dregs, dross, debris and silver app store pink boyfriend

Ominous times portended sinister disaster in Santa Barbara. Unfolding events threatened family solidarity. Old grievances would revived, archeological artifacts would cast light on distant and dimly remembered family feuds. Driveways would be contaminated with debris resembling glacially strewn boulders. And who was responsible?
memphis 1983 coke bottle

“You did what?” Nazy asked, aghast.

“We have emptied
THE STORAGE,” I replied, eh, I confessed.

Although it shouldn’t be a surprise to regular readers of
The Weekly Letter, the dire predictions of chaos actually greatly understated the quantity of dross, dregs, scraps and debris that flooded Melika’s driveway. It reminded me of..

Zurich, Switzerland

“Your Aunt Goli is going to do what?” I asked, aghast.

“She has been storing
83 suitcases full of my Dad’s stuff in her house, Dan. It’s been there more than a decade. Now she’s sending it to us.”

“Didn’t you say that those suitcases contained..”

big bertha rocket

“ … nothing of value? That’s right, Dan. But, she’s selling the house and sending that, eh, stuff, to us.”

Aunt Goli asked us about the best way to send the stuff to Switzerland. Aware that the US Army was searching for Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in the (pointless) war in Iraq, I suggested that Aunt Goli send them …

“ … by a land route using a truck driving through Iraq. Glue a large sign that says “WMD” on the top of the truck.” I explained. “
And to make sure,” I thought, “I’ll call with a tip to the Army.”

Unfortunately, Aunt Goli ignored my suggestion. The suitcases showed up in Zurich. We found a lot of cloth that had been purchased in 1327 (I am not making this up, but I am using a lunar calendar). We found some of the Admiral’s uniforms — without the decorations. And..

“We are in Switzerland, Nazy,” I complained. “It’s not easy to dispose of that stuff. I can’t understand how
anybody could want to keep so much stuff. ”

End Flashback

“We have found another ‘anybody’, Nazy,” I said as watched several strong men unloaded boxes from our storage.

dan and umbrella hat

An adventure ensued. Most of the stuff was easy to classify into three major categories:

  • We paid to store that? [The largest group] It should be tossed out.
  • We paid to store that? We can give it away.
  • We paid to store that? What is it?

We found somethings that had been deemed valuable at the time — like project plans for work done at ContiCommodity, Schlumberger, Shell, Digital, Compaq, Hewlett Packard, ING, Deutsche Bank and DTSS.

“Look at this, Darius!” I explained. “This is the DTSS functional specification for SofStore.”


“So, Dar! We build the world’s first App Store. We were leaders.”

“But you're not recognized, Dad.”

“We were ahead of our time. Unfortunately, we built it before there was an internet and before there were apps. But other than that..”
mitra's pennat collection

We found also Darius’ investment in several million Iraqi dinar - stored as cash. We found Melika’s Barbie Doll collection, every piece of artwork that Mitra did from pre-school through Princeton, my High School diploma, my elementary school diploma, a pennant collection, a 1983 commemorative bottle of Coca Cola (honoring Memphis’ first place as a clean city) a model rocket (that actually flew in New Hampshire), an umbrella hat, our sterling silver flatware (mistakenly packed in 1989), several boxes labeled ‘nic naks’ a DIGITAL HiNote laptop computer, a ‘one-week’ DVD rented from Blockbuster in 1994 (imagine the late charge$), several copies of my Ph.D. thesis, a few bottle caps
and a newspaper clipping from the Carteret Press with a photo from the Senior Play. (I’m standing on the left, foot up and striped coat… with Sharon Koval.)

The Boy Friend, CHS

The accompanying commentary from the Carteret Press was a bit more erudite than what we see nowadays:

Local residents with nostalgia for the gay [editorial note: ’gay’ had a different meaning in the ancient past] 20’s will find reminiscent amusement in times of very daring latest style swimwear — circa 1920. Young gentlemen are in their best striped suits and an entire era of the 1920’s at a French resort is well presented by the antics and talents of 21 seniors.

a Darius Boyfriend

Note: Interestingly, Darius was in the same play during his time in High School — although because, unlike me, he can actually sing and dance, so he got a color photo and a role with more than one line.

We also found several gallon bottles that had, at one point, held New York State Lake Country Red “Wine”. For storage, the liquid had been replaced with pennies. It brought back memories: Melika, at age 3, had knocked one of those penny-laden bottles onto her foot. Nazy found boxes of old photographs — including some of her father, The Admiral, while he as still a cadet at École Navale in France. We found the gold coat that Mitra wore continuously while she was in High School in The Netherlands. We found High School Prom dresses. We located Darius’ collection of matchbox cars which, unlike the current plastic replicas, had been made from metal. We found the issue of National Geographic that featured the Shah of Iran’s coronation (with, perhaps, a photo of Nazy’s Dad). We found a letter from a hotel in Paris apologizing for not finding Mitra’s ‘
pink elephant’. (I am not making this up.)
The admiral as an ensign

Demonstrating that the packers had run amuck, we also found a slide project (for a slide format that is now defunct), a hot air popcorn popper, several light bulbs, a half-filled bottle of liquid dishwashing detergent, several decorative kites, a box of warranties for electronics discarded long ago, a large, heavy, empty metal filing cabinet, about 40 boxes of old college text books. The sheer mass of material affected Nazy’s thought processes:

“This stuff is so cool, we have to rent a storage space to keep it!”

And, on the subject of finding things: we found time to take a photo of the newest grand(est)son.

arrow August 2016

For last week's letter, click here

My Mom's HS Graduation photo (1940)

Alice E. Paulsen HS graduation 1940

Safavi Family
Nazy lower left

lThe very young Safavi Family

blog comments powered by Disqus