This was a difficult box, filled with paraphernalia that mostly (but not entirely) dated back to Missoula.
Box 34: Friday, Feb. 3, 2023
CONTENTS: It’s a mind-boggling array, including (but not limited to) hairbrushes, jewelry, self-help tapes, tiny crafts the girls made, my media pass to the Western Montana Fair’s 1995 edition (my staff was weary of covering the fair, so I decided I would assign myself fair duty; we must not have had a summer intern that year), my spouse’s 1989 ID card from the University of Montana (she cannot remember why she was enrolled at UM that year), an ingot of aluminum from the Columbia Falls Aluminum Co., and — oddest of all — a nameplate bearing both of our names that neither of us recalls anything about.
DISPOSITION: This was one of the first boxes in which I was, let’s say, kind of ruthless about throwing stuff away. The roll of old address labels, with our last Missoula address? Gone. The self-help tapes — even the one labeled “This audio cassette contains life-saving info you definitely want to hear?” In the garbage. The Lee Enterprises paperweight that frankly could double as a sap? Tossed aside. My membership card from the Hastings Video store in Missoula? A discarded memory from a simpler time. But my father thought the commemorative coin marking the 100th go-round for the football game between the University of Montana and Montana State University was worth keeping. I’ll hang onto my NFL pin — but it’s not THAT NFL; it’s the National Forensics League and it’s a souvenir from my championship high school speech career. (Give me five to eight minutes and a choice of three topics torn from today’s headlines, and I’ll tell you all about it. Let’s analyze the topic from three angles.) Finally: the nameplate? We’ll hang onto that, at least until we figure out how we acquired that thing.
If you’re coming late to the whole “365 Boxes” project, here’s the blog post that got it all rolling.