I just can’t seem to throw things away

By Ernie Sochin….

There must be a use for old computers, monitors and printers.

I think I can… I think I Can… I think I can. That was said by the Little Engine that Could in the famous children’s book by the same name.

I really can’t… I really can’t … I really can’t. That is my mantra. I just can’t seem to throw things away. I guess growing up poor might have contributed to it. My wife thinks I am just plain nuts. I have a garage full of nuts and bolts, none of which match, boxes of rusty nails, some bent, but fixable, and spare parts for just about anything in my house. One problem… I never have exactly what I need and end up going to Home Depot every time I need to fix something.

Oh yes, over the years I have disposed of stuff that I thought would be of no value. What about my beautiful collection of baseball cards that would now provide for my retirement? My comic books probably would have sent one of my grandkids to college. I got rid of two beautiful sets of Lionel and American Flyer electric trains that collectors would kill for today.

You think I am losing my marbles? You are right. I lost my collection of marbles that I had as a kid and which I now see at antique shows selling for many dollars each. They came in little net bags of about a dozen for a dime per bag back when I was a kid. During World War II, all my relatives sent me souvenirs of the war, which all kids had back then. So somehow I lost or misplaced an SS Dagger, a German naval officer’s hat and tons of medals and decorations that would also pay for my retirement if I had the sense to keep them.

When I first got interested in electronics, I would salvage old radios and strip all the parts out of them for future use. I had boxes of capacitors, resistors, transformers, and lots of tubes (remember them?). Now everything is disposable. I recently went to the local dump to dispose of a microwave oven that wasn’t quite working right. I gingerly placed it atop a pile of other appliances, carefully boxed so that the next owner might make use of it. I was told by the trash superintendents that it had to go into one of the dumpsters. I heaved it over the railing and heard it crash to the bottom. It brought tears to my eyes.

On the way out, I looked at the pile of computer stuff and TVs that people just leave there. (See photo). I just can’t believe that some of that stuff can’t be fixed or salvaged by someone. My wife says firmly, “No! You can not take any of it home.” I already have a closet full of old computer stuff with which I refuse to part.

Maybe someday CRT monitors will become collector’s items. What about my old wired keyboards? Does nobody want them? I have boxes full of old printer cables. Does no one see the possible future use of these once USB is considered old fashioned? Are old dot matrix printers not worth keeping as spares?

I have lots of clothes that might fit me again someday. Several Nehru jackets and shirts that might come back into style like my father’s neckties did. All right, my wooden frame tennis racquet may be outdated but it must have some value. Perhaps I’ll hang it on my wall. Oh…there’s no room. Darn! Anyone need boxes of floppy disks? They still work.

My Eight-Track tapes are still good except I have nothing to play them on. I know my vinyl 78 rpm records must be worth something by now. Does anyone still use Zip Drives? It seemed yesterday that they were “The Thing!” I know my old black telephone must be valuable by now.

I guess I could run a garage sale and net about $50 for all that stuff but… I really can’t… I really can’t… I really can’t.

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