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The Secret Life of Things

Note:  The entry today comes from my friend VH


I was looking at your blog today to see if there were any update on ya’lls trip and saw a picture that made me smile. It was of you and in the background, there was that small, two step wooden step ladder I used to have. I thought I might tell you of the history of that small utilitarian ladder as it has a long and interesting story.

I appropriated that ladder from my mother in the late 1970’s. It belonged to a boyfriend of hers who had skipped out on her and left it behind in her carport. He was house painter who came from PA. It looked like a useful item so I took it home with me to my rental house in Odessa, Texas, where it inhabited my closet for several years, mostly unused unless a light bulb in the ceiling need changing.

I got married in the early 80’s and it was moved into our first house where it was used for many a painting and wallpapering projects. Then on to our second house with much the same useage. When I divorced and moved to Dallas in 1992 somehow that old thing made the cut for what I brought. Once again, a useful item when you needed it. It went to north Dallas with me, then later to the Oaklawn section of Dallas where it was used to hang curtains in the old house I lived in with the 10 foot ceilings.

I dated a guy in the mid 1990’s and the ladder wound up at his house somehow. After we broke up, I was much more concerned with getting the ladder back than I was the antique trunk dated 1893 that he was storing for me. After that it moved with me to an old house in Dallas near Love Field, that was built in 1939. That house took a major redecorating project in which the ladder was used on a daily basis for the next year. It helped me tape, float, bed, paint and hang a mile of wallpaper. Always there, always ready, always sturdy.
Many years went by after that and it resumed it’s former address inside my closet only used occasionally for the burned out light bulb or the new curtain rod installation. Then in 2006 I moved to another old house in Irving, Texas where me and that old ladder burned the midnight oil many a night painting and repairing. In 2008 I bought my first house all on my own in Cedar Hill, Texas. Once again the old ladder, faithful and every-ready came with me. It was pushed into service once again for cleaning, stacking shelves in the storage house, and various and sundry duties. Then it retired to garage until you picked it up to use on the “Fish Bus” i.e. “Old Girl”.

Well, since then “he” has seen almost every square inch of the state of Texas!  From east to west and north to south “he” has been a faithful companion and always at the ready. I never thought about it until I saw that picture on your blog with the ladder in repose in the background. I trust “He” will see the wilds of the desert and beyond. If “he” could only talk and tell us of the life “he” has had. If “he” is still around and useful as I hope, please retire him, when it is time in respectful way. He bore my tread and many others for all long, long time. He deserves a decent send off.

A dare say a ladder built today would never survive the 30+ years of use and neglect that “he” did. A testament to when they used to build things to last.

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1 comment to The Secret Life of Things

  • LJ

    Oh Man. that same step ladder was among items retrived from my parents estate in the fall of 2011 as we were dividing up the spoils of my parents lives of 61 years together. Mom passed Jan.22,2011 at 91. She w/ 8 grades under her belt, but many years of life’s experiences to draw from. If i had only listened closer

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