Marvin Lurie

Mr. Russell’s Garage

Mr. Russell had an old garage. It was so old that a modern car wouldn’t fit in it so people used it to store things. Over the years people moved in and out of the house and left those things in the garage. They started out putting possessions in there that they didn’t want to see every day but weren’t ready to put out of their lives forever. But it happened that gradually they did forget and moved away and left behind what they didn’t want to remember anymore. So the garage became stuffed with those things: old irons that didn’t steam, cribs that were outgrown, pieces of a swing sets, vacuum cleaners that were all sucked out, dishes left over from sets that were once whole and used every day, electric can openers and knives, worn down furniture – all the left over pieces of the lives that came and went from the house.

When it got to the point that nothing else would fit, Mr. Russell held a big garage sale. It went on for weeks and people came back from all over to be reminded of the things they left behind. They would say things like “look at this old iron that ma used. I’m going to keep it to remember her.” Or, “grandpa used to sit in this old chair and smoke his smelly cigars. I’m going to take it home and put it in the basement.”

When the garage was empty, Mr. Russell backed a flat bed truck into the garage, put some big screw jacks on the truck bed and six by six posts that reached the rafters on the jacks and lifted that garage right off its foundation. He drove off down the street with it and I never saw it again.


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