...a memorial...

A pretty good portrait of my father in younger days post grad years perhaps, of the images I have found, I like this one the best, this shall be the picture I remember him by

The truth is, most of these images are crappy copies of crappy copies; but then, at this point, the original is long gone, so...

these three images go together, mostly the same, a few rulers, not so much for scale, but because they were there in the box, a charm bracelet, probably his mothers, a gauge, very dad like, he spent a lot of time in the basement, his workshop, there was always something to take apart, I do not remember spending much effort every putting anything back together, it was fun taking things apart I got one of the pins, the original picture, as highlighted above, I did not claim much of his stuff, the top images are among the best he cut his own hair the last decade or so, so I grabbed the scissors he used, as well, though with aeroplane restrictions, rather than being put to further use, it sits in a box

This page isn't so much a catalogue of the man; but rather, a place to hang a few pictures and say a few words... as much about him as me, for that is the way of a curated view.

once again, these three go together, its a view of his front room, living room, whatever you want to call it, on holidays, maybe a decade gone back at the peak, maybe twenty years gone back at the peak, we would sit on the couch, or spread out into the kitchen, for Christmas there would be a snow covered village, part on the empty bookcases, part in the back left, on a dedicated board, on the shelves were the stereo and records, loads of books, still loads of books, but the records were fast to go, way faster than I bothered to get to the scene of the crime... that ship looks very dad like to me, I do not know if he cared about it, probably from some trip, vacation, mid-life, pre-divorce, or not, what do I know, maybe a gift from another, but all these images are post the first load, post the important stuff being hauled away, whatever that means, so the ship, did not make the first cut the lion oil painting on the wall is important, I do not know if lions were important to my father, probably not, they were likely in fashion at the time he decorated, in going through his stuff, I found  receipt for Marshall Fields, a big department store in the Chicago area, and among the items purchased was the cat statue, probably not shown anywhere here, now that I think on it, I might have an inventory of old, going to have to look for that, and think about making a second page, already thinking about making a second page, anyway oil painting on wall, cheetah statue, maybe some more cats, maybe not, the stuff on the table is my electronics, stored at his place while I travel, and now given to others, no place to store, but you know how it is with old electronics, I would call taking it off my hands, equal to the gift of what they are worth, still a nice TV and computer set up, if I do say so myself

Is it accurate (let alone fair) to represent a man in his dying years? Or even to display his effects, after the important (valuable) bits have been scooped up and taken away?

these suits mean nothing to me, it is odd, I have a closet full of nice expensive silk Hawaiian aloha shirts that I hardly ever wear, they will likely go out of fashion, my tastes change, or I simply outgrow them before I use them, still, I save them, today I wear an old t-shirt, close to garbage, collar worn, soon a hole will develop, in many ways, I should be wearing out those aloha shirts instead, or only have the one, most dress clothes go this way, they die on the hanger, rather than the man shoes, I need a new pair of shoes, my heels hurt from walking on concrete barefooted, tile floor, and long walks in old shoes, the padding gone, so I need new shoes, this here be an image of shoes, and some shoe boxes filled with interesting stuff, underneath, a shoe polish kit, and the gloves, two images over hangers, lots and lots of hangers, it comes down to not pruning, sorting, he knew he was going, we had talked about things, I mean, the end came suddenly, but it was approaching, we knew, he and I knew he was in the descent, I guess we both were expecting a continued decline, the cliff, was to some extent unexpected, though not, I will end up saying this somewhere, so I will say it here in the comments, alt tag, safely hidden from all but those who really wish to know, he fell in his apartment a few weeks, a week, after I had left town, someone called 911 a day or two later, he should have stayed fallen, a few more days, and he would have forgone the pleasure of those last, what, insurance paid 120 days in the hospital, pretending he stood a chance, one wonders what the chance was, but I never went back, never much talked to him in those final days, and never really shook the feeling he would have been better off it he had simply died were he laid a few days later, I am sure others would disagree, and to be honest, I could not care less, though, comments, hidden safely away in a tag about hangers, he had a bunch of unused hangers, when folks came to take his stuff, surprise, the hangers, not in that first load gloves, a whole box of gloves, leather gloves, work gloves, cold weather gloves, he spent much of his life in Buffalo and Chicago, so gloves were important, but he died in California, and had not needed any of these, for years, not so much hoarding, as simply never bothering to throw away the overnight bag, this was an interesting find, turns out he always travelled with crackers and coffee, a bite to eat, and that pick me up in the morning... and throughout the day

Probably not. But for the most, that's what I have to work with. Of course, in my eyes, he had been dying for many a year. But I'm sure we'll come back to that... eventually.

these will be a stand in for my grandfathers parents, I do not know if that is true, that these are my great-grand-somethings, but close enough for me, I like the crack in the glass case, no one will ever bother to put these two in a new frame ever, I was going through a few boxes of photos, quickly, say two or three hours at best for several thousand photos, you know, family photos, the collection, my fathers, his mothers, so lots of photos, and took snapshots of those that caught my eye, perhaps the lot will get scanned, but I have no expectation, and to be honest, I feel like I own the copyright to the copy of a picture that I took, rather than an image that someone else scanned, my photo is art, someone elses photo, a mere reproduction, after all, would they have included the crack, likely not, definitely not included in a page about their father, my father, I knew his family not, well, almost not

Way back in time, there were these people. I haven't a clue who they were. In time, all knowledge of them will pass away.

