Monday, June 19, 2017

Where is Steve?

I saw something shiny in the weeds when I was mowing the field. It was lying on the ground nearly covered completely over with dirt, the only thing showing was one corner and what looked like a belt clip, I had to see what I had found.

I parked the Cub Cadet next to it, climbed off of the tractor, and began to dig around my discovery with a rock. I bet that I was squatted down next to the tractor for a good ten minutes; from the road it probably looked like I was praying to the tractor.

I could have been praying for the blades to be sharp enough to cut the mustard weed. I told you about mustard weed a long time ago, once when I was contemplating being To Old To Cut The Mustard, I could have also been praying that I would be able to drive faster than negative one miles per hour to get through the thick stuff, or I could have just been taking a siesta.

But no I was actually on a mission, I was busy excavating a treasure, uncovering a rare item from some bygone era, this was a serious deal folks. Seeing me squatted down scratching the ground with a rock I bet the neighbors are still wondering, "What the hell is he doing out there?"

As the dirt fell away I found another Forgotten Tool, an old tape measure someone had either lost or thrown away, but how did it end up in our pasture?
Broken tape measure Jimmy found in a field
On the front of the tape measure professionally installed with a label maker is the name “Steve” and underneath there are some more letters possibly spelling out a last name, or maybe something else.

This tape measure could have been part of a fine tool collection in an upscale toolbox years ago, or a member of a working class tool belt. Wherever this tape measure belonged the owner was proud enough to add his name to the tape. So who is, and where is Steve?

Steve could be the tape measures name, maybe the owner had all of his tools named, you know like Harry the hammer, Paula the pliers, Phillips screwdriver, (the owners name is Phillip and he hasn’t thought of a name for the screwdriver yet) and Steve the tape measure to name a few.

These tools could have been working on a project with Phillip and hurriedly put away late in the evening as the sun was going down, years ago I am saying, before we had the property, and Steve was left behind, lying on the ground while the owner drove away in his truck.

The next morning, Phillip could have opened his toolbox to clean and polish the tools, and as he opens the lid with a look of horror on his face he cries, "Where is Steve?"

Or there could have been a young man named Steve working on the property behind ours, this property is actually up on a hill above us, and Steve could have been one of the workers who built that home.

Can’t you see Steve up on a ladder measuring this and that with his tape measure, stretching to find a length and yelling the measurements down to another worker, the worker cuts the materials and then passes the boards up for Steve to nail into place with a fine hammer like Harry.

On one measurement the tip of the tape hangs on the end of a board, Steve yanks and twists, he pulls and yanks some more, finally the tip of the tape breaks off, sending the tape sailing back into the tape measure with a whine and a thunk that tells Steve his Tape measure is now broken.
Broken tape measure lying in the weeds
Frustrated Steve turns and tosses the tape measure into the air, the poor little broken tape measure lands amongst the weeds in our field, face down with his clip facing up into the sky, hiding the name of the worker in the dirt, broken and humiliated the little tape measure cries “Where is Steve?”

About forty years ago there was a lot of fill dirt hauled onto this property to build it up, I have found a lot of small items, like copper tubing and fittings, reflectors, nuts and bolts, just random items, not a lot but usually after a good rain something pops up, this tape measure could have been mixed in with the fill dirt, and forty years later his little clip was finally exposed enough for me to see it,

Scratching around the tape measure with a rock, leaving a hole in the ground in a perfect shape of this tape measure, the little tape measure is finally turned over to have light shine on his front side, the first light he has seen in many years, as his sight clears while I am rubbing the dirt off of the name label, I feel a slight vibration and hear…

Where is Steve?

Have you ever found something and wondered where it came from?

41 comments:

  1. Poor little tape measure. What wonderful things has it helped to build...what dreams brought to fruition with its assistance? Surely it deserved better than to be buried in the muck.

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    1. Yes Delores, being buried in the muck is no way for a hard working tool like this little tape measure to end up.

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  2. That is interesting...I've never known anyone to put his name on his tools, and the type of person who would do that is the type least likely to lose it.

