"My childhood, now on display.", or "Why I'm a geek"

Wanting to cut unnecessary expenses, I went down to our climate-controlled $74/mo storage unit, to survey its contents and begin separating the heirlooms from the chaff.

It was mostly chaff[1]. I did however find one of my post prized possessions, the remnants of my vast childhood library, packed safely away in U-Haul branded boxes.

So now our spartan bookcases have been lined with the volumes that survived the Great Basement Flood of '93 (the result of the radiators freezing and bursting in the darkness of the New Jersey winter).

The lucky survivors include:

  • All of my Roger Tory Peterson field guides, bound with leather and gold leaf, covering the gamut of Natural History from Atlantic Coast Fishes to Rocky Mountain Wildflowers.
  • About a third of the volumes from "The Epic of Flight" Time/Life series, also nicely bound. Apparently the other 2/3 sacrificed themselves to save the field guides.
  • Porsche: Excellence Was Expected, a massive tome that I never really read all the way through, but I've found in later years to be revered as The Bible by the PCA crowd, and other books on Ferrari, Corvette, etc.

The latter two items were gifts from my grandmother's late husband, an aficionado of cars, boats and planes. The former I received over a period of several years, each delivered by U.S. Mail and gradually filling a small shelf that hung above my bed[2] (next to my Porsche posters, of course).

All that was missing was my compete set of Encyclopedia Britannica, delivered through the 60's and early 70's to my grandfather, which dangerously weighted down the flimsy shelves in my room, threatening a painful crushing death whenever I removed a volume. These too didn't survive the Great Flood.

I pored over all of these things endlessly when I was a kid, absorbing all sorts of useless information. I guess that's why Betsy won't let me near the TV remote... it'll go straight to Discovery, TLC or Speed, or one of their 1001 permutations Comcast so helpfully provides.

[1] Anyone want a turkey fryer (only used once) or a set of wheels and tires for an Audi (two torn all to hell by the previous owner)?

[2] This turned out to be a bad idea when it came crashing down from its flimsy hook, onto my head.


Did your huge collection of Strawberry Shortcake figurines survive the flood? I know how much you loved them.