I’m thrilled that our new-to-us house has radiators.
But they aren’t much to look at – just a single pipe covered with a smooth boxy cover rather than an ornate cast iron multi-piped lovely.
The cover around the one in my office wiggled though, and didn’t sit flush against the wall.
So I jabbed some pliers around behind it and found yet another pile of child detritus – further evidence of the slobs who owned the place just before us.
But the cover still wouldn’t go flush with the wall, so I fashioned a slim jim out of a thin piece of aluminum threshold and went to town on the thing, once again playing archaeologist…
And unearthed a many decades mother-lode of kid shit.
More precisely, shit from the kids who were in here in the late 1950s to early ’60s (along with the last people here from about three years ago).
There are kid scribbles (properly on paper this time, not the walls).
(And I’d rather not think of what could have been munching on the paper.)
The pencils that perhaps created scribbles.
Part of a deck of Old Maid that could now never be won.
Food things that have no business outside of the kitchen.
Correspondence that confirmed the owner’s identity (with an addition that could been viewed as ironic commentary on today’s ridiculousness of availability and popularity of weapons in this country and the truly terrible acts of kids killing each other).
Play things and a knitted thing – and it feels incredibly familiar to me – I may have had a doll sock just like this one…
Cheery red things.
(And I almost bought a vintage toy tin washtub with these same little clothespins at a flea market recently, but though the design could be considered charming, and had in fact charmed me momentarily, ultimately I was disgusted that something like that was made to give to a child (girl) to play with instead of a book or a microscope or something enlightening and useful and creative and educational… )
And little once precious things – perhaps given to a child once they were deemed crap.
(Yes, I did get a little excited for half of a second when I thought the tie clip could be gold…)
And things that don’t make sense without other things.
And evidence of what I thought were nicotine stains on the walls (though this too could have been a teen-child act of hiding her/his own evidence…).
And finally a few random toy things that were played with by a far-from-child again for a few minutes…
And if you spotted the snakeskin, that was my contribution to the mess behind the radiator rather than a living snake leaving it behind. I think part of the reason so much shit ended up back there is a perpendicular breezy window. Moments after I took a picture of it, it blew out of my reach.