I hide things from myself. Well, not deliberately. I put them away in a safe place, and then the location of the safe place is so safe that it’s safe from me as well because its whereabouts are no longer known to me.
In the passage of time, I forget whatever it was that I put in the safe place that is so safe that it’s safe from me as well because its whereabouts are no longer known to me.
I’ve been told I’m a pack rat because I never throw anything out. I dispute that. I believe pack rats know exactly what they have and where they put it, and they keep their stuff because they like it and want it. I never throw anything out because I don’t remember where I put it and don’t remember having it in the first place. Not a pack rat.
Now that we have that settled, we can move on.
One of my grandsons is deeply into the Star Wars universe. He loves all things Star Wars, even LEGO Star Wars. Guess what? Grandma collected Star Wars memorabilia in the day. My grandson and the rest of his family will be visiting during Christmas break, and I thought I’d surprise him with some of my treasures from that Galaxy Far, Far Away.
So I went hunting for my Star Wars stuff. In the family room cupboards. In the catchall room (treadmill, sports gear, kids toys, arts and crafts, and that old standby miscellaneous). Last, but not least, in my office closet (the location of Earth’s Black Hole—where things go in, never to be seen again).
In the family room cupboard, I found a “Destroy the Death Star” board game. I bought for my sons when they were young. It’s in very good shape, except for being missing two tiny X-Wing Fighter game pieces.
In the catchall room, I found a poster from LucasFilm in its original cardboard mailing tube. Apparently, I forgot about framing it, or forgot about it altogether (more likely).
In the black hole—my office closet—I liberated a few more treasures: an intact die cast Millennium Falcon, a slightly damaged die cast Imperial Destroyer (missing Princess Leia’s starship), a Star Wars report folder, and a book of Star Wars iron-on transfers of all the original Star Wars characters. (Was Harrison Ford ever that young? Wow.)
The Star Wars hunt yielded other forgotten treasures. I rediscovered individual Star Trek episode slides that I bought at a convention, several Hallmark Star Trek Christmas tree ornaments, and three aging Star Trek computer games and compendiums for PCs that cannot work on my MacBook Pro and so are now useless to me. I also uncovered a Raiders of the Lost Ark movie theater poster.
Probably the coolest and most valuable forgotten hidden treasure finds were two signed prints of cover art by the late Frank “Kelly” Freas, the acknowledged dean of science fiction illustrators. (His illustrations of the cast of characters from the original Star Trek series are in The Smithsonian.) The prints I have are of the illustrations for “The Ark of Mars” by Leigh Brackett in Planet Stories, September 1953, and for The Warriors of Dawn by M.A. Foster, DAW Book No. 135.
I was a volunteer at a science fiction convention I attended some years ago. The job I drew was to pick up the guests of honor at the airport and drive them to the con. Since I possessed the only car that was clean and in working order, I had the privilege of chauffeuring Kelly Freas, his wife, and SF author Frederick Pohl for the entire weekend. I heard lots of great stories about Science Fiction’s Golden Age while in that driver’s seat, and we all had a rollicking good time together. I bought the two prints and asked Kelly to sign them for me. He did better than that; he inscribed them. One he inscribed for me “with warmest regards,” and inscribed the other for me “with affection and appreciation.”
Those prints are more than mere collector’s items and you can believe I won’t lose track of them again. I’m going to have them framed and hang them on my office wall so there won’t be any danger of them becoming hidden treasures ever again.
And now, with the exception of the prints and the Star Wars items for my grandson, I have to put the rest of this stuff back where I found it. O joy.