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Old December 19, 2019, 06:41 PM
GordonJ's Avatar
GordonJ GordonJ is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 3,455
Default Bailey Rd. Mansion. We were the middle class poor, but I was...

As a kid, living in a 750 Sq. Ft. "mansion" with 6 family members, it got a little crowded.

We were the middle class poor, but I was second hand rich. See, my folks were well liked, good people, not much education there but hard workers.

The result, for me especially, was I got a lot of stuff that older kids had abandon when they went off for college, or military. I was asked, "Do you want a ______ ? Tom is leaving for the Army, and wants me to find it a new home or toss it out."

My answer was ALWAYS a yes.

Our tiny basement was loaded with junk. I had a full chemistry set, microscope, telescopes, cameras, tools, pieces and parts of just about anything you can think of. And a curious mind, at least for short bursts of attention.

Every year, I do a year in review, and a look ahead. It is a mile marker on my journey. I think this is #19 at SowPub, next year, 20.

At the time, it seemed to be embarrassing, although, I probably had more "toys" than even the rich kids did. Sure, it was USED, had belonged to someone else, but still worked.

One of my benefactors was my Aunt Nelle, my mom's younger sister. She was married to Bill Huff, whom I've written about before, he being a long term President of the Goodyear Hunting and Fishing Club and active NRA, Veterans Organizations too.

Aunt Nelle worked for Sydney Olson, of OLSON ELECTRONICS, at his camera store in the State Road Plaza back in the day. She was an amateur photographer and the family historian. She was very well liked. It was through her I got camera pieces and parts, but even better, I got all kinds of electronic parts from OLSON ELECTRONICS warehouse, now a building on the U of Akron campus.

Oh what fun I would have rummaging through all those junk boxes and many a returned KIT, I think the Heath Kits were popular back then.

Anyhow, it wasn't until I was 40 and then diagnosed officially with ADHD, and it was something my sister and I shared, we shrugged it off, "Of course we are."

So, on the one hand I appreciated my many youthful interests and bouncing around from one hobby to another, it seemed to have laid a solid foundation of understanding and knowing about many different things.

I remember during a course at the U. of Hawaii, on Celestial Navigation...I thought, wait I know this. I studied it as a kid with my hand me down telescope. On a clear night, I might be able to get pretty close to where I'm at in the world.

So we made fun of the old homestead, and 750 sq ft might be generous at that, but it was full of things which many people didn't have or even know about...all because I said YES to second hand things.

Man, I wish I had the junk from that basement, circa 1968, it would be worth a fortune today. Well, it has been worth a fortune of knowledge, experience and gratitude.


Last edited by GordonJ : December 19, 2019 at 06:55 PM.
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