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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Gray Samsonite kind of guy

Jerry, Mom and I getting on train at
Albuquerque for trip to Texas
In the 50's, with baggage
"Everybody's got baggage," said a friend at lunch today.
"Yes," I said, "I think mine is old gray Samsonite."
"Yeah, you're sort of a gray Samsonite kind of guy," he said, laughing.
The other friend chimed in.
"Yes, and it's pretty beat up with lots of dents and scratches," she said.
In between laughing, we were talking about people getting older and getting along with others, finding people to live with.
We agreed it was important that people's baggage pretty well match, or at least go together, if it was going to work. (That said, Susan's baggage is a lot classier than mine.)
"Having baggage isn't bad," said one friend.
"Some people have more baggage than others," added the other.
I started thinking about my gray Samsonite life. Not only is it dented and scratched and scuffed, the latches barely work, the handles are flimsy, and the hinges are almost sprung, from being crammed too tight with clothes and stuff  I didn't really need over the years. It squeaks and groans every time it moves.
I usually need to have a rope, or a belt, or strap wrapped around it to hold all the heavy junk in. It's sure not packed neatly, stuff just thrown in, wrinkled at best.
Thinking back, I find it interesting that my parents and aunt gave me two pieces of really good luggage for high school graduation. They knew I was going to travel and needed good luggage to hold all the baggage I would accumulate. Those pieces are long gone now, of course. 
They weren't gray Samsonite, but that's the first image I thought of when we started talking about baggage. I remember bright smiling people in ads in the National Geographic, boarding trains with shiny, perfectly matched Samsonite luggage.
It's no wonder today that I like to travel really light. One small bag, with rollers on it, or a duffel bag is all I need for most trips...even a week long trip to Europe. I hate the weight and having to tote things around. It takes me five minutes to pack. I'm trying to get rid of baggage.
Of course, it takes longer to pack what used to be called an "overnight" bag, carrying medicines and toiletries. You can tell the age of people by what kinds of toiletries they carry. If you're young, you've got a toothbrush, tooth paste, deodorant, a comb and brush, a razor, and some shaving lotion and aftershave. That's all.
Now the container includes all kinds of salves and ointments for various aches and pains, anti-diarrhea medicine, pain killers, stuff for stomach upset, band aids, sore throat medicine, mouth wash, eye drops, hemorrhoid ointment, nail clippers, and much more. Of course now you have to have it in a clear plastic bag if you're traveling by air so everybody can see your personal problems.
Makes you wish for gray Samsonite.


  1. I think you nailed it, about knowing peoples age by the things they pack. When your young you don't always think about packing those meds you just may need during your trip

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