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Rated: E · Non-fiction · Biographical · #1938756
Each generation has their ideas on what is valuable
“Junk or Priceless”

There it sits in a corner of my barn. I have owned it for about 64 years, but haven’t used it in the last 60 years. I keep it and look at it while reminiscing of happier, youthful days. It cost not a cent but gave me four years of joy and many memories as I moved it from place to place in my life’s journey. Never, once, even for a second, thinking of discarding it.

I was seven when my grandparents moved to a farm far away, and my brother and I would go visit in the summer staying as long as possible.

Brother and I had the freedom to roam up and down the creeks and hills of the farm and even branch out to other farms. Our instructions were don’t get lost or hurt and be back for supper. It was definitely a simpler time. No electronic. No television. No Internet. No running water, except in the creek. We soon learned what a wonderful bathtub the creek made and what weed not to wipe your bottom with.

On one of our expeditions, we found ourselves in a gully on the neighbor’s farm. It had been used as a dump for their junk. It was a treasure chest for us; and each time we returned, we would find something different and exciting.

On one such visit, I found it. It was part of an old style bumper jack with the mechanism frozen in place by time and rust. But as I picked it up and laid it across the hook of my arm, it became a Thompson 45 cal. machine gun complete with trigger and bullets.

From that day on for the next four years or so, I could always tell you where I was and much of the time it was with me as I sneaked along the creek stalking the Nazi hordes and looking for Japanese snipers in the trees.

On day not long ago, I showed it to my grandsons and told them what it was and what it meant to me. One of them, who has more imagination than the others, could grasp what I was saying and asked if he could take it on a hike. For a split second, I thought of saying yes, but then I knew in thirty minutes when he tired of it, he would toss it aside and my treasure would be lost to me forever.

You see the gap in our generations is too much to overcome. Each year before Christmas, my daughter hauls a pickup load of toys to Goodwill or the trash to make room for the new ones. Others in the family buy extravagant gifts they really can’t afford. As a result, my grandsons do not have the appreciation of or the desire to care for the gifts they receive.

As my days become numbered, I realize that in the not too distant future, the task of disposing of my worldly goods will fall to my son.

As he cleans out the barn and comes across that old jack stand, I wonder what he will think.

Probably, he will say, “I wonder why Dad kept this old piece of junk.” And into the iron pile it will go. Little does he know that is no way to treat a Thompson 45 cal. submachine gun that killed so many Axis soldiers shortly after WWII.

Is it junk or is it priceless? Each generation must make those decisions.

Dedicated to my grandsons: Reese, Nik, and Lanin

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