fred sanford's fantasy
only.... without that cool old truck
and without that cool soundtrack in the background

tonight lisa had a work dinner
which left me playing the roll of mr. mom
I knew this day was coming so I had a mental picture of hanging at my dad's
the pool season is coming to a close
I was seeking a few last swims before the pool closes
still some exposures left on that disposable underwater camera

the change of season forced a change of plans
cool air and rain made things less flexible
the early darkness had Dean asking to swim at night
my little four year old was expressing the same yearning for the pool at grandpa's as I was
yet adding the excitment of swimming in the dark with the lights
this is something he has not done this year
amazes me to think that he is basing these ideas off his memories from last summer
it is curious how much a young child remembers from the years before
sometimes i think that each year they experience things for the first time again
but then they come up with a reflection that reveals memories from long ago
long ago in their life span

it is a short drive from my house to my dad's
a few miles max.... maybe 4..... maybe 6
while working with rush hour traffic towards my father house I noticed a pile of trash on the curb as I turned down bradley blvd
country club on one side... beautiful million plus homes on the other....
this trash was not recycling, bags of leaves, or the basic trash can
it was what looked more like the product of some "spring cleaning"
then further down the block there was another pile very similar
a wide smile cloaked my face

I turned back to Dean and Grant and told them that we would be making a pass through this neighborhood on the way home for a little Trash or Treasure
twice a year... once in the fall and once in the spring this neighborhood has a bulk trash pick up that ends up being a scavengers's dream

the evening at my father's was a pleasure
my dad loves to play host
he cooked various finger foods for me and the boys
it was a strange combination of some frozen foods, some left overs, and other pantry snacks
milk in spiderman cups or juice in an equally cool Nemo cup with a built in accordian straw

after dinner there was a movie
dean wanted power rangers
I vetoed and requested Dr Suess
dean objected
I held my ground
my dad blamed me when dean protested
grant had no interest in the tv screen
young grant took a moment to bond at my side then back to the various toys a grandpa's
his selections were noisy
bam bam was doing some slamming so loud with a toy hammer as he forced the square pegs through the round holes
(well.... not really.... but more interesting to say that than to try to describe the toy he was playing with)

so even as dean's interest got peaked he could not hear the dialogue

so I moved grant's attention to some less audible toys
his favorite'....... "cars"
at grandpa's there are some metal cars on the shelf
the lesser models are permited for play

with grant entertained my father and I discussed the film quizing him on what may happen next
dean has never seen he film
but we have read the books so he answered accurately with detail and pride to each question
we all watched
my father and I discussed the morals of each story
dean watched and asked vearious questions while answering various questions

with the Sneeches, the Zaxs, and Green Eggs and Ham behind us we said our good byes and pointed for home
well... pointed for home with a detour

I made my way towards the host of this Trash or Treasure experience with the anticpation of a kid trick or treating in a neighborhood rumored to hand out full candy bars at each and every house
with very few houses skipped in between

Dean and Grant were in the back seat
thunderball's first record was playing on the cd player
dean amused me when the songs changed and a familiar voice started to "toast"
dean informed me that the man singing is the man that painted our house
sure enough
Hutchie was doing his thing
I asked dean if he knew his name.... he did not
I told him his name was Michael Hutchinson (no... not from INXS)
but that some people call him "hutchie"
dean is a very four year old sort of way asked why people call him that

as we talked and listened to the music I weaved my way through the affluent suburban neighborhood
the rain fell steady and slow
I weaved my car in an effort to get a better visual of piles of rich man's rubbish as I traveled down the block
there was a curious number of people walking their dogs
unfamiliar with the daily events of this neighborhood I am not clear if they are on a regularly scheduled walk or a curious cruise through the trash or treasure themselves

there is a weber kettle at every other pile
a gas grill with potential good years in their future at every third pile
that is a lot of grills
there are doors that have never been hung
lugage and chests are almost as popular old shelves
my eyes scan for circles and pipes
yes... I am transparent
I am shopping for bicycles
this is not to say that bb guns, surfboards, and acoustic guitars are not welcome as well

a tiny tikes kids play work bench is my first score
it is not long before dean is playing with an old tennis racket
in good shape
more than likely the venir had been in tact before the evening's rain
grant and dean giggle as they take turns using the racket as a mesh mask

the car stops as soon as it starts
the small wheel fools me... it is a golf cart carriage
the wheelbarrel is obvious
the tricycle is missing a wheel.... making it a bicycle but not useful to me

not sure which came first but they filled the car fast
skiies and trail a bike
the folding alley cat trail-a-bike looks like a good score
although the mount may be more a hassle to find than just buying a new system
the cross country skiies are beautiful wood.... norwegian wood like the beatles song
well norwegain skiies.... which is not a beattles song.... but they are from norway
too beautiful to let go to the dump
I think of a corner to put them or a wall to adorn

a few more loops a few more turns
the norditrack is tempting
not to mention sticking with the xc theme
but I know myself well enough to know they will not used
I consider calling my brother
but that would take testing and trying the old work out gear in the rain
then giving him my word that it would be worth his time
I forgoe the call
there are other tempting stops
a stray wheel
some road tires
lots of other stuff I will never need or never use
all left behind
even after the thought of Chain Reaction

on my indirect way back to the city I see a full bike with a small adult frame
too small for me but worth a look
fenders and rack
bent tubes for the old frame
as I get closer I see it is an old three speed
not a thumb shifter... a three speed gear shifter is mounted on the top tube
it was an old Hercules
red paint
no rust
air gone from the tires but in solid shape
I lifted the old beast onto my thule rack
the connection was not good
it seemed like it would hold for a short trip

I got back in the car and argued in my head if the bike was solid without it locking in place
I slowly rolled forward
the bike fell lose from he rack
I quickly stopped the car and got out
trying to save my car and my rack
as I removed the bike from the rack dean started to yell
he wanted this bike
I explained that it was too large for him
that it did no work for this rack
he thought the bike looked cool
I had to be more persuasive

in and effort to distract him i tried to make it clear that our big scores were the trail a bike and the toy tool bench
that this bike did not work for us
I returned the bike to the sidewalk
not the same rubbish pile
a pile across the street and down the block a house or two

with a glance at the car and the rack I felt better to know I did not trash my new rack in an effort to collect some trash

we drove home
grant was asleep before we crossed the dc line into rock creek park
we were minutes from home
after I put the boys to sleep
I then unloaded the car
hid my score in the basement
as I do not want to push my luck
dumpster diving and las vegas is too much pleasure for one man to have in one week

if only I owned a barn
I would swoop on through grabbing all the fishbowls, all the doors, all the shutters, all the old bathroom vanities, all of those things that I would never use or never need
but grabbing them just in case

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