Stupid Sentimental Things I’ll Never Throw Out (*)

(*) Disclaimer:   No, I am not a hoarder.

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Dog Carving


I bought this in 1976, during a week-long Grade 6 field trip along the Gaspé Coast.  We stopped at the town in St. Jean Port-Joli, which is renowned for its wood carvings.

I blew a big chunk of my budget on this dog (I love dogs).   I remember is cost $4.00 at the time.

Not bad, actually, (even in 1976 dollars), when you consider this was hand-carved.

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1960’s Therm-O-Ware Glasses

These were originally used in our house when I grew up.  Then they fell out of style, and got relegated to the back of the cupboard.

Friar’s Mom resurrected them when she  donated them to me when I left home for university.

I know these are at least 43 years old, because they’re in a photo with me blowing out the candles on my cake on my fourth birthday.

I like these…they remind me of my earliest childhood.

And I still use them.

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Dog Puppet

This was a gift from my Mom when I was 8, back in 1973.     I was at the Montreal Children’s General Hospital, going through some allergy tests.

This involved getting something like 20-30 needles in each arm.   It wasn’t a fun time.

Friar’s Mom felt so sorry for me, we went to the hospital gift shop, and she bought me this dog puppet.

You have to realize that we didn’t have that much money back then, so a gift like this was a big deal for me.  I named him “Napoleon”.

A few years ago, Napoleon was sitting around Friar’s Mom’s house, and she was considering passing him on to my free-range screaming nephews.

“No way!” I said, “They’ll destroy him!”

This was my special gift.  Not theirs.   And it reminds me of my Mom.

So Napoleon now stays with ME.

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Ratty old moose T-shirt

There are many reasons I like this 20-year old T-shirt.

First, it’s green, one of my favorite colors.

Second, it has a moose, which is one of the few herbivores I respect.

Third, it was purchased in Algonquin Park, one of the coolest places on the planet.

But mostly, because of when I got this.    It was during a camping trip with some fellow grad students.

I was in my mid-20’s, which I remember as a happy, wonderful time of my life, before I got burdened down with adulthood and responsibility.

Anyway, the T-shirt’s worn down now and full of holes.   I can’t wear it in public anymore.

But it brings back good memories, so I still use it.

Even if it’s only to sleep in or hang around the house in.

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Adjustable Screw Driver

This was back in ~ 1984.   I was getting ready to leave for 2nd year University and Dad was helping me pick up some things at Canadian Tire.

He bought me this screw driver with the different attachments.  He said it was a good practical tool for me to have for school.

It was my first “real” tool.   And I’ve held on to it ever since.

Dad’s gone now.  But I still have his screwdriver.

And it’s still the first one I use, above all the others.

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Cheesy Globe Piggy Bank and Purple Tonka Volkswagen

The cheesy globe was a Christmas gift when I was in Grade 1.

It survived my childhood.

I brought it with me all through my university years.   And it’s followed me during all my multiple moves after I graduated.

It’s forty years old.   It’s tacky.  It’s dented.

It’s stupid.

And I  don’t know why I like it.

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As for the Volkswagen, that’s another matter.

I love VW bugs ever since I could remember.

I’d draw them, I’d count them on the highway, I was nuts about them.

So imagine how thrilled I was, when my Grampa took me and my cousin to a toy store, and bought us each a Tonka Volkswagen.

Just like that, out of the blue.  And a month before Christmas.  I was five.

Like I said earlier, my family didn’t have too much money at the time. So this was HUGE !!!

Of course, Grampa’s long since gone.  He passed away in 1973.

But I still have the VW bug he bought me.  It’s one of the few reminders I have left of him.

And (as you can see), I’ve started collecting other bugs as well.

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Last but not Least

Those of you who follow my blog will recognize Junior Bear.

He was a gift from a girl friend around 1991 (or 92?)

The girlfriend has long since gone, but The Bear Remains.   And he’s taken on a life of his own.

I take him with me on all my travels and road-trips, and photograph him in various locations.

The Bear has been to the Empire State Building,  the Arctic Circle,  the Grand Canyon, and the Great Barrier Reef.

The top of Mt Washington,  NH.  Cow Head, Newfoundland.   And Smashed-in-Head Buffalo Jump National Park, Alberta.

Not to mention Wawa Ontario, Dawson City (Yukon) and Tuktoyaktuk (NWT)

And I have the pictures to prove it.

