Chasing old paper trails

“Some people regard discipline as a chore.  For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly.”
— Julie Andrews

I spent the day sorting through a lot of old photos, cards, letters and other old papers.  In January 1980, I completed my AIT course at the Defense Information School, becoming an Army journalist:

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I thought about this a good bit today, because I went out in the garage to sift through some old photo albums and memorabilia, that I had in my old steamer trunk.  I purchased that trunk at Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN to hold my large pile of books, which I had in my barracks room.  Someone told me that I could ship them to my first duty assignment by sending them “hold baggage”.  My AIT boyfriend, a Marine, lugged that steamer trunk to his car and took care of getting my books shipped safely.

When my steamer trunk arrived in Germany, it was shipped to some nearby infantry unit.  I was assigned to 1/41 FA (Pershing).  Once again, men came to my rescue.  I asked my battalion commander, whom I worked for, as the battalion public affairs person, how I would go about getting my steamer trunk of books.  I asked him where I should go to make arrangements to receive my steamer trunk, filled with my books.

My battalion commander, smiled and told me he had a meeting at that infantry unit and he told me that I could drive along with him and his driver.  He assured me that his driver would assist me with retrieving my steamer trunk.  I was concerned that trunk would not fit in the sedan.  When I expressed that concern, my battalion commander assured me that we would cross that bridge, if we came to it.

My battalion commander went to his meeting and his driver took me to retrieve my trunk. It would not fit in the trunk of the sedan, so the driver loaded it into the backseat of the sedan. It took up most of the back seat.

When we went to pick up our battalion commander, I was worried that he would be angry about my trunk becoming such an inconvenience. When he saw the trunk in the backseat, he smiled and said there was plenty of room in the backseat for him and he insisted I stay in the front passenger seat.  He said something like, “You young people can stay up there and chat.” He was matchmaking, because his driver liked me a great deal.

When we got back to 1/41 FA (Pershing), the driver dropped the battalion commander off at his office and then his driver drove to my battery.   He went inside and got another guy to assist him in lugging my steamer trunk down to my barracks room.

A few days later I bought a metal bookcase at the PX and sat and assembled it, so my books would have a home in my barracks room.

That trunk has served a lot of purposes in my life. When we lived in Columbia, SC, in the mid-80s, it served as our TV stand.   Here is my younger son, with wild bed hair waiting to open Christmas presents.  The pillow in front of the trunk was a crewel embroidery kit I stitched .

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In Germany, from 87-92, it served as my plant stand. You can see it behind my oldest daughter’s German Barbie dollhouse, which I purchased right before Christmas.  My Pop, who had come to Germany to spend Christmas with us, and my husband spent most of the night before Christmas, assembling that dollhouse, which had very poor instructions… in German.

Here are my other three kids, holding little stuffed animals,  mugging for this lame photo, LOL:

And now that steamer trunk sits in the garage still serving a purpose as my storage container for a lot of old papers and miscellaneous memorabilia.  Today I was working on something and I actually needed some old photos of friends from 1/41 FA (Pershing) and once again this old steamer trunk came to my rescue.

I also found this cross-stitch quote that my husband wanted me to stitch and frame for his office when he was the 1s BDE Operations SGM in the late 90s:

All in all, today was quite a trip down memory lane for me.  Unlike this Turkish mess kit, which my youngest sister, found in Turkey and gave to my husband as a unique Christmas gift, sometimes it takes quite a few pieces of paper and photos to build a unique trail to the truth::

Still have many more miles to go before I am satisfied with my early Spring housecleaning.  Here’s my motto :

This was Walmart Halloween clearance and I have this hanging on the hutch in my kitchen, right behind where I sit at the table, LOL.

I finished the day marveling how that cheap steamer trunk has paid for itself many times over since 1980…

My Army ride has assuredly led me on some truly amazing adventures!

Peace out:-)

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Filed under American Character, General Interest, Messages of mhere, Worthwhile Quotations

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