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Touring a facility with the ‘head cheese’

October 8, 2011
By Debra Wolf, Special to The Inter-Mountain , The Inter-Mountain

The day had been surreal. It was Tuesday, the second day after my birthday.

That morning, I decided to catch up on my reading. My girlfriend from Florida, who summers in my neighborhood, purchased for me a signed copy of Colby Buzzell's second book, "Lost in America: A Dead End Journey." The book was shipped from City Lights Bookstore located in San Francisco, where Buzzell, who is one of favorite living writers, lives. Buzzell must have gone in the bookstore and signed the copies, and it's extra cool that I now have one.

After reading, I invited two of my friends over for a birthday lunch. Big Dave just took a job as a cheesemaking apprentice at the award winning Firefly Cheese Farm, and I enjoyed hearing about pressing the whey from the bags, as Dave, Tim and I enjoyed my burger and sausage stuffed green peppers smothered in alfredo sauce with vineyard concord grapes, fresh lemonade and applesauce spiced fruitcake. Another friend, Slappy, also dropped in for a birthday visit.

Article Photos

Photo by Debra Wolf
A trivet showing a barnyard scene was among items displayed at a family auction.

My friends were treated to a tour of my place to see the items I had acquired over my birthday weekend. I showed them a large gold-framed mirror, a folded American service flag, a framed photograph of a farm, a stuffed teddy bear, a dancing chicken, a talking puppy, a pillow, a brass communion set, an assortment of dog collars, five ceramic pumpkins, a cherry pie server, a stained glass lamp featuring two frogs looking up at a lily pad, a bust of a golden stag with its horns holding a flask filled with red and gold Christmas balls, wooden rolling pins, a Confederate Civil War plate, a leather key holder and more.

The items came from an estate auction conducted on the Saturday morning before my birthday. The estate belonged to my childhood neighbors. Watching the items start to make their way out of the house, the building where they had been kept and gathered over the years, was difficult. I cried for two days, the Thursday and Friday, before the sale.

On the day of the sale, however, I felt a peace seeing friends and neighbors gathering. Memory after memory came back to me, as I looked at the items on the tables and the items lifted up by the auctioneer's assistant for sale. I remembered good times. I really realized how these two people, this wonderful couple I had a chance to grow up beside, had shaped me into the woman I am today.

After the auction, I learned that my childhood neighbor and Mickey Mouse shared the same birthday. There were many Mickey Mouse items in the auction, and I ended up with a Mickey Mouse tin, which I will treasure.

How lucky I have been to have had so many friends, old and dear.



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