I have no idea how long this secretary desk was in my families house hold. I don’t remember it in the 70’s but I do know that when we moved from San Angelo to my parents newly built retirement house on Lake Buchanan in Tow, Texas the summer of ’81 it was moved into my room.
I have very fond memories of this desk.
It was one of three pieces of furniture in my room. It shared very limited wall space with a bed and a dresser. I have no idea what happened to the bed. Correct that, I have no idea what happened to the second bed. The first one perished in a fire sometime around my freshman and sophomore years of high school. That’s a tale for another day. The dresser, was recently sold or given away by my sister after it spent many years providing shelter to her children”s clothes, nick nack’s, and things that I would never have been allowed to keep in that holy reservoir of apparel.
In front of the desk was the same poor pitiful swivel chair I am sitting in at this very moment. For at least 38 years, the same spindle has been broken and if you grab the chair too forcefully, four other spindles will dislodge from their moorings requiring a hammer to return the chair to sitting condition. I have contemplated at least twice in the last week on grabbing my gorilla glue and seeing if I can afford this poor chair 38 more years. I’ll let you know if I attempt said project.
This desk occupied the left corner of my room, between the sliding closet doors and a window, if you considerer the non existent headboard of my bed the center of observation. In the summer, open windows and an open door provided a nice lake breeze. In the winter, double panes provided protection from the cold and kept me from freezing because my mother didn’t like me using my one wall heater. (it was her opinion the fireplace in the living room provided plenty of heat for my room a mere 50ft away)
For eight years, I performed many activities in that little corner of my room. Homework. Modeling. Drawing (poorly) Composing poetry. Writing songs. Working on short stories. Rolling stats of characters I was making for the RPG’s Star Frontiers and Knight Hawks. I even remember creating a war game played with dice. This was the desk where I composed two 1st Place VFW Voice of Democracy speeches. I spilt many drinks. (hence the watermarks) I know I drew on it. (the pen and pencil marks have faded but the indentions are still present in the wood) I’m surprised this desk survived.
By far my best memories of this desk are the books my mother displayed on the shelf. I ignored them for two years and then one bored summer day I decided reading wouldn’t be so bad. I went and asked my mother if I could read the books. I guess she thought I was old enough, because the next thing I know I’m immersed in literature no 12yo would normally read. I have never stopped reading since. Alex Haley’s Roots. Wow . Next I remember reading Diane Pearson’s Czardas, about an aristocratic Hungarian family from just before WWI to after WWII . Included on the shelf were a few of the Readers Digest condensed books. Do you remember those? They would have three or four condensed novels in each edition. In one was a book by Alan Scholefield, The Great Elephant about a family that lived under the protection of King Chaka of the Zulu nation. Harrold Robbins’ The Adventurer’s was a fictional story of a South American Revolutionary. Joe David Brown’s Paper Moon on con artists in the South during the Depression. I currently have first edition copies every novel but Paper Moon (I have a reprint) in my library so that I may read them again every few years. Without theses Novels, I would not have the love of reading.
In the Summer of ’89 I moved out my mothers house and forgot about the desk. By the time I started to settle down in my 40’s, I began to think fondly of that old desk and wondered what happened to it. My mother passed away in 2002 and it was not among her household items. Two years ago a cousin mentioned that he had a desk my mother gave him and he would bring it next time he came to the reunion. He was under the impression I wanted it. I thought he was talking about my father’s roll top desk and though I had never expressed an interest in it I thought it would be nice to have since the deer rifle my father promised me never made it to my possession. I skipped he next reunion and my cousin left the desk at my brother-in-laws house.
Last October I went to the reunion making sure I took my truck so I could transport the desk back home. It was overjoyed when I saw the desk I never expected to see again waiting for me. It now sits in my bedroom holding some of my prized possessions.
I hope that some day my child will mar this desk as he sits there trying to avoid doing his homework.