Baha'i News -- Wasatch Rambler: Can I transport 22 years of memories across town?

Wasatch Rambler: Can I transport 22 years of memories across town?

Sunday, August 13, 2000

Standard-Examiner staff

Rambler Commentary

This is ridiculous.

I'm sitting here arguing with a cardboard frog over whether it is going to move or not. It's a tough situation.

The newspaper is going to a new building out at the former Defense Depot Ogden. We have been told we will have new desks out there. This means if I want to keep the stuff in my old desk I have to put it in boxes so the movers can lose it and I'll never see it again.

At least that's my theory.

The problem is, my desk has been a work in progress for 22 years and it's home to a lot of bits and pieces of those years. They're dug in pretty solid.

Consider the cardboard frog.

It likes this desk, which has, sad to say, been known to draw flies. Why it is here I have no idea. A clue is that on one leg is printed "Don't forget to jump over and see us! Ogden Rescue Mission June 16."

But that couldn't have been this year. Last year maybe?

Whatever, it's a cool frog.

Oh look, here is my "Changeable Charlie" toy.

This is a series of wooden blocks with different features -- eyes, nose, mouth -- of a guy named "Charlie." One like my favorite toy when I was about six.

A few years back I found another one at a thrift store, had a huge rush of memories slam me in the gut and had to buy it. Now it lives here and shows different faces of me.

Right now it is frowning.

There is a large brass cup which claims to be a replica of a Central Pacific Railroad chamber pot.

A chamber pot, for the children in the audience, has nothing to do with drugs.

It is something in which you -- oh, how to put it -- in which you used to do things you now get up in the middle of the night and go to a certain small room in the house to do, after which you are asked to please put the seat down.

What do I keep in it?

A small piece of polished wood with some magnets on the back and a cotton

boll. The piece of wood is a memento of C.D. "Bud' Schneider. He gave me about a dozen of them, actually. He'd slice a tree branch like bologna, polish and stain the chips, make refrigerator magnets out of them and pass them out.

Bud was the spokesman of the Bahai Faith in Ogden for years.

He dropped in once a month to bring a press release, but always stopped at my desk to talk cameras or wood chips or his years in the Navy.

He was a brilliant example of the Bahai teachings of friendship and peace, too. You never met a finer person. He died a

couple years ago and all I've got left is those silly magnets.

The cotton boll is a souvenir of a story I did on a Chest Burton, who grows cotton in Ogden.

He must be 77 now, and is still raising his crop over by the intersection of 30th Street and Wall Avenue on the 1-foot wide parking strip on the east side.

It will be ripe in October or thereabouts and he doesn't mind if you take souvenirs.

So you see the problem.

I not only have to clean my desk, I have to move Bud and Chest and Charlie and the frog and innumerable others.

But they're all looking pretty happy where they are. What if they get together and fight me on this?

And the drawers. Do you have any idea what's in those drawers?

Me neither. This could get ugly.

Wasatch Rambler is the opinion of Charles Trentelman. You can reach him by calling 625-4232 or e-mail

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