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Oriental rug of my youth

March 11, 2016

Infrared copy

Fredoun Parang, exchange student from Iran, said, in 1966, this carpet came from Southern Russia.  He could tell by the color.  I assumed that the predominant color was orange.  Fredoun’s father told me the rug was worth about $500 as a trade-in.

The last person to own this carpet was my niece Hannah Banana Graham Wild, so I assume her ex-husband Jason Wild or one of their children have the carpet now.  I am good with any of it.  Or none of it.  The rug was part of my childhood and my childhood is over.

The rug had some “S” motifs around the border.  I assumed it stood for our name, Struckman.  I don’t know when I gave that belief up.

The rug was in my brother Tom’s room upstairs at 334 N. Avenue West in Missoula as I spent my elementary school years.  It was in considerably better condition than in the photograph above.

In the 5th and 6th grade I used the rug to block the light coming through a coal-bin window in our house.  For some reason a can of oil stained the rug.  Eventually we moved to 640 E. Kent in Missoula, then to 506 S. Atlantic in Dillon.  By that time I had some appreciation for its value.  I used some cleaning products to get the oil out of the rug.  My mother swore by “409.”  However, I think I used something else.  Something that sprayed out of a can.

Once I went away to Missoula to lead the life of a hippie freshman student in 1967, I took the rug to Elrod Hall to hang on my dorm wall.  I didn’t smoke any ganja in my room.  I smoked it in my friend’s room.  However, the RA, a Nazi from some damn place or other, came to threaten me whenever I used my Underwood typewriter to compose a scathing indictment or cool theory of reality.

After a couple trips to Seattle and back by boxcar or hitchhiking, and after a few psychedelic nights on the bank of the Blackfoot river, I ended up joining the Marine Corps.  I lost track of the rug.

Eventually I was able to afford to get out of the Marines and back to the University with the GI bill.  Our mother died and the three of us kids inherited the Oriental rug.  Tom and I ended up trading custody every five years or so.  Tom and I quit speaking to each other.  He had the rug when he died.

I made sure that Hannah got the rug when her father died.  However, I did take a picture.  Above.


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