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    1. It's a common practice in factories to label all your tools.

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    2. Hi Joe, like Jean said it is a common practice among workers, especially those providing their own tools, when I worked construction my tapes were marked with my full name, not on the case but on the back of the tape.

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  3. Steve probably labeled his tape measure because he worked with a crew and if they didn't all label their tools one person ended up with them all in his or her tool box.

    Have I ever found anything? For a few years I had a job helping to clean commercial parking lots and you'd be shocked at the things we'd find including a few drunk birds who liked those liquor and beer bottles people toss.

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    1. Hi Jean, I can just imagine what you did find cleaning a commercial parking lot, I bet the drunk birds were pretty comical.

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  4. Labeling or making your tools is very common when more than one man works on a site. My husband had me engrave some of his more pricey hand tools. Hard to believe, but guys lose their tools and actually will help themselves to one that is handy and call it theirs.
    I also had mine marked, to help get them back into my tool box when DH or son 'borrowed' something.
    Older kids are notorious for borrowing tools and losing or breaking them. Ha Ha Ha!

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    1. Yes it was always common around our house for my missing tools to wind up in the possession of our sons also, I have had more borrowed than returned ha ha.

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  5. Yes. I often write about such things. I was saddened to learn a silver dish we brought back from Paris in 1976 was made by a German Jew who didn't survive the Holocaust.

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    1. Hello Stephen, I remember reading that on your blog once, yes this would add a lot of emotion to your find.

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  6. It would be great to know who Steve is/was and his story. I love this type of thing. I've found many things and wondered who lost or threw it away. One mans junk is another mans treasure.

    Have a fabulous day, Jimmy. ☺

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    1. Hey Sandee, one mans junk is definitely another mans treasure, imagine the back stories of everything we have found, this would make an interesting book.

      Good to see you Sandee.

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  7. What an interesting find! In the woods behind our last house, we found a few Matchbox cars from the 1960's. When my husband was a kid, he found some really old glass bottles and a silver salt shaker. We still have them!

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    1. Hey Bijoux, those are some interesting finds for sure, the old matchbox cars have a history, but I am sure the glass bottles do, and the silver salt shakers story would be one to hear.

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  8. Doesn't something like that just set the questions flying? I like your thoughts and cracked up at Paula the pliers, but Jean is probably right. I bought some property in Florida that had once housed a turn of the century school house. I found all sorts of broken toys, tin solders, half horses and doll eyes. Makes you wonder about the long gone owners. At least for a moment Steve lives on.

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    1. Hey Patti, those broken toys had to be an amazing find, I would definitely like to know the stories of their owners.

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  9. I expect Steve was glad to be found after all this time. I can't bring to mind anything that I found that I wondered about, must be something somewhere back in the far reaches of my old brain box but it refuses to come to the surface right now. Enjoyed the read, thanks Jimmy :)

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    1. Hi Denise, I am happy that you enjoyed reading about my bringing the tape measure in out of the field.

      Good to see you my friend.

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  10. Poor Steve! I'm guessing he DID somehow come from a construction site. Whether from being tossed in disgust for being broken, or simply left behind in dirt dug out from a basement, then used as fill elsewhere.

    Have I ever found something and wondered where it came from? Almost. My son found it, and I'm the one who wondered where it came from.

    It was a ROAD ARM.

    http://unbaggingthecats.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-very-special-episode.html

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    1. Hey Val, I just finished reading about the road arm, just think if Hick had seen it he would have brought it home and now you could have used it to slap Crazy Dude ha ha.

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  11. SOmeone left a big stick of bamboo in my driveway once. I never understood it

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    1. Hey Adam, that would be one to wonder about, it's hard to think a big bamboo stick being lost accidentally.

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  12. I'm thinking that is some darn good glue on that label! Truly a mystery.
    A year ago or so I uncovered dinner rolls in our backyard on two separate occasions. Leftovers from the bunny picnic?

