Saturday, July 15, 2006


(A special post for SundayScribblings)

The items we use for carrying our oh so precious stuff - for goodness sakes, we can't leave without this...or this here...oh, wait a minute...I need to take along that as well....just in case.
My first baggage that I can remember - was made of wire. It sat right between the handlebars of my Schwinn Stingray bike. Of course, it wasn't to cool to throw that accessory on the Stingray so as soon as I got home from school and ditched the school tomes, the basket came off too. That was handy. I actually had a removable piece of baggage.
It was during this time - around fifth grade that my parents subjected me to taking music at school. I love music now but hauling the saxophone to school via my pedal-and-chain-mobile taught me my first lesson in baggage handling. Bunjee chords were brand new back then 30+ years ago. I had my trusty basket between the bars and then to the front or on top of the basket, I strapped on another piece of baggage...the saxaphone case. Baggage on baggage. This was tricky and, as I am sure you can imagine, none to cool. Any chance of coolness was dispelled as most things that look awkward usually are and the entire load was often tossed to the dirt road that I travelled on. Oh the trauma of my childhood.
On to high school - where were backpacks in those days!!??!!! The baggage used there were my two appendages. This was a highly inefficient system when carrying multiple books, a lunch, and anything else.
College - brought along the introduction of the small backpace. This was cutting edge utilitarianism.
After graduating from business college - the logical career path was taken and I became a carpenter. Not a very good carpenter but a carpenter nonetheless. I still remember the 100 degree days. No sunscreen. A pair of gymshorts, redwing boots and my next piece of toolbelt. I still have that toolbelt out in my garage. I tried to put it on the other day.
Leather must not keep very well. After 20 years, it's shrunk...must have shrunk because it didn't come very close to fitting around my waist.
Then, the baggage gets serious - and you enter the world of work. You move up to a briefcase. Important people carry briefcases. Beginning loan senior loan bigger manager. I have been through the old briefcases to more stylish ones to catalog cases to...
Laptop cases - the classic styling of a man's briefcase forever ruined by the need to carefully pack around the slave to which we have become. How many generic laptop cases have I been through? I can't even imagine.
You see corporate America drones packing around "the brain" in different sizes and configurations....but you don't really see the difference, do you? They are pretty much all black, nylon zippers, "that material" (you know...that nylon mesh stuff) and just wider and taller than laptop within.
Not mine! - I finally found something that is becoming a friend. He's my bag. Sometimes I insult him by making him bear the weight of my laptop and such silly contraptions like PDA's and laser pointers. Many times, I allow him to enjoy the heavier weight of the myriad of books that I want to read, pads to scribble on, and the variety of pens I carry. You can't have too many pens, right? Cell phone, keys, doesn't matter. My friend has a big mouth but he never tells. He just consumes. He begs me to travel heavier because he can take it. Many times, I give in to his desires and then it is my shoulder that tells me who really is in charge.
Old metal zippers - you don't see those anymore, do you? Yes, they have their misery but they bring a reminder of another time. It was a time that you didn't throw away and buy new. You went to the shoe repair shop and had it replaced or restitched. I guess there wasn't as much room in the landfills back in those days. We made things last even if what we had wasn't as good as the latest new thing. Why does the sentence I just wrote make me think of marriage?
I could scribble forever on this topic - but, alas, I have a meeting to go to. Let's see....what will I need at the meeting? What might I need if there is time to kill?...if I get bored? ...if I decide to go somewhere else when the meeting is done? I may not know what I am taking....but I know where I am putting it.
Time to start packing - maybe I will throw some underwear in my briefcase today. It will be the first time the name of the item accurately depics the object that it is describing.


alyndabear said...

"You can't have too many pens, right?"

Absolutely right! I had my family in hysterics once when I tried to clean out my handbag -- in all seriousness, I would have had close to 30 pens in there. Granted, most of them were my "favourites", so I couldn't leave any behind!

Some of my kids come to school with absolutely no bags at all; I suppose that's the wonder (?) of them being able to order their lunches at a canteen. But some of my fondest memories were bringing out the old backpack and lovingly packing in my lunchbox and my pencilcase and my ruler....

I always look forward to reading your blogs. And thankyou for your lovely words of advice re: the rudeness post. I feel humbly aware, and indeed, I am oblivious!


yak attack said...

What a great illustration of how our baggage cycles through life and career. Too bad how marriage often recycles for newer models, as well, instead of getting repaired like the old zippers. Good writing!

Michelle said...

I don't remember backpacks either. I do remember being facinated by how the boys slung their books under their arm, while the girls hugged them close to their body. How did we ever get by?

Kamsin said...

A good bag really is a very important thing. I tend to go through a lot of bags, and they are one of the few things I hate to throw out. A good bag really does become like a trusted friend, it goes everywhere with you and it's hard to get by without it.

Colorsonmymind said...

I love the thoughts you voiced-getting ready to leave for the meeting-it sounded very familiar.

Great post.

Kay said...

This was great! I have had alot of those bags myself. Even played the saxophone!