Old Stuff – Part 3


So I’m back to posting about sharp/pointy things.  This lovely little letter opener was a gift, about 45 years ago.

The wife’s next-oldest brother was always interested in cooking.  He worked at a large snack bar of a local department store through high school.  He earned a scholarship to a chefs’ college in Huntsville Ontario, and after graduating, spent three years training in the prestigious restaurant of a snooty department store in London, England.


He’s a couple of months older than me.  We married while he was away.  During his sojourn in Old Blighty, The Who became famous, far more so there, than here in Canada.  While he was gone, the Canadian band, The Guess Who, became famous here, but were unknown over there.  When he returned, he experienced some confusion during his radio listening.

We got along well, and he eventually became the manager of the in-store restaurant of a local Hudson’s Bay store.  He met a new girlfriend, who soon became a fiancée.  He was living in a small basement apartment, and, as the wedding day approached, he located a flat suitable for them both.  We needed to move out of the lower half of a rented house, and, as luck would have it, both moves happened on the same end-of-month Saturday.


I was at work on the Friday afternoon, when my phone rang.  It was him.  “You’re moving tomorrow?”  “Yes.”  “Do you have a moving truck reserved?”  “Yes.”  “Do you have an appliance dolly rented?”  “Yes.”  “Do you have guys lined up to help you?”  “Yes.”  All yes, two weeks ago!

“I just called U-Haul, and they don’t have any trucks available tomorrow.  I asked about a dolly, and they said they’re all committed.  I phoned a cousin and a couple of brothers-in-law, and they told me they’ll be helping you.  Do you think we could move two lots of furniture tomorrow?”  He’s still a great chef, and has become a much better organizer.

I picked up the rental truck when U-Haul opened at 8 AM, and drove to my old place.  With his added help, we stuffed our belongings in, drove to the new place and quickly unloaded it, at least in the proper rooms.

Leaving the wife and kids to deal with it as best they could, we all drove to his old apartment, loaded his things, drove to his new domicile and unloaded, where everybody stayed, to help him unpack.  I returned the truck to U-Haul before noon, all done in four hours.  Well, perhaps not done.  I returned to a home piled high with boxes, no-one to assist, an unhappy wife, and 24 bottles of a brand of beer I didn’t like.  Maybe I should have organized that better??!


At my place, I used the dolly to move the refrigerator with ease – in, out, on the truck.  The bachelor had a tiny fridge, a foot shorter, and a foot narrower than ours.  I went to rock it back, to put the dolly under it – and it wouldn’t move.  Probably stuck to a waxed floor!  So I pushed again – and it moved a tiny bit.  I looked inside – empty! – closed the door and body-checked it.  Finally got the dolly slipped under it.

Where most fridges were aluminum and plastic, he had one that had been built in the late ‘40s, sheet steel, with copper and LEAD piping.  Half the size of ours, it weighed twice as much.  It took three of us young, healthy lads, straining and wheezing, to get it up the half-flight of stairs.

While we were loading things, I noticed that the professional chef had some high-quality knives in his kitchen.  We discussed them, and he asked what kinds of knives I liked.  I never suspected an ulterior motive, but a month later, when I served as an usher at his wedding, he presented me with this vaguely Scottish broadsword-looking tool, as a thank-you gift.

BTW, FYI, and a bunch of other meaningless, random letters, the wife has worked too hard over the years to become too good a cook to be able to claim that she poisoned me accidentally, so today, Dec. 2, 2014, we celebrate our 47th wedding anniversary.  I get an extra cup of Geritol, and a shot of Lipitor with dinner.  If she’s lucky, it’ll be like Remembrance Day, and she’ll get two minutes of silence.    😀

15 thoughts on “Old Stuff – Part 3

  1. Paul says:

    That was a very thoughtful present Archon – such a neat story. Moving was the pits. It seems that I moved much more when younger than now. This is a good thing. I was the transportation manager for a large retailer and we had a fleet of tractor trailers. To get into our really difficult stores, we had two short 28 foot pups with tailgates – the cats derrierre for moving. The company did not use them on weekends and it was allowed to borrow them to move as long as it was a company employee driving them (with a liscence to drive a tractor-trailer). it became known that I had this access and was liscenced and I spent many a week-end helping to move others. Arrgh! of course, any time I had to move I wasn’t shy about pressing others into service.

    Fun post Archon. Thanks.


    • Archon's Den says:

      I’ve worked with people who move every year – or every six months!? I don’t know how they do it.. They don’t accumulate stuff like us. We lived a year and a half in an upstairs apartment – and moved, with next to nothing. We lived for 18 months in a downstairs apartment. That was the double move. We stayed about 20 months in an Ontario Housing townhouse, before we were awarded a semi-detached. Didn’t even need a truck – just carried stuff up to the street. Then we settled down! 18 years there, then we rented a niece’s house for 13 years before we bought this place, and we’re coming up 15 years here. Only three moves in 44 years, but oh, every room jammed with furniture, and you should see the junk in the basement and garage. 😯


  2. Happy Anniversary to you and Mrs. G.O.D. – and many, many more! (If you’ve made it this long with so many knives in the house, I’m confident you’ll keep on going.)


  3. aFrankAngle says:

    Happy 47th to the the Mrs and whoever she’s married to. …. Gotta love the Who/Guess Who confusion …. If only Abbott & Costello would have known. Meanwhile, enjoy dinner and the two minutes.


  4. Kayjai says:

    Happy Anniversary!


  5. garden2day says:

    Happy Anniversary! Good memories–hey, if you can remember, it’s good I say 🙂 . Great story.


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