Thursday, December 05, 2013

Under the bed with Paul Goble

So I decided to clean out under the bed in the downstairs bedroom this week --- based on the idea that if a guy is stashing stuff under the bed most likely he doesn't need more storage space, just less stuff. The perfectly good (but obsolete) scanner that proved incompatible with a new computer maybe 10 years ago is headed out the door, as is the big flat wooden box that printing-plate film arrived in. It was just the right size for under-bed storage. Everything it contained, too.

Under the box was a big portfolio I'd forgotten about --- and inside it, among other things, this little print of a work by illustrator Paul Goble that I've been looking for for years. This, I was happy to see. It has no value; I just like it. Which is why it was saved in the first place.

English-born Goble is a writer and illustrator of children's books dealing mainly with Native American themes who lives in Rapid City, South Dakota.

I came by this many years ago on a flying trip to Wyoming after demanding that instead of zooming through at top speed we at least drive into the Black Hills and make sure those old guys carved into Mt. Rushmore still were there. Once there, I dashed into the visitor center in search of inexpensive souvenirs that could be given away --- and found a set of matted Goble prints (the same prints came in varying sizes, which gives you some idea of their cash value). This was the one I kept.

Now I'm going to frame it and look at it for a while after wondering for years what the heck I'd done with it.


Other stuff in the portfolio is more problematic. Detailed maps of coastal Virginia, for example, acquired as part of a genealogical project. All of these now are available online, so they're redundant --- and inconvenient to store.

Two big colored maps illustrating how English counties developed over the centuries. These came home rolled in a tube with a cousin from London on a Heathrow-to-JFK Concorde flight back in the day when Concordes still were flying. A tube full of maps probably would be considered a weapon these days, but not then.

And finally some quality copies of 17th century and earlier English wills, ordered at the Public Records Office, that came trailing back to the states some weeks later. Redundant, again, and difficult to store.

I thought seriously about ripping all this stuff into small pieces --- the only option when it's possible you'll have a change of heart and go digging through garbage bags. Then didn't; put them back into the portfolio, carried it upstairs and put it under a bed there.

They say you spend the first half of your life accumulating stuff; the second half, getting rid of it. Ain't it the truth?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If that saying is true, I'm going to live a long time. I haven't gotten over the accumulation bug and only restrain it due to knowing how little space I have left.