When my wife’s parents passed away a few years ago (married over 50 years, and went within a year of each other) we were part of the family crew cleaning out their old house. Which partly inspired the two of us to do some cleaning out of our own, since it’s just bloody amazing the sheer amount of STUFF two people can accumulate in a small space. Despite really not wanting to accumulate more STUFF, there were a few things we claimed. Mrs. Ogre claimed a cameo she had given to her mother as a momento of a school trip to Rome. I took a pair of carvings I did years ago, an American Eagle display I’d made for her dad and a carved cardinal (the bird, not the prelate) made for her mom.
Also stumbled across a package I’d sent them loong ago, containing some of my earliest published work. My in-laws were always supportive and proud of my writing, much more so than my own family, so I got in the habit of sending them things over the years, and I had totally forgotten this lot. This even predated my fanzine work, containing my first ever published story(“The Courtship of Tharga-Roth”) from a college lit. mag called Microcosm and my SECOND ever published story from a pamphlet done as a group project by an early writer’s group that worked out so well I didn’t join another one for over twenty years. The “book” was titled THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN 13 DECATUR SF STORIES IN THIS BOOK, BUT OUR CRAYON BROKE. I swear to Heaven, that’s the title. Our group leader actually sent a copy of it off to Locus, who no doubt did the charitable thing and burned it.
So, hurrah or alas, I have the only known copies of both remaining, so no one else will see them until I’m dead. Or maybe not even then.
I’ve had occasion to see some old stuff of mine I trunked ages ago. It’s an eye opening experience.