black and white because it is art

Made this one black and white because it is art

The Globe was a Christmas gift in 1982. The boxes are circa 2000, from back when Sweet had the Havana connection. The cotton is from 1977. My Dad pulled over and had me go pick it. I guess we were talking about olden times. At any rate, TB, like many of the old bluesman, knows what it is like to pick cotton by hand under the unforgiving Delta sun. All of the stuff sits on an end table my folks bought when they married in 1957 and that my Mother has told me to trash at least a dozen times. But its useful for holding my stuff so I don’t. And the other thing is nameless. It is a red rubber ball hanging by a pliable metal stick that swings to and fro and makes cool reflections in the faux chrome plastic bowl behind it. I took possession of this item when my brother left home after high school. I took it to college, law school, to every apartment and both of my houses. It is worthless and useless. But by God it’s mine and I like it. Maybe one of these days I’ll even give it a name. I bet Steve Martin could help. (The audio is good, couldn’t find an actual SNL video.)

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About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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10 Responses to Skeletons in the Closet

  1. Jessie Lou says:

    Accumulator must be the nice term for Pack Rat. My crazy grandmother was an Accumulator, a champion one at that. When she died she had every National Enquirer she’d ever purchased along with the tags off her clothes and bills that she had paid, some even had change in them. The attic was a full of old school pictures from the kids and their friends and all my mom’s Hi-Jinx dresses that were hand made. Some day, when you’ve passed on (hopefully at a very ripe old age), your child will have the joy of going through all your accumulation and deciding what to keep and what to throw out the attic window. It is not a bad process – bittersweet and funny at times. I was a keeper of all things sentimental before Katrina. I lost a lot of letters and momentos of things I was holding on to but likely needed to let go of. I did have my scrapbooks, annuals and pictures with me so I do still have all of that. Sometimes, though, it is for the best to let some of it go. Hopefully, my personal vault will keep many of the memories alive for me. Alas, some of that can not be shared. Perhaps those are what make up the bones of the proverbial skeleton.

  2. Samsmama says:

    My parents are massive accumulators. They are forever telling me not to “just throw stuff out” if something happens to them. I really wish they’d have an enormous estate sale now and get rid of a lot of their so called treasures. Otherwise, they’ll be rolling over in their urns when they see how I tear that place up. 19 years ago I said to throw away the uniform from my first job, at a place in the food court that no longer exists. It holds no nostalgia for me, and I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a shirt that says “Corn Dog 7” on it. If I want to be reminded of that place, I’ll touch my still nasty Social Security card, which was in my wallet when it took a dip into a vat of grease. Wow, I’ve really gotten off base. Um, excellent post! Really, well done!

  3. calicobebop says:

    OMG – my dad loves G.C. and he has quoted this particular sketch many, many times. It’s so true! And yet, I can’t seem to part with any of my stuff! 🙂

    Also, you know I love words and Methusalean is AWESOME! Word! 🙂

  4. Jessie Lou says:

    I loved it SM – funny story! As much of a pack rat as Gram was, my mother is just the opposite. She called one day and said to get over there and get my stuff or it was going to the street for trash pickup the next day. If she’d have kept that stuff I’d still have it….and some of it was good.

  5. Samsmama says:

    JL-I know the feeling. There’s a lot of things I’ve gotten rid of and now regret. But I’m 100% confident about the corn dog shirt. And toys from when I was baby? I’ll pass on the lead based paint. Set of out of date encyclopedias? I could go on.

    I just realized, did I give my own comment 5 stars? I meant to rate the post. Geez, egotistical much?

  6. When I was a kid, the encyclopedia companies ran promotional deals with coffee companies — buy5 cans of coffee and get the letter “A” volume. This was supposed to get you hooked and then you’d buy the rest.

    Well, we didn’t buy the rest. But my mom loved coffee, so I ended up with 6 different “A” volumes of encyclopedias that stayed with me throughout childhood. Have a question about aardvarks or aneurysms? I can help.

  7. Jessie Lou says:

    I do believe that the set of Encyclopedia from 1967- World Book to be exact – are still upstairs at my parents.

  8. Zeek says:

    Good job on the 83 cup TB,way to represent!! I had one of those for a long time too.

  9. Harmony says:

    Great stuff! I think you have more stuff than I have stuff. Although there is stuff that I own, it just seem insufficient to your stuff. But stuff is stuff and it shouldn’t matter, yet somehow it always does. Stuff happens..I suppose.

  10. GoulaGirl says:

    Your stuff looks like my stuff! I still have ticket stubs to every concert I attended in high school. I have several toys (in perfect condition) that I played with as a child & then my son played with them (they’ve been put up for his kids). I still have my first “jambox” from 7th grade. It still works too! I could go on and on. I read an article one time that said we should photograph our stuff, for the memories, then throw it out. It just wouldn’t be the same!

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