Grandma Paufler and Grandpa Paufler, he was dying here, maybe on the trip back we took, that we took, likely the adults knowing his was going to die, perhaps he made it convenient, went off the meds or whatever, happens way more than you might think, so helpfully dying that week, my memory is vague, seemed reasonable at the time, and maybe we made the trip again after he died, or maybe we did not, anyhow, grandma stood by her man, makes me feel proud of her, what I remember more about her was being a teenager and her being done with us as kids, rebellious teenagers not being that much fun to babysit, but I look at this picture as an middle aged man and I see loyalty, I never gave her credit for that while she was still alive

Here we have my father's mother and father... or my grandmother and grandfather on my father's side, if that's somehow makes more sense. This is literally how I remember my grandfather, sick, dying, sitting in a chair. It is, essentially, my only memory of him. It's not much of a memory.

double side by side pictures in keepsake frames of my father and his brother or so I presume, could really be anybody, youngish in age, three or four, something like that, black and white

I assume this is my father and his brother; though I could be wrong.

black and white image of two boys playing fort or something like that, World War II era, tent, United States flag, rifles, plaid shirts and weird cowboy leggings, probably cowhide camouflage

This, of course, is a much better picture of the two, capturing a childhood in one easy to understand image.

Jim (also dead) on the left, his brother (a.k.a. my father) is on the right.

This is a chemistry molecule set by Fisher Taylor, I want to call it Fisher Scientific, nice wood set, the cover of the box is all mouldy, it is a nice set, but I cannot ever remember using it with my father, in fact, if I did some school project, none comes to mind, I would have used Styrofoam balls, in many ways, and I am sure I will say this again, it is close to the epitome of waste or the wrong way to do things, this was saved, locked up like some treasure, or forgotten, of course, I do not know, I like Legos on occasion, maybe he pulled this out with a bottle of scotch, going to have to talk about scotch below, somewhere, maybe should do that now, there was no scotch left in the house when I got there, have not drunk a toast in my fathers honor yet, should perhaps do that soon, as well cover, previous was the molecules, reminds me of the crap I left over for a season in Arkansas

My father had a PhD in Chemistry (thesis below).

thesis, my fathers, I cant even read the title, wouldnt understand it either, I do not think we ever went through this together, at one point, I am too young, another he too old, which is just a lie, so more likely a simple lack of interest on my part and he never pushed the subject same thesis, this one has the title page

I could be wrong, but I think he viewed chemistry more as a way of avoiding a factory job (a means) than something he cared about intrinsicly (i.e. an end in itself).

Dupont patent for polymer stuff, just images of paper, next two, nice thin rice paper going on about chemistry, polymers, and what not, a write up, some of the drawings look to be hand done in pencil, as I recall there were a few bits of notes, so perhaps working papers So, we did not talk of chemistry, what did we talk of, well, current events, and where that led, how to change the world, he was of the argumentative belief that things were better in the good old days and soon enough it would not matter, saying, soon, this will all be my problem it is odd how a person chooses to remember another, the top and bottom images on this page, the same, it is the only hard copy image I have of him, and the image I am looking at right now as I write, he looks happy, I imagine him being post college, post doc, though, grey in the temples and the hair long and unruly, eh, he looks happy, a good way to remember the old man, Mr Robert Michael Paufler

We really did not talk much about chemistry.

It can be tiring talking to a lay-person about your passion, so maybe I just wasn't that interested... or maybe, neither was he.

hey, guess who got a PhD in Chemistry and then spent most of their working career doing other stuff, I doubt he ever much used his degree, my father, he got a cushy job with my mothers father as his right hand man, symbolically if nothing else, lots of admin, sales, either second in command or tied with my uncle for that, hard to know these sorts of things as a lad, the company fell apart when grandpa died, which considering my obsession over such things, ages, dates, etc I would put at around 13 or so, I put a lot of things at around 13 or so, which makes sense, as this was a big turning point, uncle bought out the other owners in the factory and that meant my father was no longer employed, he never got another job, never wanted, needed, etc another job, but from that job, from his association with that job, I, after all, do not know the details, I presume that is where this length of wire comes from, best guess, platinum test tubes, he had quite the workshop in the basement with all sorts of wood working tools, huge amounts of space, and a large workbench, there were two or three workbenches for us children down there and a big one for pops, mixed things up, I remember a sort of smoke and sparkler show one fourth of july

I haven't used category headings thus far, so why start now? However, the images are grouped sort of conceptually. And this would start the hobby section.

Expensive platinum wire... along with an extensive laboratory set up (above).

