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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Dad's "Magic Box"

Dad passed away on March 1, 2002.  I dearly miss him and everything about him.  But, I have a few things that belonged to him, and I cherish each one.  Dad had a "magic box".  He took it with him every time that he went fishing or hunting.  A friend of his called it the "magic box", as it contained whatever one might need to survive in an emergency situation.  It even came in handy when the game warden stopped by to make sure that every sportsman had the proper safety equipment with him.  It saved many a citation from being delivered to Dad and his sporting buddies.

Recently, I had decided to clean our garage to get ready for the coming winter season.  So many things had be sent to the garbage as I no longer had use for them.  When I came the shelf unit just to the left of the garage door, all things came to a halt.  I spotted the wooden box that had belonged to my Dad.  I had forgotten that I stored it on those shelves.

 Last year, I needed something to cut through a tree root.  Divine intervention guided me to this box, and as I opened it, I found a hatchet sitting right on the top of everything in the box.  It was just the tool that I needed to cut that root, and I have used it many times since then.
I realized that I had not opened the box since I found the hatchet, and I was curious as to what else was in this box. Here's a photo of the box, just having been opened :


The wooden box, haven been painted green some time ago, was now marked and gashed from years of being loaded on boats and into duck blinds on the Missouri River.  The first item on top of the contents was a blanket, green and waterproof, with one side being a silver reflective material designed to keep someone warm and dry.  As I removed the blanket, the rest of the "magic" was revealed.

I picked through each item and placed them on the floor beside the box.  Each piece had a special use, and I could see where Dad had carefully thought about what to add to the box.  Being a Mechanical Engineer, I could see how he planned, methodically, the usefulness of each item as he added them to the box.

A photo of the contents:

The contents were:

two pair of gloves, one being leather, the other being rubber insulated
a small iron skillet, with one set of tongs and one pancake flipper
Three can openers with cork screws, and a vegetable peeler
a limb saw that folds
a pair of shooting glasses in a waterproof case
binoculars in a carry case
a fire extinguisher
four table forks in a leather case
a bag full of nails of various sizes
a roll of electrical tape
a pliers, a crescent wrench and a sharp 7 inch knife
a roll of heavy wire and a spool of thick twine
three compasses, and two small cans of WD40 lubricant
bandaids and Tylenol
four large eye hooks with screw hooks to attach
Four large red rubber screw hooks
matches, matches and more matches
Three plastic rain capes
a shotgun shell, and a small light bulb (for a boat light)
four spark plugs
three pencils and a straw
Salt and Pepper shakers, filled
oh, yes, and the hatchet, not shown in the photo because I had been using it this week.

The "magic box" was repacked and carefully placed back on the shelf, dusted off a bit.  I feel a bit more fulfilled now that I know exactly what is in that box.  If I ever am in an emergency situation, I know that box just might come in handy.

Yes, my Dad was prepared for just about anything out there in the wilds of the woods while hunting deer, rabbits, quail and ducks, and also on the river or the lake trying to catch that big bass. He DID carry the usual items, like flashlights.  But the things in this "magic box" of his must have been trinkets that he thought even the most experienced eagle scout might have use for in the event he found himself in a precarious situation.  Maybe that's why I always felt safe in the company of my Dad.  I knew he would keep me safe, and he always did.  Thanks Dad.  Sure do miss you.

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