I’m not sure the year our house here in Clove Valley was built, best guess is that it was built in the 1870s, but my family has lived in it for the last 71 years. My father never threw anything out. That is true of most of my family who over the years have lived in the house.

There is a perfectly good town dump, now called the recycling center, They used to take everything, now almost everything, but my family doesn’t use the dump unless accumulated stuff really gets out of hand, which it did 20 years ago when we did a renovation/addition and filled up a 20 yard container with things we no longer “needed” to save.

We threw out such things as cancelled checks from the 1930s, boxes of letters and bills and receipts and then there was the furniture, like the barcaloungers that no longer reclined and with upholstery torn.

Well I am at it again and already have filled two industrial sized bags with those yearly christmas cards from the 1970s with pictures of young families holding hands and running along the beach somewhere, young couples who are either very old now or worse and yes mostly forgotten.

Next will go the electronics , old vacuum tubes, radio parts, unusable connectors, wires, cables, instruction manuals, boxes of them , and that old Johnson Viking transmitter that hasn’t been fired up since before the Vietnam war.

How about the college exams, text books, term papers, I found a whole file belonging to my father in law who graduated from college in 1941 and went off to war. He saved everything, sadly died in the early 1980s, but his files all went up to the attic.

If this seems merciless there are things I will save or pass on to family. All the letters my father wrote to his father and mother from France in the First World War, and the letters he wrote to my mother in the Second War from the Pacific. They are in a metal box which has only been opened by me every decade or so.

Then there was my cousin Joe, who was a famous horse racing writer, When he died his apartment contents went to the attic. My nephew a horse owner has promised to come and go through it (read- keep all of it).

Lastly there is Kevin’s bottle shop in Millbrook to consider (see an earlier post), who takes almost everything, old pictures, old kitchen equipment, everything including the kitchen sink.

Here are a few pictures of the attic, but nothing is available for sale or free. I do however, have second thoughts about:

The Peace wreath (with lights)

The 1000 paper placemats with the map of Italy

Perfectly good lampshades

The old antenna rotator which will come in handy should the internet disappear

Maybe I should keep the old picture taken at Bradley Beach NJ in 1912 of a human pyramid of handsome young men in old fashioned bathing suits on the beach.

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