mr. wiedermeyer’s secret world

Julius and Ethel Weidermeyer were trying to get ready to deal with the news about his father’s death.    The eighty year old grandfather had been ill with cancer for most of the past five years.    When the inevitable finally came to pass, they made the one hundred and eighty five mile drive to his house in northeastern Pennsylvania in order to make the arrangements for his funeral, as well as to sort through all his belongings.   When they arrived they were confronted with quite an adventure.   They’d always known he  was a notoriously sentimental character as well as a bit of a pack rat but their discovery was absolutely amazing.  Going through his dad’s basement was like having a time machine.   They found a bottomless pit of boxes, bags and cases of artifacts from literally the very beginning of his lifetime.    He’d even saved souvenirs of people like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.    His parents must have gotten all these things for him before he was even old enough to walk.    As they went along they found clothes and memorabilia with all his old schools’ insignias on them.    It appeared as if the old fellow had felt somehow unrelentingly compelled to save all sorts of relics of each successive era throughout his entire lifetime.    The more they found the more awe smitten they were.   “I just don’t get it!”  gasped Ethel.   “It’s not exactly as if there’s anything exceptionally valuable here.  They’re all just very old pictures, records, clothes and things like that.”  Eventually, though, they wised up to the fact that it was quite an interesting discovery.   The more they thought it through, the more they recognized that there was quite an entire lifetime’s supply of profound history here.   Besides its being a miniature lecture on all the history and pop culture of most of the twentieth century, it was also an indirect source of insight into all sorts of background about Mr. Weidermeyer, things they could never have otherwise found out.    Over the course of his very long lifetime he’d told a lot of stories and seemed to have been quite knowledgeable about all sorts of offbeat things.    It turns out, though, that he must truly have been quite devoted to all those long ago milestones.  “I can imagine how Mom must have felt,” complained Julius.   “He must have driven her out of her mind, nice though all this stuff is.”     Anyone who wanted a lesson on things like the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean Conflict and Viet Nam could have the time of his life in such an environment.    They could rake in an absolute mint, they thought, by charging admission for a guided tour.   Soon they started having the time of their lives enjoying all the silliness of their adventure.  Understandably they were sorry to have lost him.  They would have really enjoyed talking to him about all these things.    At his wake, they mentioned his treasure trove to all their family and his friends.   It added quite a dimension of joy and relief to the otherwise somber occasion.  

 

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