Picture of the day -
October 21, 2006
Click photo to enlarge
Today's picture shows yours truly "showing off" some newly-acquired
antiques. It was taken outside our house in Amelia County, Virginia
when I was approximately 7 years old. This has always been one of my
favorite family photos because it is such a vivid reminder of
everything that was good about my childhood.
When I was growing up, one of my family's favorite pastimes was
"antiquing" - scouring the countryside for antiques. We didn't
get to go out looking very often, but when we did we almost always
returned home with a few "keepers". As far back as I can remember,
our house always had a few antique items scattered here and there.
Of course they weren't worth nearly as much back then as they are
today, but that wasn't the point...
Antiques are a direct link to the past - reminders of the way things
used to be. Occasionally, I'll run across an item that I remember
from my younger days that really brings back fond memories. As a
matter of fact, I saw one just a couple of weeks ago when Cheria and
I visited the antique shops in
Abingdon, Virginia. It
was a red tin fire truck just like the one in my kindergarten class
so long ago...
I still remember to this day how I longed to play with that bright
red fire truck with the working ladder and scale model hoses, but
alas, it was always kept on the far side of the room from where I
sat at my desk. Try as I might - and believe me, I tried - I was never able to
get to it before some other little boy had already claimed it for
the day. I spent an entire school year watching other kids push that
amazing truck around their desks, grinning from ear to ear as they
extended the ladder and rolled out the hoses in order to fight yet
another imaginary fire!
I would have given absolutely anything to play with that fire
truck for just 5 minutes, but at 5 years old I had nothing to offer
my classmates as a bribe. Looking back on the situation today, I'm
actually glad that I never made it to the other side of the room
quickly enough to get my hands on it. Since I never got to play with
it, it never lost
I know it probably sounds silly coming from a middle-aged man, but
seeing that rusty tin fire truck sitting in the corner of that
antique shop brought back some pretty powerful memories and
emotions. I thought very seriously about buying it, but in the end I
decided not to. You see, I prefer to keep those special memories
alive in the nooks and crannies of my mind instead of taking the
chance on diminishing them by buying a copy of the real
thing. I guess that's why most of my "antiquing" these days consists
of simply walking through antique stores and letting the memories
come and go as they please.
This picture has been in my family since 1967. I
scanned it from the faded original 4x6 print, hence the poor quality
of the image. But for me, it is a very special picture that stirs
some of my favorite childhood memories.
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