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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Show-n-Tell


Two weeks ago, my sister’s family drove in from Kansas for their yearly summer visit, and the week was capped off by a barbecue at my parent’s house.

At some point during the meal, my mother started talking about cleaning out the stuff in the basement, wondering if she could send some of it to Goodwill. In particular, she asked if she could send off the Show-n-Tell. “Does it still work?” we asked. And nothing would do except for my sister and I to fetch it out of the basement and dust it off.

“What is it?” our kids asked.

“This is an iPod Nano from the ‘70’s,” I replied. “It played music and videos.” I held up a plastic filmstrip and the adults laughed. The kids didn’t get it.

But my sister and brother and I were really excited. We put on the Wizard of Oz record and inserted the film strip. The film no longer moved by itself, but the record played, and Laurie and Brian and I all chimed in with the dialogue. We still remembered it by heart.

“So, can I send it to Goodwill?” my mother asked.

“Goodwill doesn’t want it,” my father said. “Just throw it away.”

Meanwhile, my husband and brother-in-law were already surfing eBay on their phones. “No, no, no!” they hollered. Even though it’s not completely functional, it’s worth some money – for parts – and for all the records we have to go along with it.

So, of course, now it’s sitting in my front room, until we decide what to do with it. Next family gathering, we’re going basement diving – for the Micronauts, the Space Lab 1999, the Six Million Dollar Man Lunar Module … Who knows? I could see us scoring dinner at a 5-star restaurant in Philly with the proceeds.

And of course, there are some things we would never sell … the Star Trek Enterprise playset, the 12-inch Star Wars dolls, and our entire set of – ahem – Dungeons and Dragons Manuals.

What’s in YOUR parents’ basement?

9 Responses to Show-n-Tell

  1. Linda G. says:

    Collector’s items, all! If you have it, somebody out there will pay good money for it someday.

    At least, that’s what I tell myself when I look into MY basement… 😉

  2. Original D&D manuals?!?! Priceless.

  3. Wow, I’ve never even seen that before. Cool blast from the past.

  4. My parents are both gone, so I reckon our house is the repository of all things wild, wonderful, and antique. (Like US!) Little by little, our kids are taking stuff home with them, though. Like the old Pong game. Our son and his family have all the latest gadgets, but he was tickled to death when we let him take that. Go figure.

  5. JEM says:

    We didn’t have a basement, but we had front closets and attics, and let me tell you: when we moved into our house, my mom showed up with ALL of those boxes. Mine was a lot of stuffed animals and Sailor Moon dolls. Although I would never give away my Sailor Moon dolls.

  6. Sun Singer says:

    I keep waiting to find something in my basement, attic, garage or closet that’s worth $100000000 on eBay or the Antiques Road Show. So far, nada. Maybe your game will fetch a few dollars, though.

  7. KrysteyBelle says:

    Wow! I have never heard of a Show n Tell, and I’m sure they were still around when I was little.

    I still have my Strawberry Shortcake collection. There’s a reason that stuff was considered pink gold in the 80’s. Some of it’s worth a fortune on ebay. I also have some Barbie’s and outfits from the 60’s, but when we cleaned out my grandparents’ house, a lot of my stuff had to go.

  8. Marva Dasef says:

    Good thing you all were there to stop the big giveaway. If Goodwill or other org recognizes collectibles when they see them, it would be great for them. Alas, they could be like your father and decide to dump it.

    Doesn’t EVERYBODY watch Antique Roadshow, Pickers, Pawn Star, etc.? Facinating.

  9. Well, my parents died long ago, but I do have some things from my childhood in my basement. I have all of my Barbie stuff — Barbie doll, Ken doll, Barbie house etc. I spent hours playing Barbies with my friends. Sweet memories! Have a blessed week.