Adventures of the Pick-Up Drivers, Part IV | Newberry

Adventures of the Pick-Up Drivers, Part IV

The problem with this kind of thing is that you have 25 years’ worth of stories stored away, and if you don’t remember them, there are people who will.

Hey, remember the lady with all the boxes of art books who lived in a fourth story walk-up? (Yeah, and the pick-up driver remembers her, too. That’s why he won’t pick up for me any more.)

Hey, remember the mansion out in the suburbs where we were offered an antique pool table for free? (It was a serious offer, too: lovely pool table dating from about 1905, in perfect condition. So heavy it was actually installed in the basement before the rest of the house was built, and there was no way to get it out again without tearing down the building.)

Hey, remember that big old country house where they’d torn up the street AND were getting ready to resod the lawn the day we were there to carry out the books? AND it was raining, remember? (Oh, how could I forget? It had been the family home for four generations and the basement, which was a mammoth cave, still held the equipment for every do-it-yourself craze they’d taken up, from candle-making to weaving to carpentry to photography. I thought the DIY Channel should have bought it to preserve as a museum.)

Hey, remember that professor’s office on the fifth floor? (Which one? Every professor’s office I’ve helped clean out seems to have been on the fifth floor? Do you mean the one where we formed relay teams: one volunteer would run the books down to the fourth floor landing, where another would pick them up and run them to the third floor, and….what do you suppose became of the football players the college promised us would be there to help?)

Hey, remember I called and you said you’d pick up my sixty-seven boxes of record albums? (Sorry, after 25 years the memory’s starting to go. And I think my hearing’s gone, too, so don’t say it again.)

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