A Flippin’ Coffee Can

The old saying “You can’t choose your family” is very much true. What’s also true is that you can’t choose what your family passes on down to you…and you never know when those tendencies will crop up.

With that being said, let me tell you a story about my Papa. I have never met someone else in my life that could see the value of an item like he could. We used to go camping at a State Park right next to a golf club and one day my buddy and I came back to the campsite with a shit ton of golf balls that we found in the woods bordering the campground and greens. As a man who loved a good flea market he right then and there had the money making idea of the century and took it upon himself to find every damn one of those lost golf balls in the woods so he could sell them ASAP. When the camping trip was over for him at the end of the summer he went home with his massive cache of golf balls and tossed them in his clothes wash machine so they would be pretty as hell for the flea market. There were probably 75 pounds of golf balls inside that washer being agitated as shit when it stopped working (his washer was already in a state as he bandaged that sucker so much over the years that it was hardly working). He finished cleaning the balls, fixed (again) his old washer, and set off for the flea market where he over priced every golf ball so nobody would buy them. He toted them back and forth for a few years until he gave up trying to sell them and they were in his basement when he passed. They were too priceless to even give away! We are talking about a man who would stop traffic on an interstate to rescue a lost 5 gallon bucket…when he already had hundreds of them in his shed, garage, and basement. He could sell it, he thought…but priced them more than what Home Depot sells them for and they weren’t in as good of shape. All said and done, this is just the tip of the iceberg for him. He wouldn’t sell a typewriter that I gave him to sell for me for $20 because it was worth more than that to him. At the end of the day he just wanted people to come by his flea market stand and talk as he couldn’t bear to part with any of his things. Children of the Depression, what can I say?

Anyhow, enter the coffee can.

So many possibilities
So many possibilities

I already have two of these bastards in my garage and I use them for various things as they are quite useful. This is #3 and for some reason I apparently have lost my mind. I saw it sitting on the counter today and said to myself, “I should go toss that thing in the recycle bin”. About 2 milliseconds after my brain processed what it had just thought I said, “But, that’s a good can”. And all these memories of my grandfather and his depression era hoarding came rushing into my brain. “That’s a good can”?! Of course it is, but I already have two and why the hell else do I need another?

I guess this is the beginning of the end and I will soon have a bitching wife, a garage full of 5 gallon buckets, thousands of plastic bags, thousands of golf balls, traffic cones, and who knows what-the-hell-else in there because it is “too good to throw away/recycle”.

You can’t choose your family and you can’t choose your genes.

Sometimes for the best and sometimes for the WTF factor.

One thought on “A Flippin’ Coffee Can

  1. Thank you for sharing those great memories. I think of him all the time. Like you I’ll see a plastic bucket or a flower. Or think of something he said or did. And of of course his ever present smile.
    Crying but their good tears.


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