These lazy hazy crazy days of summer just keep coming. I’ve certainly made the most of the temperate climes by going out to the desert, hiking and camping, floating in my raft and riding the bike. Enough already! Bring on the snow! Wonder what’s going on?
Here in Carbondale we are experiencing a mini crime wave. People I know have had their cars stolen before their eyes and had their bicycles swiped from usually safe places, like under their butts. Some thugs even emptied out all appliances from a home that was for sale up the Crystal. Our local cops are on the case but in the meantime they are reminding locals to lock it or lose it.
I recently spent an hour and a half ringing the bell at the Carbondale City Market for the Salvation Army. Ringing the bell provides us Carbondale Rotary Club volunteers with a chance to put on Santa hats and ring bells while crucifying Christmas songs.
I’m not particularly religious but the army is. Mission: “The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in his name without discrimination.”
I’m not sure about the evangelical angle but I sure do appreciate the opportunity to help people in need without discrimination. This fundraising mechanism is a good example of a non-religious, non-political organization like Rotary working together with a religious organization like the Salvation Army to benefit the greater good. It gives me hope.
And I hope you give. I promise that the person on the receiving end of that quarter, dollar, or $20 or more needs it more than you. Like it says on the sign above the coin bucket, “Caring is sharing.”
Last weekend was one of those beauties that would have driven me outdoors. Instead, I finally faced the facts and went on a rampage in KDNK’s musty dusty attic. With some very strong and brave helpers we were able to store, organize, purge, donate and recycle a decade’s worth of mostly worthless “stuff” that collects at a place like KDNK. We purged, plowed and plundered for two days until the rather large cavern was cleaned out entirely.
Among many interesting artifacts that we unearthed was a box of vintage vinyl records that someone had donated to the radio station, probably 25 years ago. I looked at the box; one of the last heavy items left at the top of the stairs and made the bold decision to let it go.
“Chuck it!” I ordered.
Alas, the volunteer couldn’t bring himself to hurl them into the dumpster. The albums were labeled as “Musical Treasures. The supreme musical achievements of mankind, performed with magnificent artistry, recorded in the full range audible to the human ear.”
So into storage these masterpieces go again because no one in their right mind would throw out the supreme musical achievements of mankind even if no one out there in the audience is interested in hearing those achievements anymore.
Just like every other time I’ve worked on a project like this I discovered newfound respect and admiration for those who do the heavy lifting in our society. I also discovered newfound respect and admiration for the ability of over-the-counter pain relievers like Aleve to help me plow through a second day of hoisting after waking up stiffer than the Tin Man in a rainstorm.
I’m still not sure what to do with this oversized stuffed pipe organ or the five-gallon glass bottle with seven precisely even drilled holes or this contraption from the ’50s that plays some sort of prerecorded cylinder. It needs a special plug. Doubt I will bother with it but I can’t throw it out. Could end up in a museum someday.
A tour through the junk in the attic was a quick glimpse at the breakneck pace of communications technology in the past few decades. I found the IBM Selectric typewriter that I used to write letters on in the mid-1980s. There is no way I can throw that baby out. When I was lugging it down the stairs like Igor lugs his hump, one of the 30-something volunteers looked at me quizically and said, “What’s that?”
Steve Skinner feels old. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.