Thanks — But No Thanks — For The Heirlooms

Do you ever find yourself wanting to end your suffering and toss your family heirlooms? I had some of the weirdest, unsaleable stuff handed down to me: A bolo tie (a type of neck jewelry for men), a box of rocks, a big knife, and a Cub Scout statue.

I didn’t know my grandparents well, so I accepted these items with grace. (Not knowing how annoyed they would make me).

My Grandpa had many hobbies, one of them was making bolo ties. In 1971, the bolo tie achieved its pinnacle of fame; it was made the official neckwear of Arizona. But in 1972, it was replaced by a sweaty bandanna.

What is peculiar is that my grandpa was from England. Folks from England are, somewhat, more refined than your typical Skoal-chewin’, bean-eatin’ American cowboys.

I also have a box of rocks. They are smooth. They were made that way by my Grandpa. Lapidary is the art of carving, cutting or forming rocks into something shiny and beautiful (that a human might wear as jewelry).

Lapidary enthusiasts have many tools. One common tool they use is a tub (with a lid) filled with sand and water that spins around with rocks in it. After days of mind-numbing boredom you remove the lid. Behold, you then have beautiful stones to show off to your two friends.

Coming from scouting families, I had a couple items that were scouting related. A knife and a Cub Scout statue.

My Grandpa (with his dry English humor) referred to his knife as his “Boy Scout knife.” I prefer to call it a Rambo knife, because it is as long as a machete. It would be simply irresponsible for any Boy Scout to be allowed to have a knife this large.

The other scouting item, a wooden Cub Scout statue, was crafted by my Grandma. It was gifted to me when I was a leader in my son’s Cub Scout pack. The only redeemable quality I can see is it might make nice kindling for a fire.

I was wondering if I threw the wooden Scout into the fire and roasted marshmallows over his burning body: Would it be disrespectful, or would it be a celebration of his life — the way he would have wanted to go?

After all … we all know how Scouts love to roast marshmallows.


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