One man's (woman's) treasure ...

People collect stuff. 

And those collections are important to those who build them up over the years. They are cherished, shown off to friends. Trips to trade shows and conventions focusing on one’s favored hobby are planned months in advance. Life revolves around collecting more for the collection.

Coins, baseball cards, train sets, stamps, comic books, beer cans and so forth. One guy I knew collected toy John Deere tractors. A great friend of mine collected old fishing lures, but only from 1920-1940.

To each his own. There’s probably some government study out there that can tell one’s personality by the hobby one keeps. I should be careful with that word “hobby,” because for some, it is a lifestyle.

The Little Black Dress is not immune.

She has three collections: shoes, magazines and pillows. 

Let us start with the shoes. Her collection is so vast she could wear something different for months. Note I did not say “days.” She has photos of said shoes on each box, to quickly find them I guess. She has been known to talk to her shoes. She usually does that when she has taken about all she can from the SONs of Thunder for the time being. It must be some kind of refuge or something.

One does not mess with her shoes. Once, the dog who thinks she can fly, in a moment of complete mental breakdown, gnarled on one of the LBD’s most sacred pairs of shoes. The fact said dog still lives is a testament to the LBD’s grace. Although I do recall her saying “you are dead to me” to the animal.

I have carted her magazine collections, all with titles including “decor,” “living,” “coastal,” “southern” and whatnot across the country. We do not have stacks of these magazines in various places throughout the house, we have small libraries.

I have tried more than once to convince her it would be much easier — and lighter — to simply tear out the designs/homes/ideas she likes and put them all in one big scrapbook. This comment results in the words “blasphemer” and “sacrilegious” being spewed in my direction. 

In another column, I wrote about the pillows. Pillows that seem to multiply and have babies. In another town, the local Hobby Lobby store displayed that column proudly at the cash register for everyone to see. An incentive to buy more I presume.

To me, a bed is made for sleeping. A couch and chair are made for sitting. This rarely happens at our house. For the bed, it takes me a good five minutes to get the pillows off — and that’s just on my side — so I can do what I thought a bed was for, namely, to sleep.

The Dress points out, incorrectly I might add, that I also have collections. 

“Is this a new knife?” she’ll ask sweetly. She’s sweet because she’s already imagining a new pair of shoes.

Let us be clear. The SONs and I backpack and camp a lot. Knives are a necessity of survival. I am not talking about those ghastly Rambo-type knives, but rather bushcraft/survival knives. And yes, I have a small collection. It is imperative to have the right tool for the mission. I’ll always carry a small folder in my back pocket, a nice four-inch or so on my belt. The latter may be a hollow point, a scandi grind or even a convex blade. It depends. And I might, rarely, need a machete or golog or kukri. 

The Dress might also try and point out my backpacks, of which I have a couple. Sometimes it’s a short half-day hike; maybe a full-day hike; an overnighter; a weekend jaunt; or even multiple days. Again, one must be prepared.

There is no comparing knives, a necessity, and her shoe store.

As I said earlier, you could probably tell a lot about a person’s character by the collections they maintain. Some collect friends, others enemies. Some collect forgiveness, others, unforgiveness.  

So what’s your collection?


Sun, 01/22/2017 - 07:48

Letter: Let the homeless stay

As a lifelong Juneau resident I, too, have been concerned about the rise in high profile homelessness in downtown. When I was growing up, it was very rare to see people sleeping out in doorways and on sidewalks — but I think this should elicit empathy and compassion on our part as citizens rather than a knee-jerk initiative to drive a group of people out of downtown.

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Sun, 01/22/2017 - 07:48

Letter: Gov. Walker’s decision on Juneau Access the right choice

I want to applaud Gov. Bill Walker’s recent decision to support ferry service and stop spending money on the extremely costly and dangerous Juneau road. Even if the state of Alaska was not in a difficult budget crisis, the move to use the money allocated for this project is better spent on more important transportation endeavors.

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Sun, 01/22/2017 - 07:47

Letter: On income tax

Have you wondered about the person putting all the commercials on TV and in the newspapers opposing an Alaska income tax? His name is Robert (Bob) Gillam, and according to Forbes Magazine, he was the wealthiest person in Alaska in 2016. Sounds to me like “Don’t tax me” and “What $3 billion budget crisis?”

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Sun, 01/22/2017 - 07:47

Letter: Encourage Alaska’s Congressional delegation to protect, fund Alaska’s parks

When I was 27, I was hired as the captain of Glacier Bay National Park’s tour boat, Thunder Bay. It wasn’t until that summer that I really took in the mysteries and wonders of our natural world. I sat with a Park Service naturalist right next to me for 97 days, 12 hours per day that summer.

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