of Mail

May 19, 2013

Lunch box/music maker

Lunch box/music maker


The boy I sat next to on the school bus was Shane.
He lived just down the road from me in Lucrino, Italy and because Arturo the bus driver picked us up in front of our house, Shane would often make his way up the hill and wait with me at my stop.

The bus stop

The bus stop

The bus ride to school, up the newly built super highway, “The Tang”, to the brand new Allied Forces School, was often the best part of my day and given it’s destination, obviously the most memorable.
Having driven that same road many times since, I’m struck by how short the distance is, when as a small boy every mornings pilgrimage on Arturo’s bus seemed a major undertaking. In breadth but, looking back now, in scale.
Arturo the bus driver was a small man with an ever ready smile whom we adored. Even my intractable Father, who gave him a bottle of some nice American whisky in a fancy box every year, having the unenviable task of being a parent monitor on the bus. My Father and Arturo would spend the time chatting up front, with my Father only having to turn his withering glare on some poor child that had the temerity to raise their voice above a whisper, to restore good and proper order.
Arturo’s ready smile may be attributed to his never having to interact with little boys with metal lunch-boxes in their laps that became impromptu drum kits once seated.
Shane and I had identical lunch boxes. They led to our being Friends and, in my imaginings, was responsible for Shane’s huge success as drummer for some major rock band. I’ve no idea what became of him but I’d like to think it was that. I do know I was very jealous when his own Father bought him a full drum kit for a birthday and perhaps then a star was born.
I’m always amazed at what takes hold in the memories of our childhoods and a small piece of mine came in the mail today.
Of course not the actual pail but the same model and after taking it from the bubble wrapping and putting it my lap, the very same feeling.
I’m struck with how small it is. I distinctly recall it taking up so much of my lap as Shane and I beat on ours, in time, on the way to school.
Music and smell can often have that effect on me, transporting me back to a specific time, freezing it just for a moment.
So, it seems, can eBay.

One Response to “of Mail”

  1. Alice said

    So true, how the scale of things is so much larger in our memories! For me, it is not objects…but time. I will recall a trip that seemed to go on “the whole summer!” when I was little…only to find it was three days we were on family vacation. In any case, enjoy your lunchbox. I hope you fill it with an absolutely bigger-than-life container of leftover mashy tay-tays. 🙂

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