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13 Comments on “Stupid Sentimental Things I’ll Never Throw Out (*)”

  1. Allison Day Says:

    This post makes me happy… I love it. I have quite a few things that I’ll never throw away either… a teddy bear that I’ve had since I was born, a bright pink sweater that I used to wear every single day in kindergarten, a medal from when I won first place in an astronomy competition in middle school…

    Thanks for putting a smile on my face, I needed that today. 🙂

  2. Kelvin Kao Says:

    Keeping a puppet… that I always approve!

    I still have my first pair of scissors. It’s broken now, but I taped the handle back together.

    So that’s what Junior Bear looks like in close-up!

  3. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Its interesting that its not the things so much as what the thing reminds you of or the person it reminds you of or a time it reminds you of.

    I have a stupid snow globe of the London Bridge. It reminds me of my Grandfather.

    Eyeteaguy

  4. XUP Says:

    You’re such an old softie. I have an old wood box my dad made for me, which I think I blogged about once, where I keep all my assorted treasures.

  5. CaptainPush Says:

    I’m glad to see everyone getting in touch with their “inner child.” Especially YOU Friar!

  6. Dot Says:

    Lots of sentimental value there. The dog carving is quite nice. And I’m glad the VW had puppies. So that’s why you’re holding a bear in your FB photo.

  7. aliastaken Says:

    Junior Bear reminds me of my own bear, Ernest. I received him as a gift in 1982 or so from someone I actually didn’t like much (one of my mother’s suitors), however, I loved Ernest because he was so cute. He’s pretty worn and tattered now but I still sleep with him every night. He was with me through college, after college, and the one and only time I ever stayed in the hospital (giving birth). I guess you could say he’s my longest term relationship, ha.
    Anyway, whenever I think of my ‘special stuff’ that I would never want to part with, I get sad for people who lose everything in house fires or other disasters. I guess we are all lucky to have the memories of our stuff, and extra lucky if we get to hold onto the actual stuff too.

  8. Friar Says:

    @Allison
    I had no idea how people would react to this post. I’m glad you liked it.

    Astronomy competition..I’m impressed. 🙂

    @Kelvin
    True…Junior Bear is always shown in the distance, with a scene in the background.

    @Eyeteaguy
    Your stupid snow globe is like my cheesy globe piggy bank. I get where you’re coming from.

    @XUP
    Me? A softie? (Shhhhhh! Don’t tell anybody!) I might lose my curmudgeon status.

    @Captain Push
    Wait’ll I write about my old Matchbox and Hotwheels.

    @Dot
    Yeah..if you search my blog for “Bear”, you’ll see lots of posts of where he’s been. I think The Bear is actually more popular than I am.

    @Aliastaken
    I think everybody should have a bear, in one form or another.

    And you’re right..I feel bad for those who’ve lost things in a house fire or tornado. If my house was burning, this is the stuff I’d rescue first..and leave the TV and stereo and other shit behind.

  9. Kyddryn Says:

    Uh-oh, Friar, your sweetheart is showing.

    I still have the stuffed animals my father’s mother sewed for me. Also, I have the Barbie outfits my Great Aunt B stitched for me. I have a house full of junque, and I’d leave most of it behind if it burned…but not the stuffed animals, and not the two Barbie dresses. Funny how we strong the association with the past, is…

    Shade and Sweetwater,
    K

  10. Friar Says:

    @Kyddryn

    Funny how common the stuffed animal theme is with a lot of people.

    There’s another stuffed animal I’ve had since I was an infant: “Lady Dog”. It’s still safety stored in a box somewhere in the basement. Dunno if I could ever part with it either.


  11. I know so many people, myself included, who simply cannot part with items that are, to us, of great sentimental value but which, objectively speaking, are simply worthless junk. I guess it will be up to those who survivor who, unfettered by our nostalgia, finally toss the stuff away.

  12. Friar Says:

    @koshersamurai
    I guess sooner or later, we will have to deal with throwing out sentimental stuff (ie. when our parents pass away, or if we have to downsize and move to a retirement home). Can’t say I’m looking forward to that when it happens.

  13. svc Says:

    Great collection of things. Myself I have been unable to purge my albums, although the sound quality is terrible due to all the scratches from parties gone by. My pride possessions are however a piece of the Berlin Wall, and an old sherriff badge that my deceased father wore as fire chief for the MNR.


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