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Yarway Impulse Trap

November 8, 2015
Basement darkroom.

Basement darkroom.

ovember 8, 2015

I’m sitting on my late mother-in-law’s rocker in my basement, an electric heater noisily blowing at my legs. Dirty shoes. Ball peen hammer. set of electric drill bits. Chop saw. I type a string of sentence fragments, non-sequiturs. My whole life is a non-sequitur. At once I am writing, thinking about pie, contemplating my newly refurbished darkroom. I see five enamel 11×14-inch trays with such chemicals as gum arabic and ferric ammonium citrate. These are good for the kind of photographs I like. I want to take pictures of the amazing people and important things in my life.

What constitutes “amazing?” I consider the angry woman across the street. She is angry because she has been ill and cannot sleep well. She likes horses but hates doves. Which makes more shit? Wait. Good shit!

Important things? Well, that nondescript bookcase, yes the one at my elbow that is about 2×2 feet by 9 inches deep, the one that originally held a set of Encyclopedia Americana. Now it has a little box that is labeled “OVER 550,000 YARWAY IMPULSE TRAPS Now In Service Everywhere” and “Yarway Impulse Steam Trap 3/4”.” Inside Yarway, is a clothespin, a school photo of our daughter in junior high, several homemade business cards proclaiming “Dan Struckman PHARMACIST vacation coverage.” Also a clipping from the 1963 High School paper of a basketball game with a photo by Dan Struckman. Also a photo of Penny and the kids hiking on Mount Sentinel in perhaps 1978.

Otherwise the bookcase has my favorite coffee cup. A ceramic cup scratched on the bottom, “CS ’90.” Daughter Clara must have been a junior at Billings Senior when she made it 26 years ago. Light, durable, attractive. The tan glaze has what looks like blue tulips.

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