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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 2, June 2017
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Richard Straw
Cary, North Carolina, USA


A Time to Get, and a Time to Lose

Better to revisit my dad's father in his unpainted house by the railroad tracks and sit in its dingy, tobacco-stained living room as he notarizes used car sales, then sneak into the dusty and curtained front parlor past the closed French glass doors and stand among grandma's clear plastic-wrapped furniture left behind after she died …

Better to step back into my mom's last girlhood home in a village north of town and sit at her parents' long dining room table for a Sunday meal, then stretch out on their warm living room sofa lit from sunlight filtering through lace curtains, before pulling their wooden card table from the front closet for a card game with grandpa …

Much better than strolling here among scavenged relics of discarded pasts in a basement antique mall 500 miles away down South, pausing before each overpacked stall, and trying to decide whether anything these pickers might have on display for anyone to see might have been something my grandparents could ever have owned or loved …

sunlit lectern
the family Bible open
to Ecclesiastes


Note: The title is a quote from Ecclesiastes 3:6: "a time to to keep, and a time to cast away" (King James Version).

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