Saturday, September 16, 2006


Yes it's true. I have junk everywhere. So much junk in fact that I had to rent a storage unit just so my husband would not make me throw it away. I was able to lay my hands on the Rolling Stones ticket from 1981 because I had just seen the small cache of stuff in an abandoned metal box several weeks ago while cleaning out the garage...of accumulated junk from my job.

The box was hidden in a old medicine cabinet hung on the back wall. I found the box of treasure when I opened it to see what the heck was in there.

Why do I hang on to ticket stubs, bus passes, old yellowing pieces of paper cut from the newspapers of years gone by? Because each one evokes a memory. Each one is an artifact from my past. A fossil of my existence. My history. My trail of tears. Tiny moments that I would have long forgotten, and have forgotten until I hold in hand the receipts of my life.

A night sometime in the early 1980's at the Palace Theatre in Louisville to see John Prine. I was introduced to John's music while a student at Murray State University (ahhhh the memories from that time in my life). After the show I waited to meet him and asked him to sign my ticket stub. "Hello in there Love, John Prine" he wrote on the back.

Louisville Redbird stubs. 1983-85. I went with so many people!! The company I worked for had season tickets located at first base. My brother Pat and I went and were sitting there with beer in hand at the first pitch of the first inning and the first hit headed directly at us!! He stood and shielded me from being cracked in the head splashing beer over me in the process, and the ball bounced off his thumb into the row behind us. People offered up sympathy to him for not being able to catch the ball by patting him on the back. Yet, he saved his beer and me.

Bo Diddley ticket stub. I was dating Dennis (at the time) and he caught a gig playing drums for Bo that evening. The concert was in a hotel off Hurstbourne Lane. Dennis was a little upset afterwards because having never played with this band before Bo felt it necessary to kept turning around and signal slow down!!

Magic Kingdom passes. My Mom and Dad took Bridget and I to Florida in 1986. We were staying in a hotel in Orlando and Mom was approached by a man who offered her his tickets at a substantially cut rate price. He had purchased three day passes, but was unable to stay for the third day. My Mom is never one to pass up a bargain! I'll never forget the feeling that came over me as Bridget and I rode the monorail into the park. The Magic Kingdom came into view. My heart began pounding and I fell into a time tunnel that transported me back in time. The child in me was jumping up and down saying "Yes, yes, yes!! What I have been waiting for all my life!!!"

A tote ticket from Churchill Downs from 1986.

My YMCA pass from the mid-80's.

An inspiring horoscope.

Tickets to the Derby Dinner Playhouse to see Jesus Christ Superstar.

Movie ticket stubs.


But also secret buried treasure.

Buried memories that are treasures.


ShellyS said...

I have shoe boxes full of stuff like that, myself. ;)

Jimmy said...

As I read this, I stared right at one of the drawers here that is stuffed with mementos like yours.

It's nice to read someone who understands!


Anonymous said...

What a great post, Mary. I'm glad you visited my site because that's how I found out about your site. I'd have never thrown out a ticket with John Prine's handwritten message on it. He's one of my fav's, too. I used to collect everything. I kept scrapbooks before scrapbooking was popular. Now, at 48, I don't know if it's midlife rearing its ugly head or a body desperately needing HRT, but I can't look at my mementos right now. I get too "emo" thinking about how much time has passed and how my life is half over and I haven't seen Billy Joel in concert yet and who knows how long he's going to be around and...You get the idea.

Mimi Lenox said...

Hi Mary. I loved this piece about memories. We all have that kind of "junk." Thanks for visiting my blog today. I will certainly return to yours!

Robbie said...

I used to do the same thing but it seems every ten years I have a purging where all those things are thrown away, probably from moving so much. I do have a few odds and ends that have made it though. Now, I wonder how much better my memory would had I kept more momentos. Darn!

Theresa Williams said...

Yes, it's so hard to throw those things away. They become living things because they represent those we have loved and still love. They are part of ourselves.

trying2hide said...

Ticket stubs! (smacks head) I should have been collecting those instead of clothing sizes all these years!
I would have so much more room in the house.

Beautiful post..honestly

Paul said...

I wish I'd saved more stuff like this. I'm always doing the unsentimental purge, then regretting it.

John Prine...yessssss.

Nelle said...

I saved EVERYTHING until 2002. AT that point I was moving to a house less than half the size of the old one. I carefully went through saving my son's school projects and what meant the most but tossed the rest. I did put all photos in albums and labeled them along with a few scrapbooks I put together. I haven't missed anything yet.