An archaeological dig in Mee-Mee and Poppie's attic

FATHER’S DAZE
Emmitt B. Feldner  for The Review

Aiden went on a voyage of discovery over the weekend, complete with ancient relics.

And no, even though it was at Mee-Mee and Poppie’s house, we weren’t the ancient relics he discovered – he discovered us a long time ago, thank you very much.

Aiden and his mom spent some time with us while his father was at a course for the Army, so Mee- Mee put them to work helping to sort through some of the junk – excuse me, stuff – that has collected in the attic over the years.

The ostensible reason was to clean out some of the “stuff” to make room for other “stuff” that has been accumulating in the spare room over the past few years – but I’m not sure how well that goal was met.

That’s because the boxes they started on in the attic happened to contain old toys, books, and other things accumulated by Aiden’s dad, uncle and aunt when they were young.

Aiden was fascinated by just about everything they pulled out of the boxes, no matter how arcane, esoteric or beyond his knowledge or comprehension they were.

For instance, he discovered that his father, at one point in time, was a dedicated collector of rocks, many of which got saved in boxes in the attic.

These weren’t particularly noteworthy rocks, mind you – not gems, geodes, rare stones or anything like, just plain, ordinary rocks.

But Aiden thought they were great, just like apparently his father did about the same age.

When we took Aiden with us to the County Fair a few days later and he waited patiently while we took pictures for the newspaper, he spent part of his time gathering rocks from the fair street for his own collection.

Fortunately, he got interested in something else before we were ready to go and left his nascent rock collection behind – though he may be back for them next year.

Another discovery was several boxes full of old trading cards – baseball, football, basketball, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Marvel superheroes and more – that his father and Uncle Ethan had collected, then left behind when they moved out.

Aiden was more interested in the superhero, Star Trek and Indiana Jones cards, while Poppie spent his time perusing all the baseball, football and basketball cards looking for any long-lost rarities or valuable cards – unfortunately, I didn’t find any.

Obviously, Ethan and Alex’s collection didn’t meet the same fate that their father’s baseball card collection met at the hands of their grandmother.

I had accumulated more than 1,000 cards in my youth, going back as far as a 1953 Bobby Del Greco card – which was among a bunch of older cards I inherited from an older brother – and including such later-to-be-valuable cards as a Carl Yastrzemski rookie card and a 1961 Roger Maris, among others.

My mother could never understand my passion for collecting baseball cards – all she could see was that they cluttered up my bedroom

– and was after me for years and years to throw them away.

I finally did – probably the only time I ever listened to her – and came to regret it several decades later, when I could have sold them and retired on the proceeds.

Aiden also discovered a number of old Army toys and action figures, which also played right into his interests as well.

Never mind that most of the action figures were missing an arm, a leg, both or more – they obviously saw a lot of action back in the day.

That just made them all the more exciting for Aiden, who was able to invent stories about how they had lost whatever they were missing and made that part of the play.

By the time the week was over, there was plenty of open space in the attic.

The problem was, the open space in the attic just about equalled the space in Aiden’s bedroom and all over the rest of the house where all those rediscovered treasures had been dragged by Aiden.


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