Monday, April 11, 2011

Inaugural Post: Same as it ever was

Hello friend and welcome to my new blog! You may know me from an earlier effort called Nicebird when I was Old Ken. Now, I can finally come clean and introduce myself: I am Sanford Sanchez! Here are my stories!

My story for you today begins with this filthy jacket I bought (for five cents) at a thrift store in Claremont, NH. I'll be honest and tell you that my eagle eye was caught by the handsome white stitching—although I know enough about this world to look on jean shirts with some caution.

What really interested me, though, was the notarized document I found sticking out of the front right pocket. Can you read it? Probably not.
Subpoena to Mr. Grambling (verso)
Well, it's a subpoena to one Thomas Grambling to testify in court in Bangor, Maine. Mr. Grambling was to appear in court at 8:30 on the morning of January 24, 1980 in the Penobscot County courthouse, testifying in the case of the State of Maine v. John F. Howes.

In the left front pocket, I found the handwritten document below. It appears to be a combination of a baking list and a draft for a resume. A cursive hand writing in blue ink in the upper register exhorts the making of "fudge, baked goods."

Below, a different hand (note the idiosyncratic x-like rendering of the terminal letter s above, versus the much more conventional style at the base of the page) has jotted some dates of where and when he (presumably) worked: Fellows Gear Shaper in Springfield, Vermont from 1957-1977; Ingersoll Rand in the mid-50s after getting out of the Air Force. 

List/Resume verso
On the verso of this sheet is a list of (what might be) references. So, maybe it's the late 1970s, Thomas Grambling is (perhaps) in his mid-fifties. He's a working man—he's been employed as a draftsman, a carpenter and a radar operator. The long decline of the New England machine tool industry would have been nearing an apex at that moment, in the wake of the fuel crises of the 1970s. But, wouldn't his beginning and leaving dates of April 22, 1957 and April 22, 1977 indicate a departure by volition? And, what was Grambling's testimony in Bangor, Maine all about?

Well, let's leave all those mysteries to one side for a moment, as I have something I have been wanting to share with you for years now. It is this:

Beautiful, isn't it? I purchased this stunning mustard yellow leather jacket at a thrift store in Oakland, California in maybe about 2003. It is there that I first came to realize what amazing things could be found in the pockets of thrift store items. You think it can't top a subpoena? Well, check this out. 

In the inner left breast pocket, I found a packet of three documents. The first of these is a shopping list on monogrammed stationery, which reads as follows:

1 lb. Black eye Peas.
Corn Bread Mix
egg with coupons

So far as I can tell, the final items are: "authorizer
super salaphine." 

I would be delighted if someone could correct me on that.

Here, the number twenty becomes important. For, at 9:11 in the morning on January 24, 2000—so, exactly twenty years after Mr. Grambling was to testify in the County Courthouse in Bangor, Maine after having worked exactly twenty years at Fellows—Mr. Mize made a payment of $14.74 at the Safeway on the corner of College Ave and 63rd Street in Oakland. His purchases included strawberry milk, bananas, garlic, kidney beans, butterscotch pudding, eggs, a small avocado, and a "pudding snack."

Mr. Mize's Safeway receipt
Mr. Mize was hardly done there. Approximately five hours later, he was at a Walgreens purchasing two key items: Preparation H and Phillips' Milk of Magnesia. The morale of my story: check your pockets (and other peoples' too)!

1 comment:

  1. First Post! W00t! LOL! XD

    Welcome to t'internets, Mister Sanchez.
    Dont I know you from somewhere.......?