I am like this; maybe you are too.

I have things like tools and objects that have meaning or memories.

But only a few.

There are people who feel like that about everything in their lives and then get overwhelmed. I once emptied 9 tons of newspapers from one of those places.

I digress… Here they are:

The yellow plastic Steego Auto Parts flashlight: Back in the days when I moved seafood from the back of a truck to a walk-in cooler in the dark of night, I found this magic flashlight buried in shaved ice covering a bag of scallops inside a wax box. It must have fallen in when the wax box was being packed up in the Canadian Maritimes. It still worked! I have had it for many years and only use it occasionally. It worked for many years on those batteries that came with it.

A pair of Warby Parker tortoiseshell sunglasses: I found them in the middle of a lawn on Mechanic Street. They really do not fit perfectly, but I like the look and the green lenses. The fact that they did not get clipped by the lawn mower makes them powerful.

A Stanley Phillips-head screw driver: Bought it new. Nothing special that way. Black handle and yellow collar, the Stanley colors. A very well-made tool that fits my hand and really locks into a Phillips-head screw in a solid way. Top junk drawer in the music room. Always makes it back there.

The old man’s putty knife: When we first bought the old house, I had no tools. I had been an apartment dweller for over 7 years. I had to start gathering them from scratch. Many tools I acquired in trips to Liberty Tool. After gathering what I went there for, I picked up a putty knife with a really springy blade on the way out. Later I found there was a divot worn into the handle right where my thumb goes. Likely it fit the old man who had it before me. This goes in the knife drawer downstairs in my work bench that stepson Bobby built for me when he was 15. I told him to make it big and rugged enough to park a truck on. So it is still.

The cast-iron skillet: Purchased new in downtown Boothbay Harbor, 1976. In those days Brud’s Hotdogs were sold from an orange Harley Davidson three-wheel vending motorcycle. The cycle appeared downtown in the morning then went home every afternoon at 4. I was in my first apartment and learning to cook for myself. I knew cast iron was a good thing. I am still learning how to use it.

Pressman’s headphones: When I mow the Grass Ranch aboard the General Berry, I wear a big green pair of headphones exactly like newspaper pressman do. When I worked at the Courier-Gazette’s Park Drive office in Rockland, the printing presses were downstairs. I asked one of the pressmen to order a pair for me and I would pay when they came in. When they arrived, the pressmen would not take my money. They told me I had earned it. I remember that every time I put them on.

I would like to think the magic in my things is not just for me.

I will pass it on…

Glenn Billington is a lifelong resident of Rockland and has worked for The Courier-Gazette and The Free Press since 1989.

Steego Flashlight – Maine Coast Seafood