Sunday, September 6, 2009

One mans trash

Back in the 1970s we took our trash to the dump, later to be known as the transfer station. When it was still “the dump” it was an adventure to go on Saturday mornings. By dropping off a bag of trash and our grass clippings, I was able to scout around everyone else’s cast-offs. I brought home some wonderful things, like a maple twin bed. It was in perfect condition, older and solid. Some of my finds needed a face-lift. There was a childs rocking chair, which was then stripped and refinished. Ditto for the 1950’s set of ladderback kitchen chairs, and the antique mirror that sits on a gentlemans bureau. Often, when driving in with trash, I would see a pickup truck leaving chock full of goodies. But eventually it became a transfer station run by a big company and “browsing” was no longer allowed.

Years later, the transfer station where I was living had a “ReUse” shed where you could put, or take, useable items. It was a great place to pick up an extra length of garden hose or a few flower pots. There was always a selection of books, toys, cross country skis, and sometimes a record player or even a bureau. I was surprised at how many people seemed to be giving up golf, as full sets of clubs in those big, clumsy leather bags would show up quite often. Every few months a set of encyclopedia would line the shelves. A fifteen year old set is outdated and almost useless due to access to libraries and the internet. Even the information in a five year old set is questionable.

I had placed some things there, and took a few, too. My biggest regret was not carrying off the box with the vintage shiny aluminum Christmas tree. It had been completely disassembled with the branches carefully stored in the brown paper sleeves, most likely since its last use in the ‘60s. The box was large, it was a hot day, and I hadn’t had a tree for a few years. Not wanting to store more holiday decorations, I walked away. Growing up, we always had a real tree, so I wasn’t trying to re-create the past. However, sometimes my back side hurts from the many times I’ve kicked myself since then. (Oh, the eBay possiblities!) I hope that at least someone has enjoyed it.

1 comment:

Mug said...

I reckon you HAVE kicked yourself for not getting that Christmas tree....Sooo vintage!
Oh well......It is what it is and there's no use crying over spilled milk, now, is there?

I think there is still a place like that in one of the counties in Georgia. I had an older friend who "swapped" out for some wonderful furniture pieces that she refurbished.