The Missing Book

It’s always interesting to see what long-lost items mysteriously materialize upon packing for a move. Most of the time, it seems, the stuff that’s found is of the “why on earth did I ever keep that” variety. Every once in a while, though, there’s a gem among the junk.

As we prepare to take up residence Thursday in our new home, getting boxes upon boxes packed up and ready hasn’t exactly been a stress-free exercise. However, there has been some occasional laughter at what’s been found, mostly on my end. (Let’s make this perfectly clear. Becca wisely disposes of unneeded things while I, for instance, will hang onto a Hy-Vee receipt from May 2012 for absolutely no reason whatsoever, although I suppose there was likely some twisted rationale at the time.)

On Saturday afternoon, I went through my closet and dresser drawers, piling up apparel that I finally resolved it was time to part ways with. Among the items were a few T-shirts with juvenile inscriptions purchased — and even handed to me free of charge, on occasion — from a certain neighbor’s garage sale. Other clothes, depressingly, don’t fit quite the same way as they did a few years back. And there are the things that, for whatever reason, just aren’t “me.” A certain button-down shirt that a few fine folks in our newsroom once chided me about incessantly is no longer in my possession. Happy now? (That’s OK — I wasn’t a huge fan of it, anyway.)

Clothes weren’t the only thing I found in my dresser drawers, though. There were old videotapes I’d forgotten I had, not to mention medicine that expired in 2009 and a pair of contact lenses long past the wear-before date. Almost miraculously, I did find an item I had been missing for years hiding underneath dozens of socks. It’s a cassette tape made by an employee of KDIX-AM in Dickinson, N.D., featuring a lot of my favorite commercials, songs and radio voice-overs that were prevalent on the station around 2001, when I first moved to Worthington. I now have to find a way to burn that on to a CD so I can have this remarkable recording for posterity.

Despite this find, and a couple of noteworthy others, I failed to locate a certain book that I must assume is long-gone. In fact, it was almost certainly lost several moves ago, although I always hope it will somehow appear once more.

I think I was around age 11 when I received a book as part of a Sporting News subscription given to me for either a birthday or Christmas. I used to comb through every last word of The Sporting News, especially anything that pertained to baseball. I devoured box scores, and in my latter elementary years could probably tell you a very high percentage of major leaguers’ batting averages and ERAs. Needless to say, girls weren’t on my radar yet.

The book I got at some point during my subscription was a guide to every World Series ever played, starting all the way back in 1903 and going up to present-day, which I think stopped at 1977 (the year Reggie Jackson blasted three home runs in Game 6, all on the first pitch, as the Yankees downed the Dodgers — a game that made a permanent imprint upon my baseball psyche). Anyhow, to say I once had 74 years of World Series history committed to memory would be mostly true, thanks to this paperback volume that became my baseball Bible.

Once upon a time, I was able to name the winners of nearly World Series, never mind answer all kinds of trivia questions about the Fall Classic. While some of that knowledge remains stored away somewhere, most of it has probably gone the way of the book itself – missing, and ultimately replaced by other objects and things that may or may not be as important. Heck, it’s hard enough to remember who won last year’s World Series nowadays (San Francisco Giants) — not necessarily because I love baseball life, but because I love many, many others things — and my family — more.

Still, I wish I had that darn book, though I’ll guess I’ll take the KDIX tape as this move’s special bonus prize. And just find one less wasteful thing when, say, I move into a nursing home decades from now, I made sure to toss me grocery receipt when I came home from shopping this afternoon.

1 Response

  1. I found a book this past summer which I’d been looking for for years. Turns out my niece had it. I was so happy! And yes, it even lived up to my memory after all these years. 🙂 Now if I can just find that Tootsie Roll flavored giant lip balm that I lost back when I was 10…

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