Speaking of cleaning, sometimes cleaning can go too far, especially when you have no control over what gets tossed. One of the those too soon tossed things I wish I had now is my uncle's olive drab shirt from the army. I used to wear it like a jacket on the weekends when I was in high school.
While not as embellished as this poster from Joseph, it was original nonetheless. Emblazoned over the patch pocket of the shirt was my uncle's last name--Gonzalez. My uncle was smart because he enlisted, was promptly sent to Germany, and never went to Vietnam. He spent his time traveling the continent and worked as a Paymaster.
I sewed all kinds of patches on the thing: a purple and yellow twin angel logo from Jesus Christ Superstar, a peace sign, and I placed a huge embroidered sun on the backside. It also had many Juarez technical school mascot pins, plus a pin that said, “Bull.”
Sometimes general purging is not what is warranted and I found that out about a year and one child later after I married. One day, I looked for the shirt and discovered, to my sadness, that everything, not just the shirt that I left behind had disappeared—all were victims of my mother’s over-zealous house cleaning. While I still have the patches, but the shirt completely disappeared.
Still, one good thing about cleaning things yourself, apart from "owning the purging process," is that you recover items squirreled away, things segregated from other things for some good reason at the time but now, you cannot remember why they were put away in the first place. Thus is the solution to what was in a box under my nightstand, evidence of a minidisc project long forgotten. Oh well, at least now I know where that other Dave Brubeck went, not to mention the Nick Drake box set...