Tuesday, March 24, 2009


"A man has fallen into a pit. Do not speak to him of the good life. Throw him a rope. But when he has climbed out of the pit, and you discover that he is not happy, speak to him of the good life."

Leon Wieseltier

When I was a kid my mom saved Top Value stamps, not S&H Green stamps. They came, for the most part, from the gas station. My dad owned a tombstone company (still does), so he had a big truck. It had 2 gas tanks. I was fascinated with that. When one tank emptied you flipped a switch to change tanks (I always wondered why our car didn't have that feature). Whenever he filled both tanks there was a pile of stamps. Once, I thought I would help mom out, so I started sticking stamps in books. I didn't know some stamps carried more value than others, so I filled every square. Mom was a little miffed, which was pretty rare for her. My favorite 'stamp' days were on the visits to the redemption store. The store had a toy section. Sometimes my mom had extra stamps. Those were good days. Once we had enough stamps to purchase a model airplane kit. The best part- all the pieces were interchangeable. Three set of wings, three tail fins, three fuselages... possibilities were a mathematical delight. The power of redemption.

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