So, my dad posing with his train set, maybe I mentioned we had a large basement, full size, went the complete length under a four bedroom ranch style house, so reasonably large, and this was located in a nook, under the stairs, two pieces of 4x8 plywood with a 4x4 hole cut in the center, so wrap around trains, lots of trains, buildings he made, guess he liked models, its easy to picture him in the basement, large basement, large enough to cordon off a area for an office den and in there he would put on his old war movies, spend Saturday working on a model or something, we would join him, or not, mostly not, but enough to know what he was about

My father had the most elaborate train set of anyone I knew. Of course, he didn't belong to a club, so I never did see much by way of competition.

eh, you look for stuff, give life meaning, that existential dilemma, the train was a pretty good solution as was wood working, chemistry puttering, whatever else he did at his bench, it was a short period in his life though, perhaps the golden era, or not, he would know, but fat, he was fat with money, buying the oil paints, setting up the canvases on a easel, the square footage in the basement this hobby representing being meaningless, so much room, so the cost, unimportant, as likely the time, as well, I pound out these words on a Tuesday morning, a person likes to think they are doing something meaningful, this page is my solution today, this morning, for a few weeks, painting was part of my fathers quest for meaning, he did it with masking tape as a guide, I remember that, and the paintings likely sitting on the easels for many more months than they needed to, drying, or waiting for the next step, what is the next step for art than no one else cares about, dollars to doughnuts, these are in the trash, not a loss, of course, my father could not be bothered to frame them or hang them on the wall, so the truth is, he could not be bothered to throw them out either I only saw the two paintings, I have no idea how many he made, maybe only two, in the end, I would have been willing to believe one, perhaps the second one stayed on the easel the longest

He tried painting for a bit. These images likely meant little to him. Or, that is to say, painting lasted a single season in his middle age and not much more.

I wonder where these will end up?

dad and a dog in black and white fishing at an unknown bend in the river, stream, too deep wide to cross, but not much of an obstacle if one needed to get to the other side, just a matter of getting wet, I was not there

Was he a 'Big Fisherman'? No, I don't think so. But one or two family vacations revolved around the pastime. I'm more inclined to believe he took it up to bond with his children. Though there were likely some aspirational macho undertones.

dad in a pool, family vacation, I guess he got two weeks off a year, maybe more, work was easy, a joke in some ways, but two weeks off, at least, and there was a yearly trip, odd how one thinks of these things, the workbench in the basement was functional for a decade tops, thats how long life lasted for him in that house, and vacations, maybe started when I was three and ended like much of family life at thirteen, but even before, as there were summer camps that largely replaced the family outings, separate camps, going our separate ways, and that started for me at nine, but the others sooner, so maybe only five years of vacations, they were good vacations, this one by the pool, end of the day so, that workbench in the basement I have been going on about, this was the fort he built in the backyard, not much more than a place to store the lawnmower and other garden stuff, the wasps loved it, so real design flaw there somehow, the wasps loved it, remember fighting the wasps in that thing as much as anything, avoided it later, due to the wasps, and wasp hunting so often meant getting stung, should have just dosed the thing in insecticide at the start of the season, sprayed it monthly, or weekly, anyhow, this is the fort, cool fort, one of those things others in the neighbourhood couldnt hold a candle to, so maybe pops was competitive, in so many ways, he did it better, wonderful fort, probably read it in Popular Mechanics, but I don't even know if he had a subscription here he is fishing again, same dog, same river, slightly different place, I am going to guess its in Buffalo New York

Without a doubt, he was a family man. It's hard to say whether he was a 'Good Father'? What does that look like? He didn't beat me... too often. You know, it was a different era, a different age.

I liked the fort. Just like the train set, none of the other father's even came close. He was good at doing things like that right.

My father collected stamps, and maybe part of the deal was that he would do stuff with us, so stamp show, we went to the stamp show with him and for a few years I joined him in that quest.  I actually bought this book, think I paid like two fifty for it, but I stopped caring about stamps somewhere along the lines, I would have guessed my brother got this way back, well, he has it now, I think, whatever, maybe it was my fathers all along and I just remember the cover

Stamps and coins follow.

In point of fact, I believe I bought this album back in my youth, but I abandoned it years ago. Or maybe it was always his... and I simply remember it from his collection.

It doesn't matter. He cared about stamps. I do not.

More stamps, the inside pages, not much to say, did he care about stamps, in any meaningful way, or were they competition, odd how much competition comes ups now, I am competitive in my own way, bet my web site is larger than yours, how many novels have you written, my alt image tags, will blow yours away, actually, this is more of a brain dump... or Easter egg... or that long tail, the Cythons, my gift to you, if such a thing is a gift, these are my 8x10 glossy-s, each with a paragraph of writing on the back, some folks would build a bonfire or scream on a mountaintop, though, its hardly ever the top, just a mountain side, anyhow, stamps I probably was never competitive enough to be good at the trading game, collecting for fun and profit, the fun was fleeting, momentary, almost isolated to the talking during the exchange, and profit, the money only went in the one direction, perhaps if I had learned how to switch the flow, or, you know, this, writing, I am willing to do this, even though there is no money in it, not how I do it, no money will ever be made off this page, still so easy to see the quest for meaning in my fathers activities, did he find it, or at least, lose himself in the moment

I never caught the collector's bug. He definitely had it... or maybe, he just had enough money that giving it a go seemed like a good idea. After all, it's easy to 'win' at collecting if one throws enough money at it.

