I have a confession. For being fairly tidy with most rooms in my home, my dirty little secret lies in the home office. It's a wonderland of things that need to go somewhere else. A place to put things on the way to charity bins, plastic containers full of my son's artwork from various school projects, and LOTS of pictures.
There's a Barbie case with my original Barbie, Ken, Midge, Skipper and the twins...I think the boy was named Todd...and some original vintage clothing plus some things that my grandmother, aunties and mother sewed for them. I also made clothing for them. It's how I learned to sew. Never figured out knitting though. My cousin on the other hand is a knitting and crocheting wizard. She can also play the snot out of the piano. Her dexterity reigns supreme. Oh, and there's furniture that my Dad made for the whole Barbie family too. I don't think the pink convertible is still around, but how I wish it was. Hello Ebay!
Of course there's random music stuff in places where it shouldn't be. We've got KGON airchecks that go back to 1977, tapes of things that I'm sure you can find on YouTube now, and oh so many local and new bands releases through the years that I just can't seem to file away because I've run out of room on the shelves where they belong. I still have cassettes too. My car is so old that it has a factory cassette player from when I bought it new. I love my car, but that's another blog for another day.
Also residing in my "office" is a whole lot of art stuff. I don't always get into an artistic mood, but when I do, it's wonderful to have the things you need at hand. Okay, truth here, I get all artsy about once a year. Maybe twice if my friend Ann gets after me to express myself. I admit to having a love for paper, pencils, charcoal, paint, brushes, and the materials that become art. I love the touch, the smell, the feel of things in an art studio.
Books have also spilled into the room, because even though I pass them around, and sell them and donate, I still have too many that I "just can't part with!" I have learned to cull through them every now and then and yes, we have a tablet that I could just download anything on to read, but it's just not as satisfying as the heft of a much loved book. The place where my mind learned to wander during long train trips and car rides across this great country of ours, was in the pages of books. I love to read, and my ideal vacation is one where I have a pile of books, a pool to lounge by all day, and nothing else to do. Absolute heaven.
There's posters, rolled up, waiting for a frame. I have to watch those because more than once, Marty's been on a "let's throw it all away" spree, and I've had to fish them out of the paper recycling bin and put them somewhere else. That's part of my dirty little secret. I hide things so they won't get thrown away or given away. It's dangerous behavior, because I don't always remember where I put things. I just hide it for the moment, thinking I'll come back to it, and then it's years later when I find it.
I've also managed to save a lot of letters. Hand written letters that can still bring back feelings that I thought I'd buried years ago. Just seeing my Grandmother's handwriting makes me get all weepy. I have saved letters from friends, old boyfriends, family, listeners, and in this world of email and Facebook posts that take very little time and effort, those letters mean something to me. I know, what a sap! I found the very first letter from a listener sent to me in Eugene, and the feelings it brought back are hard to put into words.
This morning, while going through files of what I thought were old bills, I found this letter, sent to me by Hoyt Axton's father, John Axton. He lived across the street from my Aunt Dot and Uncle Dale in Oklahoma. My folks had been there visiting, and my Dad gave Mr. Axton my KGON business card. This sweet man wrote me a letter, and sent the latest singles that Hoyt had recorded. I remember sending him back a letter, thanking him for the records, and telling him how much I loved Hoyt's music. That wonderful rich voice, singing or speaking, was like no other. He wrote several songs that went on to be hits for Three Dog Night, and I still love Hoyt's versions the best. If you ever saw "The Black Stallion" you may remember him as the boy's father. He's been in other movies too, and I love just listening to him deliver his lines. I saw him in concert here in Portland at the Paramount with Nicolette Larson singing background with this long mane of hair down past her ass. At one point in the show, a woman shouted to Hoyt "I love you!" and he replied with "Oh honey, you just made my nipples hard." Nothing I'd have expected from a country artist at the time, but Hoyt was more than that. His mother Mae, who John refers to in the letter co-wrote "Heartbreak Hotel" with Tommy Durden, and it went on to be a huge hit for Elvis Presley with Floyd Cramer and Chet Atkins on the record. So, Hoyt came from some really powerful genes...and I kept this letter from his dad. I was so happy to find it, that I'm having it framed. I have no idea where I will put it, because my walls are full as well, but it's so darned cool!
There's my confession. My mess. My dirty little secret stash of things that mean something to me. The reason I hate the idea of ever moving. I know a therapist would have a field day with my attachment to this stuff. Don't even get me started on what the pictures do to my heart. For now, I found something wonderful, and I will close the door to the mess and walk away until I can handle some more memories.