The Thanksgiving Pencil

The new desk has about 3,523 little drawers, so I saw an opportunity to organize some of the stuff that has traditionally been out in the open in my home office, like the cup holder full of old pencils, or scattered about in various places, like the 50,000 paper clips. As I stocked the pencil drawer, this relic from the radio station where I worked from 1975 to 1982 stuck out, so I posted it on Facebook. Why not?

“It’s official: I never throw anything away. I left the Ripon radio station 40 years ago this year,” I posted.

You never know what’s going to charm people, so I was surprised when the old pencil got a pile of “Likes” and a couple dozen comments, which was fun because most of them were from people I knew from way back when, as well as colleagues from later venues wondering if I kept any mementoes from those days. Yep, it seems I have. I always knew I was a bit of a pack rat, and as I unpack and repack the office, I’m seeing just how much of one I am. I still think I’m not quite in “hoarder” territory … yet.

But this is Thanksgiving, and today I’m thankful for that pencil, which sparked a pile of fond memories and reconnected me for a moment with quite a few folks I haven’t seen in those 40 years.

I’m not a pencil chewer, though. I wish I could remember what odd habit I had that left pencils kind of beat up like that.

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, Dejah and Summer, and Blackberry, an insistent cat. Author of It's Going to Be All Right, Echoes of Freedom Past, Full, Refuse to be Afraid, Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes, How to Play a Blue Guitar, Myke Phoenix: The Complete Novelettes, A Bridge at Crossroads, The Imaginary Bomb, A Scream of Consciousness, and The Imaginary Revolution.

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