Hey, my dad again, do not know how I feel about this image, hes smiling, younger, probably a new dad, and the image of the image, the streaks and blurs really shine through, yeah, when they make a dad robot model, this might be the surreal evil version, so happy, just like your best movie magic monsters, still, not a bad picture of him, it is one of the keepers

I actually don't know how I feel about this picture. Doesn't look like a real smile... and then, it does.

Coins, I am getting tired of writing on the day, he had lots of coinage when he died, it seemed such a waste, I mean, stocks I understand, boxes of un-tapped collectables, stamps, coins, heck, even the stamps I understand, they are not liquid, but the coins, how much more liquidity does a person need, would his life not have been better with a cleaning service... or that fifty dollar hunk of cheese, eh, who knows, I can horde, I understand hoarding, the delight in a full pantry, my grandmother died with her cupboards crammed full of napkins and bags not wanting to throw any away, waste, never know when you are going to need it, I think old age sort of crept up on the old man, he did not prepare for it, at some point the coins became too much of a hassle to trade in, same with the stamps and all the rest, and of course, he would just leave it for the kids, their problem, pretty soon this wont matter to me, or the like, he was fond of saying that, soon no longer his problem, he likely had not gone to the dentist for a decade, why bother getting that cavity filled in your last year, and why bother cashing in the chips, the coins, until the last... or who knows what secret pleasure they held for him, I myself, greatly identify with a dragon at times and there is nothing quite like sleeping on a pile of silver, yeah, I am cashing out, a coin or two might be nice to keep in my pocket, but I doubt I will have the opportunity, easier to cash out and buy back in if that is my desire, like I want a thousand dollar rock in my pocket to lose more coins, the difference in the images is near meaningless, one coin is as good as the next, right

Stamps, coins, this isn't even the good stuff. And this is why I stopped collecting. Why was I collecting? So when I died, someone else would have fun going through my stuff?

It just doesn't seem like a very compelling reason to me. Guess what, you can go through my website both now and then: the gift that keeps on giving...

So, this is a letter I wrote to my father back when I lived in Arkansas, forty acres, no mule, I suppose back in the day, I would have kept the letter, as well, just like he did, it was with his stuff, I was surprised at the number of letters others had written, college years and the like Hey, who is that good looking guy, why it is your humble narrator, in felt cowboy hat that my father wore for a season, likely that trip to the Grand Teton Mountains, Yellowstone, and all the rest the comments skip and jump, I just thought I would say that, its been maybe three months in the making, this page, these comments, likely another month or more, cant seem to do much more than an hour, get bored, lose the inspiration, desire, call to live is stronger, anyhow, the comments are not in order, scattered in thought and time, just a purge, get it all down, let someone else parse it, yeah, Mr Cython, not my problem, soon enough, this world will be yours, and you can sort this out, odd, how you will likely simply throw it away, yes, putting it in that misc file that you never access, it is pretty close to throwing it away, no one expects you will want to completely erase your memory of us humans, and as to the image, second page of the letter, so, you know, not much more to say there, I presume OCR has it covered

The over-arching theme of this page (I have already decided there will be others, well, at least one) is These are the pictures I took of my father's effects.

One of those effects was this hat. That's me wearing the hat. I remember that hat. I believe it was the same hat he wore one summer while visiting me at camp, probably when I was ten, so 1975. Were cowboy hats big that year? How about sideburns? He had sideburns that year, as well.

The old man in fake felt tip pen moustache, we did this movie called Fiasco or something like that, it was a sketch comedy movie, I do not remember much about it, in one of the scenes, series of scenes, my father was sitting in a chair, books around, and they kept getting piled higher and higher until he was buried, I think this was logistically all the more difficult, as we had the one reel, no editing equipment, so he started the movie reading a book, and by the end, he was buried, cutting back to him between scenes, I cannot remember much of the other scenes, there were plenty of other family movies, we would do movie night every once in a while, box of films, family gathered around, shooting it at a white wall, Fiasco was always a big hit

Yeah, there you go. Just like I remember: sideburns. I couldn't tell you if this was before or after, in planning or retrospect.

He may have been a lot more fun than I remember. I mean, I'm not a party animal, so it's not like we got drunk together. We talked philosophy, which doesn't tend to bring out the inner party animal.

