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The Suburbanite
  • King's View, Father's Day

  • We’ve all got way too much stuffing.


     


    No, not just at the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner tables, but everywhere in our lives.


     


    And therein lies the problem.

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  • We’ve all got way too much stuffing.
    No, not just at the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner tables, but everywhere in our lives.
    And therein lies the problem.
    When our time comes – hopefully not for a long, long time – somebody, whether it be our spouse, kids, significant other, one of those companies that comes in and cleans up for people were hoarders or whomever draws the short straw, is going to have to go through all our stuff.
    If your stuff is anything like my stuff, then that somebody will throw away most of the things and try – desperately, to the point of begging – to give the rest away. They’ll probably have to move the Goodwill truck to let the ambulance get up near my house.
    Oh, well.
    But, as it stands now, there’s one strange thing they’ll find whose inclusion with my other stuff – junky, worthless stuff, to be sure, but nothing–out–of–the–ordinary stuff – deserves an explanation. If not, then the dearly departed will have left all my somebody sorters deeply confused.
    Laying on its side in the left front of the trunk of my car, right next to the white–and–red Indian Valley Braves super–duper seat cushion I stole – er, took – from the football press box down there when no one seemed to want it, and also right next to the horde of coats and jackets of all different types I keep back there in case my car gets stuck near the North Pole, in the Sahara Desert or anywhere in between, is a nearly–empty brown glass jar of Cremora that has to be at least 35 to 40 years old.
    Those of you who have been around long enough to remember when we didn’t have to lock our doors at night, and when the web was something you brushed out of the top corner of the garage with a real long–handled broom, may recall Cremora. Put out by Borden’s, it was described, as indicated on the back of the bottle, as “a delicious new lightness for hot coffee, tea and cocoa.” It dates back a half–century, was discontinued for a while – sure it was, because my dad was no longer around to buy it – and then apparently was re–launched about two years ago.
    It must have been good stuff – gee, there’s the word again – because it had the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, and, more importantly, because my dad used it. He was the most discriminating coffee drinker in the history of the world. Some men are picky when it comes to music or art, but with my dad, it was coffee. He wanted it just right, and Cremora apparently allowed him to get his that way.
    Page 2 of 2 - I remember seeing a steady supply of Cremora in our house growing up. In fact, my dad bought so many jars of the stuff that he saved one back to use to store the hand cleaner he brought home from the machine shop where he worked.
    After he died, I kept it because it was the best hand cleaner you ever saw. No amount of dirt or grease could defeat it.
    Later, when the hand cleaner was all but gone, I kept the jar because it reminded me of him.
    So how – and why – did it end up in the trunk of my car?
    When we did some cleaning around the house last fall, getting rid of a lot of stuff that was stuffing our garage, the Cremora jar was, understandably, one of the first things to go.
    But as dumb as it sounds – and I know it sounds really dumb – I couldn’t let that happen. I rescued it from the trash can and put it in the trunk.
    With the lid of the trunk down, it wouldn’t be bothering anyone.
    And with the lid of the trunk up, it would make me smile, reminding me what a great guy my dad was and how he did without so many things so I could have the best things.
    To him, my stuff was a whole lot more important than his stuff.
    It’s one of the last things I have left from my dad. I lost one of the other thing last fall – a clipboard he had bought me sometime in the mid–1970s when I was getting started in this business. I accidentally left it in the press box at Paul Brown Stadium – not Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, the one at Massillon High School that’s home to the Tigers, but Paul Brown Stadium, the one in Cincinnati that is home to the Bengals.
    Along about Thursday afternoon of that week, when I was looking for it and it dawned on me what had happened, I screamed – loud. Hope it didn’t scare ya’ll too much. I then became physically ill.
    Not long thereafter, it was garage cleaning time, and I was bound and determined not to lose Mr. Cremora, too.
    For me at least, it’s the stuff in which great memories are kept.
    Anyway, Happy Father’s Day.