I rummaged through my desk drawers looking for it, but only came up with stupid stuff like pet supply price books from 1997, a 12 pack of LR3 batteries (never opened), a bottle of Advil with a 2001 expiration date and other assorted crap.
I moved on to the boxes and boxes of newspaper clippings that I cling onto like one of the people featured on the reality show “Hoarders.” As I dug through these boxes I found articles that had pictures of a much younger, much thinner me – one even had a picture of me with hair.
Towards the bottom I found a historical goldmine that took me back to my early years starting out in eCommerce peddling clothes for pet ferrets. You see, back in 1994 the Internet was so new, newspapers and magazines were thrilled to find someone making money off it so lots of articles and stories featured yours truly.
Many of the clippings I found have turned yellow and are starting to become brittle. As I reached the top of the pile, I knew I was in modern day as the newsprint was gray and the ink still rubbed off on my fingers.
I chuckled looking at a folded copy of a front page of the Sunday Times Leader newspaper that featured a headline of me being critical of the mayor of Wilkes-Barre wondering if that was really newsworthy. Sifting through more and more of these clippings, I followed the reporting that was done about the explosive growth my company, Solid Cactus, had achieved over the years and felt a sense of pride at what I accomplished.
I got a lump in my throat when I hit the article that detailed a low part in my career, the time I had to lay off 40 of my employees when the economy turned sour. I wanted to toss that one in the can, but I held on to it.
I found two boxes of 33 1/3 RPM record albums from my days in radio. They’re pretty well oxidized and some are warped, but aren’t we all. I’m hanging on to those if only to give one to some young disk jockey and say, “Here, queue up side 2, cut 3 for me” and wait for a blank stare.
I even found an aboriginal boomerang made from rain forest approved timber and stamped with some sort of official looking seal. Got that beauty as a “we want you back gift” from some ad agency I used years ago. Clever.
One box to go before I would have to take my search into the depths of the storage room and there it was – buried underneath a box of 5,000 mint flavored toothpicks (don’t ask). I pulled it out, dusted it off and stared at it for a few minutes.
During a visit to one of the Caribbean islands, I bought a voo-doo doll from an old woman. She had a table in one of those marketplace type venues where the locals sell their wares to suckers like me who come off cruise ships looking for cheap booze and even cheaper clothes.
I was fascinated by the doll and the woman selling it to me. She told me the history of voo-doo dolls and the place they have in her culture. She warned me that the power the doll holds is something special and is not to be abused.
I plucked down what probably amounted to the equivalent sum of food for her village for 3 months and walked away with my bit of island treasure. When I got home, I forgot about my purchase – until this week.
My little voo-doo doll, with all its myth and legend, is off to the side watching me bang out today’s musings. Looking at it, I don’t know whether to slowly creep away or stare it down and see who flinches first. Who knows if the old lady was right about these things or if voo-doo even exists. It was a fun trip down memory lane to reach my ultimate destination, but now I have to take a slight detour. I need to look for a box of straight pins.