A couple weeks ago Mrs. Crappy and I made a quick trip to Columbus to finally clean out a storage unit we’d had there since before we were married. We had the help of Fred, Ethel and Juan when we loaded the truck, but we unloaded it ourselves when we got back — on the hottest day of the year at that point — and we were pretty freaking sick of the boxes, furniture, books and all the other crap by the time we were done.

Until we started looking at some of the stuff.

For me, the best part was coming across a plastic tub that my mom had labeled as my toys. I knew she had kept a few things, but I didn’t know exactly what until I popped that box open the next day. Here’s what I found:

For a couple years — late elementary school or early junior high — I was a member of the Upper Arlington Swim Club and swam competitively. Even though I never could figure out the butterfly, I was pretty good, at least until I got fat and started playing football.

I also apparently missed a potential career in automotive engineering (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!), as evidenced by this blue ribbon in my first Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. If I recall, my dad and I loaded the front end of the car with lead (totally legal, I swear), and sanded the crap out of the loosely tacked wheels. Win!

What can I say? I watched Star Trek reruns. And Spider-Man has always been my favorite comic-book character. Among the other things not pictured: two boxes of comics, including several pretty-good condition issues of Spider-Man from that book’s first year or two, all of which were, uh, liberated from my grandparents’ house.

OK. Remember those metal, vibrating football games? The ones where you were never really sure where the players were actually going to go once you got them lined up and turned on the board. And your quarterback might end up vibrating in circles in his own end zone? I played that, a lot, with a couple of friends. Not only did we have leagues and seasons, but we went to the trouble of buying blank players and painting them ourselves so we could have the teams we wanted. Pictured above: Ohio State, UA (the high-school team I would play for a couple years later) and the Cleveland Browns, in all their early 1980s, orange-pantsed glory. Not pictured: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their creamsicle uniforms. Also not pictured: the Stillers. I didn’t like them then, either.

There was some other stuff in the box , like a wooden owl coin bank that I have had literally as long as I can remember and a Batmobile — sized to fit dolls similar to Spider-Man and Mr. Spock — that for some reason I felt I had to modify with a White-Out paint job.

Yeah, I have no idea either.

There was some great stuff in that truckload we brought back from Columbus — a couple pieces of furniture we’re already using, a much newer washer and dryer, all my old records — you guys remember those big vinyl platters that played music, right — and boxes and boxes of books. But for me, that one box –a fairly modest one, when compared to most of the stuff we hauled back here — contains more memories than rest of the stuff in that truck combined.


  1. Phenomenal. Look at your ribbons! They were harder to get then than they are now, I think. The football men are wonderful, even though I despise their uniforms. What a treasure that box is!


  2. OMG!! we have Lt. Uhura (sp?) and Bat Girl and Wonderwoman here. I guess Cpt. Kirk didn’t survive!! We also have your GI Joe, but he’s bald now. Love the football guys. I can stil hear that game vibrating in my head. TREASURES!!


  3. By the way – the kids and I just looked on e-bay, you can still get the vibrating football fields/players. I think I saw the exact set you had.


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