Detritus
These items were part of my life in one way or another, but with the passage of time they have degenerated.
They still provide a prod to my memories as well as self-accusations of poor stewardship, as
improper storage conditions and the unnoticed passage of time take their toll on wood, metal, glue, and paint.

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Father's Office Chair Pop’s Office Chair
An example of business furniture of the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, it was solidly built of oak with many pegged joints, bought by my father from a used furniture store in New York City while I was a very small child. Built-in discomfort denied napping on the job by the unfortunate Gilded Age office clerk who had the misfortune to land in this chair, and my father attempted to thwart this with a series of thick cushions over the years. Were it equipped with a rolling base I might have allocated some scarce indoor storage base to it and it might have survived, but by the time that I retrieved it from under a protective tarpaulin, the Adirondack climate had reduced it to such state of rot that I was compelled to hot-glue strategic joints to hold it upright for photography; as I carried it off the set, it fell into dozens of discrete pieces, all at once, like the Deacon’s Wonderful One Horse Shay in William Dean Howell’s poem.
   

 

Ruffy Ruffy
I spent a winter building it when I was fourteen or fifteen years old and this turned out to be my final model aircraft. This control-line stunt plane was large, fast, and a national champion-level design for aerobatics. Its large engine had sufficient power for anything I wanted to do: Inside and outside loops, horizontal and vertical figure eights, and inverted flight. I haven’t had the heart to throw it into the trash.
     

 

 
Typewriter My College Typewriter
This Royal Model HH was mine from my sophomore year in high school and I continued to use it through college and for years afterward, abandoning it only when my early Mac’s word processing software became practical. It shared a tarpaulin with my father’s office chair and the Adirondack climate overwhelmed it.
     

 

 
Sled Airline Jr.
The oldest of these artifacts that is mine, I recall sitting on it while being pulled through the snow by my mother. Later, when I became large enough to pull it uphill by myself, I rocketed down the hill behind my home and, at the very last moment, steered hard to the right onto the front lawn to avoid fatal collisions with automobiles on the street. I’ve recently seen that this design is still being produced, but I noted fragile metal stampings for running gear.
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