Monday, September 12, 2005

Blame the Beatles, if you must

I'm sitting here TRYING to get some productive work done tonight. Heck, I even turned off the TV . . . there really isn't much on Monday nights (unless "Kitchen Confidential" turns out to be good . . .).

But, I can't keep my mind on work.

So, I am presenting another page from one of my early scrapbooks. Maybe it is "Abbey Road" (which I am listening to) that is bringing this on.

What's on this page? Not a whole lot and I confess that I can't explain why I chose some of these things at the time that I put them in the book. But what you can see are clipped out photos of the Space Shuttle that I cut from a model rocket catalog I used to get in the mail. My brother Muleskinner and I (but him mostly) went through a model rocket building phase. Remember please that this was in the early to mid-1980s when I cut these pictures out . . . the space shuttle was still relatively new and glamorous to geek types such as I.

Running sideways up the side of the page is a laminated newspaper clipping that one of my parent's friends gave me. The small story congratulates me on being named as an Academic All-American by my junior high school (that would be 8th grade to those of you who have never heard of Jr. High) math teacher, Mrs. Boyd.

I honestly don't remember Mrs. Boyd at all, so that is her repayment for taking an interest in me so long ago. But I can do mental math in my head much faster than my math-writing editorial wife . . . so, I've got that going for me.

The other image is studious All-American me, hunched over my handmade desk, doing some homework, or something.

I am providing a larger version of that image for your enjoyment and for maximum humiliation.

What can I tell you about this particular wonderful shot? Well, I don't even know who took it. Was it Mom? Maybe MSquared? No clue. I do know that I didn't set a camera up on a tripod and activate the shutter myself with a bulb under my foot. What sort of self-referential wacko would do that? (And if you think I am ironically telling you that I DID do that, then you are wrong.)

Anyway, I am sitting in my bedroom, that used to be my two brother's room. The dark line along the right side of the photo indicates the transitional opening in my wall where their bedroom begins. I would later move into that room when they moved off the college.

I think I inherited this desk from Muleskinner. I am guessing that Dad built it at some point. What I remember most distinctly about it was the secret slot alongside the right edge, which consisted of a small hinged piece of wood that provided a shelf to hide stuff. I put my pocket knife there, but I guess I could've hid marijuana joints or cocaine there (if I had done such things).

You can see that this particular corner of my room was pretty austere in its decorating style. There is another Space Shuttle poster (not yet the last nor the biggest Space Shuttle poster that I would eventually own).

The window behind me was a particular source of memories from my childhood. Every year or so I would rearrange my room furniture, which I always found fun and provided a weird sense of vertigo every time I entered it that first day or two of a new configuration. But, given limited options and square footage, the bed always ended up somewhere around that window. No big deal, except that as a much younger boy I was always convinced that the Headless Horseman was going to enter my bedroom through that window and chop off my head to take it as his own. I eventually got over that fear, but I can't help but remember it every time I see that window.


Sven Golly said...

"Martin Picked"
Headline writers are a whole 'nother breed.

I can see how Abbey Road might inspire such trips down memory lane. At least the headless horseman didn't come in through the bathroom window, that would've been too weird. The spartan surroundings are cool, and by that age you were starting to look like your handsome adult self. It does make me curious about your brothers, though.

Anonymous said...


As you can see I am a few weeks behind in checking WWYG. But I did enjoy the photo and the mention of the secret slot in the desk. You are correct, the desk was hand made by BK and was previously owned by the 'Skinner (I took mine with me to ATL and held onto it until V and I got married!). The slot was something that the 'Skinner rigged up, for God knows what purpose. I remember when he showed it to me I wondered if illegal contraband was the ultimate intent but I never saw anything in there other than his wallet. As for the whitewashed brick walls, if you think they look Spartan in the photo, well, you should have seen them before they were painted ;-).