The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

Column: My Big Green Trunk


December 19, 2018

When I was around fix or six years old I received a present for Christmas that I really did not know what to think of.

A few weeks before Christmas a large wrapped box had been placed under the tree with my name on it and I was ecstatic. I can remember thinking about all the wonderful possibilities and could not wait to tear off the wrapping paper to see what was surely something amazing.

When it came time to open presents, I immediately opened this gift and was shocked to see what I would find inside. It was not the Millennium Falcon I had coveted so much, and in fact it was not a toy at all. It was a large green trunk. I was not quite sure what to think and disappointment was probably written all over my face.

After a few sour moments, I figured this could be a great toy box and went on to my next presents, none of which were the Millennium Falcon.

After a few years of storing my toys in the trunk it started to take on another role. It would be the home for my pictures, baseball cards, and other collectibles. The green trunk now had a special place in my heart. As I moved on from elementary school to junior high I started to keep all my favorite books and it was a home for all my yearbooks and various other knickknacks.

By the time I was in high school, I would never really open the green trunk often, but when I did it always brought back so many good memories. Often times I would reread a book, spend hours looking at baseball cards, or perusing my yearbook wondering why on earth I drew a heart around a girls picture because I could not even remember liking her.

When I graduated from high school I was packing for my dorm at the University of Wyoming and I contemplated bringing my big green trunk. My room was small and I thought it might be a little weird so I kept it there. I really wish I would not have done this. To say there were a lot of shenanigans during my freshman year would be an understatement, but as much fun as it was there were times where I was homesick and I wish I could have had my memories.

A few years later I was back home and taking extension classes from the University and had a storytelling class. I wasn't quite sure what to do for a project of telling a story for kids and I remembered my trunk. I found so many books that were perfect and it was probably one of the few times I enjoyed doing "homework".

I would eventually get a place of my own and the trunk followed with me. Unfortunately as time went by I kind of forgot about it. On one move I didn't have room at my new place for all my stuff so I rented a storage shed and the green trunk had a new home.


Unfortunately, I would receive news a few months later that my storage unit had been burglarized. I was devastated to hear the news and see that a lot of my furniture was gone. Then I remembered the trunk and hope and prayed it was still there. It was not. I hope to this day that it is somewhere lost in my mom's basement, but I'm 99.9 percent sure I had it in storage.

Losing the trunk was like losing a lifelong friend and I'm still not happy about it. I should have kept better care of it, but I didn't. I'd give almost anything to have that Christmas present I didn't really care for at first back. It would be so wonderful to take one more trip down memory lane.

With Christmas a few days away, I think I might get the kids a big green trunk. They probably won't like it at first, but maybe it could be a way for them to store their memories. Hopefully they keep a better eye on it than I did.


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