So, here is the old mans bed, complete with TV face down in the middle, looks uncomfortable, or you know, this is part way through the deconstruction... and the TV had to go somewhere... or no one is sleeping here, let us make sure of that, or maybe thats just some anti-ghost stuff happening there the lock on the door, hey, my key no longer works, strange that, the key I had, no longer works, one cannot read too much into that, literally, one cannot, my father had given me a key... and it no longer worked, mysterious, strange, bizarre, clearly, the work of ghosts This is a Hummel figure, visual pun, something like that, basically, the best image to describe how I have felt at times, children at play, or maybe one is not enjoying themselves that much, I suppose it matters the angle, perception, there is a reason this particular image is here, next to the locks, you know, the old locks, the ones on the kitchen table, the ones my key would have opened had they still been in the door when I bothered to return, come to think of it, there might have been some ill feelings about when I bothered to return, or that is to say, perhaps, that I had returned at all, yeah, maybe that is more accurate, or no, that I had taken so long to return, that is the gist, let us say, I preferred to mourn alone, and that story alone, tells it all, I preferred to mourn alone

And now we're back to his condo.

Not much to say here: a picture being worth a thousand words.

empty shelves, there was a stereo player and records here at one time, likely completely valueless, but it would have been nice to run my fingers across them one final time, alas couch, ripped to shreds, the old man really should have  liquidated the stamps and coins and done something with the money, eh, his loss... more empty shelves, much of the stuff I photographed was off-site, if you know what I mean, looking through boxes that had already been transported, months later, and then, months later again as I write, and the condo has not been sold and I do not even know if it is ready to be sold, so perhaps, the hurry was, well, let us just say, it was not mine, maybe it should have been, eh, there are stages of emotional reaction, anger, dismay, and at some point coming to peace with it all and letting go, perhaps due to events, some of the stages protracted, others shortened, certainly, there is less for me to go through, less for me to deconstruct, and in many ways, this is a blessing all on its own

I think it would have been fun (yes, fun is the right word) to go through all of the stuff when the shelves were still full. But that was not to be. It was interesting what was left behind.

I do not know who this is, there was some conjecture my father had a romantic interest, that it was the final excuse for the divorce, but if we are being honest, why was there a need for a romantic interest, anyhow, this gal shall serve as a stand in for that, as likely as not, some relative, I have no idea, but about the right time, the right mood, someone coming around to the tables, some sell roses, other take photos, hell, this might have been the photo, Pay Up Mack or we show the Wife, something like that, in theory, he mentioned a letter, said he could not remember if it was there anymore, I must admit to looking forward to reading the letter, but I was told there was no letter there, in the safe deposit box, who knows, lots of paper, I doubt, even if it exists, whether I will ever have the opportunity to read said letter, I do not expect I will, it is these expectations that drive a lot, the expectation of a husband to be faithful, the expectation of reading a letter someday that would explain, but there was nothing to that expectation, and I do not know if he was faithful or not, many a man has had a friendship, wishing it could be more, wishing it was more, wishing they had chosen another route, but having not, when the day awakens, they are there, leaving dreams for the time of dreams, if that makes any sense, it would have been interesting to learn of my fathers sexuality, I cannot say I ever asked, as of this writing, I have no expectation that an in depth expose will ever be forthcoming, hell, one can justify these semi-hidden words in some manner in that light, if one wished to know, give it a few years, and these will hardly be hidden image tags, in fact, in many ways, hyper-long image tags are a guerilla marketing technique, or would you rather read, still life man and woman with flower at restaurant circa 1980, like I know, does not matter who she is, like I said, perhaps in many ways my father was a stand in for an idea, well, she, whoever this is, this lady, will be the stand in for another, divorced for how many years, I never met another lady friend of his, hard to believe he never had one... or maybe they were not friends

One wonders if he intended to leave all that he left behind...

A picture of my fathers office highlighting an open filing cabinet, yeah, the img alts on this page have not been that descriptive, you are probably not even reading them, anyhow, the filing cabinets were empty for the most, but I did look at the paper later, some, a bit, for an hour, maybe two Just a filing cabinet, not much to say, not much there, I found a few papers overlooked, that was interesting, you know, so much taken, but I suppose, only the first load, so this is a snapshot at his condo between the first and second loads, interesting what as taken, interesting what was left, of course, it was not so thought out, the second load would be coming soon enough, still, at times curious, I suppose no sense taking the bed or couch, as those were not going in any plan, hard to believe anyone was going to sleep on that bed or sit on that couch again, I know I did not, glad for the paper towels and soap at the end of my visit files, so many files, later looking through the boxes, this page might not have gotten written or written differently, so much to go through, catalogue, a month of Sundays it would have taken to catalogue it all, a hobby to last a year, I volunteered to do this, you know, as executor, but by then, the dice had been cast, the vote decided, and I did not, so in a few trips to my fathers condo, two maybe three, an hours tops each, going through the boxes offsite on two separate occasions, for once again, an hour maybe two each, and thats all I expect to see of his stuff, oh, maybe a minute here, there, but thats it, for the most, the bulk, not even a minute, it makes it easier in many ways, and this project more focused, I have a limited working set of images, and no need to catalogue the lot like some archaeologist, though, that would make a good story, a more complete work

You know, the weird thing, as well scraped as my files are, I've kept so much, the paper trail for those who wish to see is likely a mile wide.

my fathers drivers license, old one from Illinois, I have mixed feelings about posting the image, is it too much information, perhaps I should photoshop it into a spy licence... or crop it into just the image, like I have done here in the interest of speed, I can always come back and repost the original... or spy license mock-up

His drivers license photo...

