My husband, David, got out his cigar box full of treasures last weekend.
Our older son came over with our 11-month-old granddaughter, Kennedy, and he started talking about wanting to find arrowheads. He’s a hunter and a history-lover, so he loves the idea of the old tools the Native Americans made from the land.
David said, oh, hadn’t he mentioned the arrowhead he’d found on the family farm when he was a young teenager? My son couldn’t believe it.
“I’ve been talking about wanting an arrowhead for years,” he said, incredulous.
So my husband brought in the decades-old wooden Cuesta-Rey Clear Havana cigar box and started going through it. Kennedy was fascinated and peered into it as her Pop sorted through the items. The box was full of Boy Scout and Cub Scout memorabilia — merit badges for journalism, canoeing, first aid, mammals, citizenship in the community, soil conservation and more; patches and a Cub Scout pocket knife.
He had several engraved brass pieces — belt-loop slides called skill awards — he earned as a Scout. As he sifted through the box, he found the dark arrowhead and handed it to our son, who noticed it had something on it.
My husband said that was the glue where he’d attached a loop to it to use it as a Scout neckerchief slide. He always has been a little creative and nerdy, in a good way.
My son was thrilled and started researching what kind of arrowhead it was.
Then inside the cigar box, my husband found a tiny yellow plastic container shaped like a treasure chest, and he asked if I knew what was in it.
By the looks of the container, I said, “Teeth?”
Yep. It contained two of his wisdom teeth and a couple of other random pieces of teeth. I refused to hold them in my hand.
“I could make them into a necklace for you,” he said, jokingly.
“No thanks,” I told him. “Do you want to put them under your pillow?”
Kennedy grabbed items from the box one by one, stared at them in her little fist, and handed them to me. I said, “Thank you,” each time, and she repeated “Tay-ku” a few times.
He’d kept a buckeye he’d been given for luck, a wheat penny, a dime-sized plastic car with an animated image of a soccer player kicking a ball, his high school graduation tassel, his senior ring and his ninth-grade ring.
His senior ring basically fit my ring finger, the empty one where I don’t wear my wedding ring anymore because of the arthritis in my hand. I said I could start wearing his high school ring.
He put it on his own hand and almost couldn’t get it off. That would make two, my son said. I bought my husband’s wedding ring a size too small, and he’s had it off only a couple of times in 30 years.
He also had his DAR medal for being chosen the outstanding high school senior in American history. The only things from this century were a Rotary pin and a watch with the logo of a former newspaper where he’d worked.
We put everything back in the box, and David still held the container of teeth in his hand.
“Why would anybody need these? Why can’t I throw them away?” he said.
I have no idea, unless he’s planning to make a another neckerchief slide.
Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or firstname.lastname@example.org.