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> This brings up an interesting story. A friend and fellow music lover had
> amassed decades of classical and opera record company catalogs. He finally
> ran out of space and remodelled his kitchen and decided to purge. He
> graciously offered up the opportunity to get between this pile and a
> dumpster. I figured it was worth at least seeing what was in the pile, and
> indeed I found a couple of catalogs of personal interest and kept them.
The
> rest, I couldn't bear to throw out. I kept them in my office, stubbing my
> toe on them frequently

When I worked at the Chicago Museum of Broadcast Communication, we got
offered a donation from the DeVry tech library of a complete set of SAMS
repair manuals covering a 30-year period. The Museum wasn't interested, but
I took the woman's number, and contacted a number of libraries about
acquiring them. Some were interested, but had no space or didn't want to
deal with accessioning them. I ended up picking them up in my VW van (some
70 volumes, each one about 6 inches thick) and stored them in my brother's
basement, hoping I could find a home for them. Eventually my brother got
tired of all the boxes in his basement, and I had to get rid of them. I
ended up dumping them at the Audio Technology Center of Columbia College,
where I was a student, and they were locked away in a spare room. I'm sure
hardly anyone was even aware that they were there, and a few years ago the
facility moved to a new space, and I'm sure that the books didn't survive
the move. I kept two volumes for keepsakes, but I'm sure the rest are gone.
These books were full of schematics for every variety of television  set,
radio and phonograph manufactured between 1948 and 1980,. The pictures of
the units were beautiful. It's a shame.
My father worked for several years with a film production company in
California that specialized in short features for the educational market. In
the course of his work, he was sent 16 mm prints of several hundred  films.
He never sent them back, and they sat in our basement for many years. About
ten years ago, my father, perhaps feeling a twinge of guilt, tried to
contact the daughter of the man who he had worked with, who was now running
the company, to return the films. He got no reply to his inquiries, and
ended up asking me to take care of them. I wanted to do a series of film
showings at a friend's theater, but my dad vigorously objected, being
paranoid about the copyright issue, so it never happened. I had nowhere to
keep the films, so into my brother's basement they went (I have a very
tolerant brother, he also stored my Ampex 300 for several years).
Eventually, I had to move them out, and I donated them to Columbia College's
Film Department, where they now sit in a spare room, gathering dust, and not
being watched by anyone. At least they aren't in a dumpster. Yet.
Life's tough isn't it?

-Matt Sohn