Blog: An Antique

Burt Ross

I just returned from a trip back East, where I stayed at one of those New York City boutique hotels—you know, where the dogs outnumber the human guests. One sits in the lobby sipping coffee watching the dogs sniffing each other. Life doesn’t get any better than that.

I was in the elevator when a father, mother and their prepubescent son all rolled in their luggage. I have a compulsion to speak with strangers in elevators. I cannot control it, and so I said to the young lad, “I was alive when luggage had no wheels.”

The boy’s eyes opened wide and bulged as if he were suffering from a hyper-thyroid condition. You would have thought I had told him, “I rode dinosaurs as a young man.” I am not sure he had ever heard anything so amazing in his young life.

When I left the elevator, I noticed a couple of those ancient, black, manual typewriters situated on tables in the lobby. There was paper in each typewriter and I thought I might just write myself a column. Then I noticed that these typewriters were there for decorative not functional purpose. They were being displayed as antiques.

Something I used throughout my younger days was being displayed as an antique. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that virtually everything I enjoyed in my youth was now a valuable antique, from my Lionel trains and baseball trading cards to my parents’ automobiles. Even the dish washer and the black and white television had value. Had I taken everything in the house I grew up in and put it in storage, I would be worth more than Jeff Bezos. (After his divorce, but not before it.)

And then I had the rudest awakening. The more I thought about it, the more I could come to just one conclusion–I, too, am an antique.