I wonder how much of this I should blur.

Does that sort of thing matter anymore?

Eh, I have weeks yet to decide, before I post this live.

The good idea is to turn this into a spy license.

So, some of the paperwork I did go through in the next three, in this one, my father has been declared legally blind, juxtaposed next to his bird certificate eye prescriptions, I would have imagined I would take his glasses and such, but I left them, I carry little weight, lets say four pieces of luggage, that is how much I own, and not a lot of room in that for large mementos, pictures are light, actual old prescriptions eye glasses, not so light, it would have been nice to get his medical, dental, vision history, but I have little hope of that, and in the end, it turns out to not be that important, oh, it might be, some future date, but that date is far enough off, I cannot be bothered to get excited about it now, it begs the question, what do I not have as of this writing, images of things removed before I got there, some of them, death certificate, the medical stuff, would I bother posting that kind of thing here, and if not, how much of a reality would it have for me, is it really missed His application of acceptance into the Country Club and subsequent termination when we or he moved away

Most of the paperwork is boring, mundane.

box of cassette tapes, books on tape, this is some novel, book, likely, being blind or nearing so, the audio book recordings replaced the written word, and he had many of these stashed, for years, perhaps he was renting them, buying them, and then he found out from a friend of the family about the Clearing House for the Blind or something like that, a government agency that distributes free books on tape to the blind, so he was set, still bought a few, but for the last several years, I believe that was his sole source - tapes, tv sound, and the radio, though being legally blind and not being able to see a single iota are two different things, he had a large magnifying table reader and could manage bills and such... at increasing difficulty... or maybe his memory was awesome and he just ran multiple checks, having different folks read the balance, mail, and if the two matched, good enough hair brush, doing DNA was an idea of mine, hint, do DNA when the person is alive or do not bother, I did not bother, anyhow, hairbrush for hair for the DNA, which I did not do, because hair is not that effective, DNA analysis works on the roots not the hair, and this brush has none too many roots on it, in fact, it has more random fiber threads than hair, so yeah, random fiber threads, fitting for a post such as this, or, you know, this is a collection of dead ends, this webpage in many ways, just another one here, hard to do DNA on hair, harder still when the hair is mostly blue fiber threads melamine dishes, I was surprised these were left, sort of indicates what was taken, how much room used up in the cars, I am pretty sure these were mentally spoken for, but, you know, perhaps knowing no one else would be interested, so no rush, I never liked them myself, which is not true, I believe they are the dishes we grew up with, but when going over, I would opt for the blue glass bowls instead, though, these are the plates we would use for hamburgers and such

As are most of the effects; those that went unclaimed on the first go through.

window blinds, art photography time, I cannot remember if he lived with the blinds up or down, I am sure they were one or the other and stayed that way, so likely down, never really noticed them, until the lamps were gone, and I needed light to poke around coffee stain, this is the image I have of my, yes, my fathers desk, never really sat at it in the end, never just sat and went through stuff, it was moved before then, and refinished, brand new varnish job before I looked at it, at which point, I did not even feel like sitting at it anymore, anyway, this is a coffee stain, from his desk, odd what constitutes a memory, perhaps as important or will be as important as any other image on the page, a stain, varnished over and frozen in time green sparkles, I like green, this is from some hanging, chandelier, type lamp shade, chandelier is probably the wrong word, cylinder of moulded plastic, small bits fused together to diffuse the light, its one of those worthless things that it is easy to assign sentimental value to, great for some college kids dorm room

Still, for me, it's a study in closure... or that's what I'll call it. I hardly want to keep a coffee stain, but there is a memory there. So, perhaps I do and will endeavour to keep it close to my heart for all time to come.

odds and ends, this is one of those fun collections, what does it contain, pill bottles, eye drops, combs, hairbrushes, scissors, I walked, no, no, I ran away with the scissors, he, dad, he cut his own hair for the last decade, maybe last two decades of his life, just grabbed a tuft and cut it out when it got so long as to annoy him, over the eyes and such, at times, he looked like a mad scientist, so looks, deceiving, not so much, last sub-container, watches, probably a blue shoe horn, and then the closed box, cannot remember what was in there

But then again, it really is so much junk, better to throw it out wholesale, forget the lot, and purge it from the mind.

contact lens cases, it is odd to me how easy it was not to take these in the end, I would have, if... if, if I were a different person, it would have only delayed their getting thrown out, of no lasting value, I get rid of my own eyeglasses pretty quickly now, there is some rumour that it can be useful to have lots of pairs around, but I never go backwards, and if my prescription changes, I am going to get new ones, they do not cost that much money in the end close up of two different prescription eye glasses, if you look real close, you can see my hands holding the camera phone, so crappy photography, like the rest on this page

Eh, maybe that's the wrong idea and I just can't see clearly.

I know that makes no sense, to you, but to me it does.

I have bad eyes like my father. If I was the collecting sort, this is the type of thing I'd stock up on, no value to anyone else, except for, perhaps, one, who may one day share his fate.

