Remembering History: National Old Stuff Day

I like rust. No, really, show me a nice shiny new something and an old rusty something and I’ll pick up the rusty one, gravitating to it even though it screams “tetanus shot!” Old rusty whatmacallits have a story to tell, a history all their own. Probably several. Who owned it, who invented it? What is it for? How many hands have held it, used it, where has it traveled?


If I was lucky enough to have this beauty of an old truck sitting on my place waiting for that “someday restoration” I would take my trusty pencil and paper, creeaakkkk the door open, climb up on the dusty seat, brush aside the bird nest and avoid the broken spring and just think. Imagine the history this old rusty truck remembers: the dad driving to work, the young girl learning to drive with Grandpa’s help, the courting couple smooching under the moonlight. Or the young man sent to town to fetch the doctor for the imminent arrival of  one of his children. Maybe its a grinning boy in overalls, arm stuck out the door holding onto the lead of a colt trotting alongside, or kids wrestling with a pair of squirming, wet nosed puppies in the bed of the truck.

Use Your Senses

Can you just see the stories? Can you hear them? Can you smell them? Who knows, maybe you can even taste them like cold lemonade on a muggy August day.

Tell that Story

Take a family heirloom and sit down and really study it, talk about where its been. What is its history? Try to tell a story from the perspective of that item. Grandpa’s shaving kit maybe? Tia Maria’s rolling pin? Make the story up as you go if you have kids, they’ll be delighted and beg for more!

The hands down best video I’ve ever seen about the history of an old object and the stories it holds is one about an old leather bag. It was created by Stephen Kenn and shared by Entrepreneur Stu McLaren (from a workshop by Don Miller):

Now, go dry your eyes and hug somebody!

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    Karen Ray

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