Here we have a briefcase. I got it in 1983, when I won a trip to National 4-H Congress in Chicago. I won for my achievement book in home management (uh oh, I guess I have no excuse for a messy house, huh?). I spent many hours during the 1980s creating 4-H achievement books. Basically, they were like a portfolio. I listed almost every activity I’d ever done, and then included photos and an essay as well. I competed a year or two before finally winning in one category for the state. It was a great feeling!
So, I missed a few days of college my freshman year to attend Congress (I still remember asking a couple of professors if they could record their lectures so I wouldn’t miss them – ah, the days of tape recorders).
Each achievement book category had a corporate sponsor, and mine was Beatrice Foods. If you’ve never heard of them, don’t worry – I hadn’t, either. A quick search reveals that they’re no longer around, having been broken into parts and partially remaining today as ConAgra. Beatrice Foods sponsored a breakfast for their state winners, and it was there that they presented us each with a briefcase. With our initials on it.
So, here’s the dilemma. The briefcase sat at home in my closet for awhile. It moved with me to Birmingham, for my first job. It moved back home with me. It moved with me here, for my next job. This entire time, it has sat in the closet. I just cleaned the closet last week and got it out to dust it, and I wondered: why am I keeping it? It’s heavy. It’s not vintage – just 1980s. I suppose part of what keeps me dragging it from house to house is the fact that it has my initials, but really, is this enough to keep it? I’ve never used it (I don’t think I’ve ever seen a teacher carry a briefcase; large cloth bags work better).
Anyone out there with the initials SB want a circa 1983 briefcase? Any suggestions? Is it time to part with it?
And on a related note: do you have any item that has followed you from residence to residence for no real reason?