Old Stuff – Part 3

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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.

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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.

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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??!

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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.    😀

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