Oysterville Honor Code

Oct 14, 2010 | 1 comment

Old Tractor Parts

     The Honor Code is alive and well in Oysterville.  I know this because Nyel has been putting it to the test during the past several weeks as a part of his garage clean-out project.
     Let me first say that our garage is, or actually has been – it’s getting better now, thanks to Nyel’s diligence – THE WORST.  Part of the problem is that pesky genetic quality that generations of family members have had.  It’s called the “never throw anything away syndrome.”  Usually, when people move or sell their homes, the culling process is forced along.  But in this house, where my family has lived continuously for 108 years, the accumulation has been constant.
     Our garage has been the receptacle for all manner of strange things.  Old tools, of course.  Car, truck, lawnmower  parts, of course.  Rolls of chicken wire, spare pickets, an odd assortment of lumber, where else?  But then there are things like the ancient, long-since-replaced church steeple or the three sets of oars of varying lengths, all bug-infested.  The entire cleaning-out process is like a mammoth archaeological dig.
     So, and I say this with admiration and pride, Nyel has actually be throwing stuff out.  But, there is a line over which he will not cross.  He is convinced that, no matter how derelict an item might be, someone, somewhere will have a use for it.  And so, after each cleaning session, he puts those hard-to-part-with ‘treasures’ out on the verge with a “FREE” sign on them.  Magically, the next morning they are gone. 
     The Honor Code comes in because sometimes there are other items nearby that are not give-aways.  They don’t have a free sign on them and they will return to the garage when the perfect place appears.  Those items, though in the same general area as the freebies, have never been taken.  Oysterville junk gleaners are, indeed, honorable.
     The last batch of free stuff contained a lot of old metal bits and pieces.  They all disappeared later on the very night they were put out.  A day or so later, a friend with a nearby vacation cabin sent an email from Olympia which said, in part:  Tell Nyel that I am the one who scooped up the free scrap iron. I’ll be taking it out to my friend Ray soon as he does all kinds of metal work. He will even be doing an art object for the city as they are re-doing the board walk on the water front so who knows – your old car springs may be incorporated into metal art.
     Every wife who has ever nagged her spouse about cleaning out the garage will understand when I say that the look I got from Nyel said it all!  There is indeed a use for everything!

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    Dave loves to organize and when we bought our place in Ilwaco the barn contained a hundred years of stuff as well. Over the years he’s cleaned and organized, had garage sales and put free things out on the corner (which are usually gone in the morning. This summer he took a few things down to the thrift store along with a truck load headed for the dump but came home and said, “The lady at the thrift store took almost all our junk! I’ll have to get more before I can go to the dump.” Now we stop there before taking anything to Peninsula Sanitation.

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