Alan Muskovitz is sharing some of his favorite personal memorabilia he has found while cleaning out boxes in 2021.
I’m at a total loss to describe the pure, unmitigated joy I felt, I’m sure you all felt, when the clock struck midnight on Dec. 31 and you finally said goodbye to 2020.
Perhaps you kissed a loved one, clanked glasses over a toast or shared a few expletives to say good riddance to arguably the worst year in our lifetime — on so many levels.
I’m proud to announce I’ve started the new year having shed several pounds. Actually, I’ve shredded several pounds. I finally caved and went through file boxes of decades old paperwork. After much consternation, I finally realized there was no reasonable excuse to hold on to a 10-year-old AT&T bill.
My kids marvel at my collection of old paperwork. They’re of a generation that barely knows what an “8.5 x 11” piece of paper is. Everything they save is digital. In cyberspace, you don’t need a shredder, just a delete button. And I’m not good at using that either.
Despite having converted to paperless billing, I can’t bring myself to deleting email bills I receive from Comcast, Consumers Power, Verizon, etc. And what would my morning be without yet another sales pitch email from Kohl’s? (I’m losing faith that the Unsubscribe button works.) Add the daily email correspondences I receive and as of this writing my Gmail account is home to literally 38,538 emails.
Ironically, the oldest email in the bunch is from New Year’s Eve 2009; a correspondence to our Dick Purtan morning radio show intern at the time. Discovering that, I literally paused during the writing of this column to email “Steve” to see how he was doing 11 years later. It’s been several hours and still no word back from him yet. Darn, and we were so close.
Next on my purging agenda will be my personal time capsules, the numerous boxes of personal memorabilia I haven’t looked at in years. A preliminary peek inside one box has already revealed some real gems.
There’s the handmade, crayon-written Mother’s Day card dated May 14, 1961, which I signed, not just from “Alan” but from “Alan M.” Apparently, I felt the need to distinguish myself from the other Alans my mom must have known.
Just found a card from 1961 that informed my parents I had officially been promoted from kindergarten to first grade at Bagley Elementary School in Detroit. Three second grade report cards revealed I missed 12 days of school in each of the first two semesters of 1962. Apparently, my hypochondria kicked in at an earlier age than I thought.
A handwritten letter from my mom dated September 1973, my first semester at Michigan State, written on store-bought stationery called Notes from a Jewish Mother, repeated her longstanding Yiddishe mama mantra of making sure “I washed off fruit before eating it.” My mother could never have imagined that a pandemic would ensure my washing off everything that came into my house.
Mom also asked if I had remembered to “wear your thongs” in the shower I shared with my dorm suite mates. For the uniformed, “thongs” is what my mom referred to as the footwear she implored us kids to wear in shared bathing situations.
Perhaps more commonly referred to as flip-flops. Anyway, I needed to clarify that in case you thought my “thongs” came from Victoria’s Secret.
Next up, tackling my boxes of years’ worth of personal sports mementos. I’m excited to see if I still have the sample of turf I dug up from the Tiger Stadium infield after we defeated Boston on Oct. 3 to capture the American League East Championship. Better that I find it before my kids. I don’t want them to think their dad’s been hiding a bag of grass in the basement.
In the meantime, here’s hoping years from now all our boxes of memorabilia will contain the following cherished souvenir — the document confirming we got vaccinated from the COVID virus. That’s a keeper.
Happy, healthy New Year.
Alan Muskovitz is a writer, voice-over/acting talent, speaker, and emcee. Visit his website at laughwithbigal.com,“Like” Al on Facebook and reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.