Saturday, January 05, 2013

De-cluttering: Girls beat Boys

A few friends have asked what I'm doing now that a year's intensive campaigning is finished ... I'm not worried, I'll have things to do. I think of these interim times between more focused gigs as "taking my retirement on the installment plan." (H/t to writer John D. MacDonald. I wonder, does anyone still know what the installment plan was?)

But I do have an immediate project. A newcomer to our house remarked the other day: "Oh, I get it. You have huge quantities of 'dead parent stuff.'" She was right. Having been through the deaths of our parents over the past 20 years, we've ended up with all sorts of stuff. The furniture is useful, or at least we've put it to use. The memorabilia -- photos, clippings, old letters -- is of more dubious value. It's not as if anyone really wants it, but I have not, in the past, been able bring myself to throw these items out. However the accumulation takes up more space than I'm willing to give it.

Technology to the rescue: these days I am plowing through drawers and boxes full of paper, scanning the pictures, and howling at some of my finds. Here's one, a newspaper clipping from 1964:

The three of us had represented our all-girls high school on a TV quiz show that pitted us against the equivalent boys' school. We were apparently more able to regurgitate faithfully what the Courier Express had written about such topics as "the railroad crisis" and "the recent light weight boxing championship" than the guys.

I just realized I still possess the Desk Encyclopedia that was the prize. That can go as part of the de-cluttering. Google has trumped it.

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