Monday, October 27, 2008

The Lunch Box - Part Two

“Ralph come look at this,” Char said from a different room. “What is it?” I snapped back. I wasn’t in one of my better moods.

“Just come here a minute” Char replied.

I sat the box down and headed to where she was. As soon as I saw her, I snapped out, “What?”

Smiling she said, “This was your Grandpa’s lunch box.” I stared at it for a minute trying to act nonchalant. Then I saw the bottom of the lunch box and immediately knew it was ‘the one’. Many times, I had shuffled and rummaged through sandwich wrappers, banana peels and apple cores looking for the bottom of that lunch box and the surprise it held. I knew the bottom of that lunch box on sight. I wrote about the lunch box before, the story is located here.

“I’m taking this,” I said to my brother and sister. They looked at me as if I were nuts. One of them showed me where the others were. There were three black metal lunch boxes all belonging to my Grandpa. I took all three but I knew ‘the one’.

Back home, I went to the garage to clean the lunch boxes. I saved ‘the one’ until last. I knew the lunch box was empty - I had already looked inside. Yet, there I sat, a man in his fifties, holding the lunch box of a man who had passed away thirty-nine years ago, wondering what I would find inside.

I slowly opened the lunch box and reached inside. I found the surprise – memories.


Blogger Marla said...

Oh, that's a touching story. I have such fond memories of my Grandparents and have some treasures from their lives!

8:47 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Ahhh,, great, simply great. I am truly happy for this trip you and your memories have been on. Nothing can take away those thoughts.
Thanks for a good piece again Ralph.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Great story Ralph. I can see why it means so much to you. You use to see those types of lunchboxes all the time. My Dad had one too but I don't know what happened to it.

12:30 AM  
Blogger Miki said...

My Dad had one too, although I don't have those memories, but I remember him leaving in the morning and comming home at night, carrying it. I don't know what happened to it either, it wasn't in the basement when we cleaned out the house after my mom passed. Strange...

4:26 AM  
Blogger bobbie said...

Your story brought tears to my eyes, Ralph. Not because of memories I have, but because I have none. I never knew any of my grandparents. I hope my littlest grandson will remember me like that. I think he will, because my daughter tells me that I'm "the fun grandmom". Oh, I know the other grandparents love him as much as I do, but they have a picture-perfect house that mustn't be messed up, etc.

5:46 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

I just re read this. I'm thinking that pail might one of your most treasured possessions. And rightfully so.
I have a few old things. Most people will stand by the garbage can and say, "You still want this?"
"Yeah I want that, put it back." No one understands this kind of stuff like old guys.

8:31 AM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Those are the memories that are the treaured the most, they are worth more than gold.

When my grandmother died, the only thing I wanted, that was hers, was a flannel shirt. She used to wear that shirt to keep warm and she loved it. I still have that shirt and I can wear it and feel her as a part of me. Funny how little things can bring back so many memories.

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ralph ~ I went back and read Part One of this story, which makes Part Two even more poignant. Real treasure, indeed.

My dad had a black lunch box, too... you brought back wonderful memories. His antique pocket watch, which was his father's, is my treasured reminder of times past. ~ Deb

12:14 PM  
Blogger Mountain Mama said...

Your story touched my heart and brought back some very sharp memories for me again, even the smell of my dad's lunchbox. Golly I had totally forgotten about that smell and am surprised that it came back so plainly.
Thanks for a heartwarming story!

7:04 PM  
Blogger Jerry said...

Great story, Ralph.

12:23 AM  
Blogger Granny Annie said...

Oh, my grandpa's lunch box. I cannot type for the tears in my eyes. What great memories you have opened for me too as I stare into your grandps's lunch box. Thank you Ralph.

7:31 AM  
Blogger possum said...

What treasures - the lunch box AND the fact that you do have such a wonderful memory of someone who obviously loved you.
My grandfather was THE man in my early life and I hope he knows how much I loved him! (My father was always off being IMPORTANT in some other part of the world when I was young) Grandpa had a lunch box just like yours. He, too, used to have a surprise in his lunch box for me at the end of the week. And if there wasn't a little piece of cake or pie, there was a note saying I'd won a trip to Tastee Freeze on Saturday!
I figure I was the luckiest kid in the world to have been raised by my grandparents and raised in a home filled with LOVE.
How many kids today have a grandpa who carries a lunch pail, box, or bag today?
I carried my lunch to school for most of my 38 years of teaching... maybe because I saw him do it all those years ago. (Maybe because I am frugal?)
Today, I have few treasures from that time, but they are treasures indeed. Thanks for tugging at my heart strings.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Cheyenne said...

My Dad used to carry one of those when he worked at the Bethlehem Steel...
When I posted that we took the scenic route home, what I meant was it wasn't the normal way that we always go to Jim Thorpe. Of course, that is scenic too, but when you've seen it so many times it becomes hum-drum so we changed things up a bit.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...




7:02 PM  
Blogger Janell said...

Way to go, Pandora. Although, I think we need to rename you because Pandora's Box didn't contain such pleasant things.

If you want to sell one of those extra black lunch boxes, I'll buy one. Bring it with you next time you're out this way.

10:48 PM  
Blogger nora said...

Wow, great story. I love having something that someone you loved touched every day. It is always easy for me to let others have the jewelry and good dishes. I'd much rather have the every day dishes and old decks of cards.
- Nora (I have a ball of twine on a pedestal on my mantel) S.

8:41 PM  

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