Adrien’s Many Trails

Mine is a house full of remnants of many decades of living here in our little green valley. I challenge readers to open their junk drawers, tool boxes, tackle boxes and picnic baskets, and there in the bottom they will find keys. Not individual keys, but full sets. What locks do these keys open? In my case, I don’t know, and if I don’t know, nobody knows.

I looked in one particular drawer recently, and came up with five key chains. Three of them I clearly remember from seeing Sam stow them each morning in his pants pockets. Even he, by self admission, didn’t know what all these keys belonged to. (Proper English: he didn’t know to what locks all these keys belonged. Might be more proper, but how awkward!)

Besides the memory there is the fact that every key on these chains had been rubbed smooth from action in his pants pockets. Just think of the condition of the pockets themselves. Some keys are obviously to vehicles I haven’t driven in ages. Testament to that fact is that a granddaughter brought to me this week the title to the green Cadillac I drove around for years. It has had several drivers since, but the title remained in my name. We fixed that.

Back to keys. I know I had keys to Sam’s parents’ house at one time. These may be among the key chains I resurrected. There may also be keys to our old house. Surely the locks have been changed in the many years since we lived there. I clearly remember one simple key that I think went to the lock on Siss and Bish’s front door. The door itself may be new since way back then.

Thinking of that old house reminds me that it is in the old section of Moab, and among the oldest houses in this lovely old section of town. It was (is?) actually a “Monkeyward” mail order house. I guess Montgomery Ward is now out of the mail order business, but when many of us grew up, the Christmas edition of their catalog was truly the wish book of all us lads and lassies. Bikes of all sizes, types and colors, erector sets. Toy trains that moved of their own volition around the Christmas tree or kitchen floor. Toy kitchens. Doll houses, and dolls, dolls, dolls. How we longed. That poor wish book was truly tattered and torn by the time the big day arrived.

Moab didn’t have any big stores at that time. I guess Cooper-Martin was about it. McCormick Merc. Later the same was true for whichever place my family lived, the Uintah Basin for the big snow of 1949 for instance.

I face the same dilemma as usual: how to end this thing. But I just opened the venerable middle desk drawer for a letter opener with which to open a package. Here are more sets of keys, one mounted on a large paperclip, and a gold crown Sam lost from a molar at some time. Well! There may be some value there.