January 23rd 2016



····on a nail—a child’s runner sled


Sometimes I can’t stop myself. I’ll see an old runner sled on the side of a barn, rusting and disused, and wonder if the boy or girl knew they would never take it down again.


78 January 23rd 2016 | bottlecap

5 responses

  1. But hanging on a hook, Marv, can also be seen as a presumption of possibilities for continuity within family, a gentle gesture to progeny or generations yet to come, anticipating shared pleasures with those we hope to come to know . . . or not, makes no difference really. Part of the pleasure is just in the memories, the possibility, the idea that every ending can become a beginning of something else. Which explains the three Flexible Flyers reclaimed and strapped to the rafters of my enclosed shed next to the gaff-rigged ketch in storage for my son and granddaughters if and when the time comes for them now that the two girls have finally arrived. Thanks again, Patrick, for stimulating these morning devotions.


    • By virtue of my work, I’ve been in a lot of basements, attics and barns, and I’ve seen some beautiful toys, sleds, dollhouses, etc., waiting for the next children. There’s always, for me, a touch of pathos. And then there’s that sled that’s been waiting too long, rusted and forlorn. I’ve actually bought sleds from customers, repaired them, and set them free with my kids and others.

      I don’t know why I have to anthropomorphize everything.

      I was repairing the foundation of an old hunting cabin (built on stilts) and found an old electrician’s pliers so rusted that you couldn’t open it–looked like it had been dredged form the bottom of a lake. Of course, I felt sorry for it. I took home and damned if I didn’t clean it up, oil it, and make a tool out of it again. I use it at least once a week.

      There are a couple local antique dealers who sell old tools. Not a speck of rust on them, but they have that old metallic burnished look that’s better than old leather. It’s not polished. I have got to find out how they restore these tools. I’m thinking they use electrolysis. I’ve heard it’s very easy to do.


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