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    1. Hello Abby, I think they make a special glue just for labels, can't seem to be able to remove a label from anything, kind of like that red mud we were talking about.

      Dinner rolls in your backyard not once but twice, it very well could be bunnies at work ha ha.

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  13. I have one of those types of tape measures, mine is yellow plastic with a shiny belt clip, I haven't named her yet.
    Years ago when we built a house here in Adelaide, not personally, the builder built it, later in the back yard while digging a vegetable patch we unearthed a few old car parts and the more we dug the more we found, even a door. I think if we'd expanded the veggie patch we might have found the whole car, in pieces.

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    1. Hello River, that is very interesting to me, you very well could have most of a car buried there, I knew a family who dug holes on their property to dispose of a barn they had torn down, (said it was cheaper than hauling it off) so why not a car.

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  14. Jimmy, you have reminded me of how my Dad's tools were all marked with his initials. He was a carpenter-joiner so he carved G.W.T. on everything. He needed to do this, I think, because the price of tools was so high he didn't want anyone else to sneak one and pass it off as their own. He made lots of things for me, a two layer pencil box, an old style desk complete with its own stool, a birdbath style table for flower arrangements, and more when I married and needed furniture. Sorry, I got carried away.

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    1. Good morning Valerie, your Dad marking his tools was a good way to keep them in his own tool box, I remember the expense of buying my tools when I worked construction, and marking them was almost a necessity.

      It sounds like your Dad was a very talented man, a lot of people can build things, but to build furniture and items like you were describing takes a lot more skill than most, you have every reason to get carried away, you are proud of your Dad and that is a good thing.

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  15. Amazing the stories that could be behind a measuring tape. With it having a "label maker" name attached, Its probably at least 25 years old but where and how it was found, im thinking its a lot older than that.
    Fun read!
    Lisa

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    1. Hey Lisa, there are so many stories that can be attached to an item like this tape measure, but like you said where and how it was found dates it, Cindy's Dad bought this property as a vacant three acre parcel in 1978, the imagination goes from there for me ha ha.

      Good to see you Lisa.

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  16. Well, if you see a stranger in the field, it might be Steve, looking for his tape measure. Thanks for stopping by Driller's Place.

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    1. Yes sir, if someone turns up out there I'll have to ask him "Are you Steve"

      It was a pleasure to stop by your place, and I'm honored to have you join us here.

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  17. I wonder maybe a little more then I should...My client Liz got an old box that attach to her place. She using it for decor with flowers and a little frog.
    But me I wonder how many letters did that box get, and how much was there phone bill and such things....Coffee is on

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    1. Yes Dora, objects like this can make you wonder how much they have actually done, like the number of letters and bills this box has held, if we had any way to figure this the number would most likely seem unreal.

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  18. Great post Jimmy! I can't believe you actually made me feel sorry for a tape measure. To answer your question, I find all kinds of stuff during my desert wanderings. Like your tape measure, they fill my head up with questions. Who? Why? When? Where? How?

    poor little lonely tape measure...

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    1. Thank you Pat, I guess I'm saying is that "tape measures have feelings too" ha ha.

      I can just imagine the things you do come across when you are out taking pictures, a lot of history we will never know but still wonder about.

      Good to see you my friend.

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  19. I enjoyed reading your post.
    Wouldn't it be great to know who Steve is/was and his story.
    I wonder if he may have wondered what happened to that particular tape measure ...was he annoyed that he had lost / misplaced it. I think many of us do have our favourite 'tools' e.g. my kitchen scissors and wooden spoon when I'm cooking a meal!

    All the best Jan

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    1. Hi Jan, It would be fun to find out who Steve is, I'm curious as to how long ago this tape measure was possibly lost.

      You are right we do all have our favorite tools, the one you always grab, and to lose one of these is really frustrating.

      Good to see you Jan.

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  20. Well, I think it's a good thing you only found Steve's tape measure, and not Steve himself buried in the ground.

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    1. Oh Lord had I found Steve this would have been a whole different story....Nah I ain't going to dig there.

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