These next three images of are the carpet under his desk, by the time I had arrived on scene, the desk was gone, yeah, not just the desk, well, I did not watch my dad die, was not in the same state, and waited a few months to return, so there is another side, but they can tell their side, this is my side, the side that says the appropriate time period had not elapsed, and so, moving anything, touching anything, maybe premature, maybe not, but in my mind, yeah, by the time I got to his place, I was not expecting there to be a desk, it was not the type of thing that was moved lightly, does that matter, sure, to me, part of this page is closure, I had other closure planned, sitting at my fathers desk, for instance, but this is the closure I get, this might be more fun, long lasting, in keeping with my nature, but I would have liked to have been able to decide what sort of closure I wanted on my own terms These are the tracks where my fathers desk resided for the last 20 to 25 years of his life, I already have the images of the floor where I type this now, I expect to make another page, link to them, it is an interesting sort of study, the grooves we wear into the world around us, it would have been nice to sort through his desk, to have images of the contents, their organization, what was handy, what was important, to have felt it, breathed in the air, to have that memory We do not always get to choose the closure we want.  My father was a drinker, maybe a heavy one, he never seemed overly drunk, but he knew when I would be coming, so maybe he stayed sober those days, he drank probably the better part of a gallon of rot gut a week, is that a lot, who knows for a retired man, seems like that would equate to several cases of beer, more than a six or a twelve pack a day, but who knows, when I took him shopping, we would almost always get a bottle or two and when on sale maybe a six pack of 750ml vodka, rum, bourbon, I think bourbon was his favourite, why am I talking about drink, such a heavy drinker, he must of had a months, two months supply in reserve, maybe more, but not a drop to be found, gone with his desk, a final drink in toast, might have been appropriate, of course, I do not drink much, as when I was learning how, it mostly came down to learning how not to puke, which meant learning how not to drink, they say ill effects are what prevent folks from becoming alcoholics often as not, eh, worded wrong, but these image tags are all worded stream of thought, deal with it, if one pukes while drinking, one tends not to drink as much, still, a drink in final tribute, a final bottle would have been nice, so much would have been nice, but none of that deals with the grief, there is as much closure in saying I would have like to raise a final glass to him as actually doing it, and there is nothing stopping me, even now, I could guess what he would buy, and yes, half a year gone by, I have not toasted him, and eaten only a handful of pizza, had pizza today, just a slice, never even though till this moment, he is so gone...

In the end, it's the things no one else will know, can ever understand, gone forever, that emptiness that will never be made whole again.

This is where his desk used to be. I really would have liked to sit at it one final time... or really just sit at it, at all. I mean, when I visited, he would be the one sitting at his own desk (just makes sense), so I hardly ever did.

Still, these pictures of carpet, empty spaces, looking for closure, this, right here, probably as close as I'll ever come. There's some serious truth in those photographs.

There was a dog long ago, Scotty was the first, who I likely never met or was too young to remember, his replacement was Pippy Long Stocking or not, I cannot remember, likely I got to name Pippy, as I liked the book, but who knows, anyway, this is Scottys handiwork, his ball rolled under the couch, apparently, that did not sit well with him, and there was no one else around, so he did what a dog needs to do, many folks warn that I will miss my father for the stories for the information, but for the most, I do not think that I will, I have been aware of that for a long time, and have not bothered to do anything about it, for a while tried to ask him questions, probe, but neither one of us cared enough, I know another who is into stories, but when I ask for enough clarity so that I could write the story, it ruins the story, certainly I do not get answers, no matter, back on point, yes, this is a lot about words, such freedom in writing whatever, not caring, no intention of ever coming back to edit, maybe should put in comments, but no, it all goes with this image, this image is a story, about a dog, that I never met, some folks miss this about their parents or other dead relative, so far, I have not, past the grief, I do not know that I miss, like, I do not feel if only I could pick up the phone I would either call or ask, I do not actually want to talk one final time or ask any silly questions, anyhow, half of this story is dead, gone for ever, and what other stories, and that is not what I miss, if I miss, there was philosophy, a meeting of minds, so hard to come by, it is not elevator talk, it would be, why, after this, was the dog still loved and cared for, that is more in line with what we would talk about and whether feelings and emotions are for the net good or we would be better off without them, my father can start, arguing for the redundancy of emotions

And what have we here, but an image to go with a story from so long ago.

This is me mugging it in my fathers cowboy hat, likely he bought it on a trip to the Rockies, that sounds about right, I would have been six or so, who knows if it was a good time, lots of hours in a car, that would have meant, three and four hours a day with driving as a main event for two weeks on end, hard to imagine it was not filled with stress, I look back on that, and the first thing that comes to mind is the danger of road travel, so many hours in a car, how many families bit it, what a weird way to enjoy life, not that getting away was not fun, but the whole travelling thousands of miles, odd thing, I like mugging it, I am far more comfortable with it as an adult, judging by the images on the site, at some level, my father was OK with it too

Alas, no more stories.

