A Ratty Backpack and Two Fading IDs.

This old dude leads a rich, satisfying life. Each morning I worship at the altar of recollection. Today, I came upon three antiques that set my remembering back and forth like the steel marble in a pinball machine.

In the back closet I came across the backpack from my Boy Scout days, now faded and stained. It has followed me around over 80 years. Father bought it for my first campout with Troop 18. I was 12. Who could imagine that those early campouts would lead to canoe, horseback, and backpack treks in wilderness from Maine to Alaska with men and boys tagging along. Check out www.lloydsstorytree.org.

The other antiques showed up in a neglected file folder: my original Social Security card—signature still legible–and a plastic-coated security ID—fingerprint on the back, photo on the front. My job on the bull gang at Zenith Dredge required it–we were building Coast Guard ships. Date on the card: December 3, 1942, two weeks after Elsie and I married.

The strategy that led us to marry failed (the Military turned me down) but the lessons learned those first years together set us up for 66 years of adventure-filled ministry.

The pack is too ugly for my living room, but the IDs add depth and texture to my remember shelves, providing me with endless ponder fodder.

Old Grandpa Lloyd