If I was a keeper of things, the glasses he drank out of would have a high importance, but this was more of a photo-op, if I were to give advice to another, I might advise something along the lines of crafting a memory, say I can see buying my grandmother, long since gone, and on my fathers side this would work better, though the other came more rapidly to mind, but buying a nice pair of tea cups, maybe a pot, and using those whenever we talk, and then, at the end, that is what is taken, so maybe, bringing that flask of whiskey and sharing shots would have meant something, same glass, his, mine, and then, in years to come, I could set them up again, and pour a drink for him, pour a drink for me, just like old times, yes, what could have been, of course, that is a hassle too, so much lugging around, and eventually, the glasses would break, so there is no solution... In mid life, do not know when, where, how, or why, though a person could guess, my father began working out, one of the few items I took was this weight, 10lbs, if I lived in town, was stable, I likely would have grabbed more, he was not a muscle man, but I remember, this would be ten or so, I guess, him putting a steel bar, more like a plate a 4 inch by 6 inch by 12 inch piece of solid steel, weighed a fair bit, I would put that on his stomach, raise a sledgehammer, and strike, in many ways this was pure idiocy, so easy to miss, how often did I miss stakes in the yard, nails in my hand, so I really did not come down hard, but it was a fun little game, the weights were there, he was in pretty good shape at one point, running, training, who knows to what end

Luck of the draw, his time has come... or the weight of the world too much.

I do not think any life expose is complete without that embarrassing picture, here, for your amusement, please find my father dressed in drag, he is smiling, perhaps as part of that aforementioned Fiasco movie, perhaps for Halloween, he really does not look unhappy or put upon, so perhaps it was all him, that other side, though, you know, no dresses in his closet, but one never knows

Don't take it too seriously, Old Man.

My time will come soon enough.

pizza, this and the next two, full pizza, half pizza, empty box, this is the full one, it is a half year later and I have not eaten much pizza, do not know if I have thought of him much when I did, it is perhaps starting to look like a, wait for it, cheesy memorial.  Yuck.  Yuck.  Anyhow, concept, eat pizza like I did with the old man and sort of remember him thereby pizza half eaten, I knew a guy once for a week, two, something like that, borrowed his motorcycle, that did not go well, was going to buy it test ride, anyway, he did not live through the month on that bike, way better him than me, but he was a good friend, I connected with him on a deep level, and it is hard to know why, how exactly, but he died, and he was drinking a certain brand of rot gut when he did, so I have not drunk that stuff since, and that is my homage to him, that is were pizza as a homage originates I used to go shopping with my dad for groceries, his vision was fading, then gone, and I drove him and led him around the store as we shopped, it was likely a curious site, like a duck imprinted on the bright shirt that I was wearing if I was on the ball, sometimes it would be black or blurry or hard to see, but if I was on the ball, something bright, gave contrast and he would follow  me around the store and we would talk about groceries what was on the shelf, do window shopping and all that, and he would say how he hardly had to come anymore, perhaps when I just threw stuff in the cart, and I joked how when he wound up in some old folks home, I would make sure to feed him all the foods he hated, which I really cannot remember, blueberries or raisin, so best go with both, I guess, maybe just avoiding whatever we bought together would be easiest, because that I remember, canned pasta, miracle whip, deli meats, hot dogs, liverwurst, tv dinners, lasagna, hamburgers, we ate a lot of hamburgers, a list is boring so I am going to switch off into hamburgers, the other possible memorial, and which might work well if I started remembering, but with my father the best burger: two quarter pound patties with loads of cheddar cheese, maybe a quarter pound of that, eight or more pieces of crispy bacon, maybe half a package and then just smother that thing with Baby Rays barbecue sauce so the bacon was drenched, I am going to have to make one of those soon, a good memory of my father, letting me cook what I wanted, enjoying it, well, I always made his different, less sauce, less cheese, sometimes no cheese, bacon on the side, but no hassles about what I was doing, and all the while the bacon was cooking, everything else, we would talk, call it philosophy, or one of those high end intellectual conversations discussing the nature of the world, so you know, doing our thing

In the meantime, every time I eat pizza...

A pretty good portrait of my father in younger days post grad years perhaps, same as the top, final comment, I cannot say I feel like calling him on the phone, by the end, the final year, talking had become a drag, maybe not the full year, but at some point, he was going down, and it is like going over ot a friends house who you no longer like playing with, the conversation had dwindled, was not like how it had been, so when it was gone, I did not really miss it, because those final conversations sucked, still, I cried, have I mentioned that anywhere, the gut wrenching tears, only for a short while, two weeks after he died, for a single twenty four hour period, but even that surprised me, I am proud of that, surprised by that, I did not think I would cry and today I had pizza, did not even remember him, oh well, life moves on, perhaps one day you will be reading my memorial, I call it Minataur Tails, I wonder what my father would have called his, heck, if I am lucky, maybe Brett, maybe a few other names in there, as well, but, you know, privacy issues and all that, and it is not my place to speak for others, only myself, and those who can no longer speak on their own behalf

I'll try to remember my father, the best part of who he was...

There is no more...

© 2016 Copyright Brett Paufler