The Drip Pan

One of my clients called late this morning asking if I would have time to meet with one of his customers who is in need of some real estate advice.  With an hour or two to kill, I told him to send him down if he had time.  About 15 minutes later, a tall elderly gentleman walked into my office asking for me.  We did our introductions and then walked back into my office.

It took about a half hour or so to get the answers to his questions written down with some notations.  I then went on to give him possible options for resolving his real estate dilemma.  When finished, he thanked me immensely and then asked if I had time to hear a few of his life stories.  I said, “Sure.”, and so the stories began.

After listening to him for well over an hour, I was once again reminded how many exceptionally intelligent and well traveled people we have living under the radar in our small city.  While sharing, he’d stop himself once in a while and say, “Now remember, I’m not making these stories up. They’re real.”  Without a doubt, I was “wowed”!

Being well enough read over these years, I didn’t question the authenticity of his life stories, because unbeknownst to him, one of his travels and occupations was during a time in history which I did a great deal of reading about afterwards.  When he got up and started walking out he said, “I hope I didn’t take up too much of your time today.”  I told him to stop back any time if ever in the mood to continue on with his life experiences.  After he left I had a distinct “feeling” our paths would be crossing again and again, and I think that’ll be just OK.

My late afternoon appointment took me out to preview a vacant home.  While walking thru that 1920’s bungalow, I was quite impressed by the condition and beauty of its never-been-painted oak woodwork.  It marvels me at times to see how homes that are a 100+- years old managed to survive the 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s where the owners were hell-bent on painting their woodwork so to make them appear more “modern”.  I’ve done more stripping of sinfully painted old growth hardwoods over the years than I’ll ever want to start remembering or sharing.

While walking down the back entry on my way to the basement, to my delight I noticed the home’s original wooden icebox still intact.  Now that was a sight worth me taking a photo and sharing.  Very rarely anymore do we find them still in place, and if there is one, nearly every buyer in these times have no idea what they are.

Back before electric refrigeration, people would have a block of ice delivered thru an outside hatch door into that unit so they could keep their fresh veggies and meats from spoiling.  I opened the ice box doors and noticed even the wire racks were still there.  Of course the back hatch had been sealed off and extra styrofoam insulation had been inserted at its bottom.  There’s a long narrow hinged door at the below which when opened, was where the drip pan was kept. Of course, that pan was no longer there.

Now, you believe you have it so hard in these times?  Just think how many times you’d have to empty a drip pan that was continually being filled by the dripping of water from those endless melting blocks of ice over a year’s time.  And people think that housewives in those days didn’t have just as big or bigger jobs than their working husbands. Do the math! Remembering to empty their drip pans was just one small job of all the many on-going duties that had to be performed along with countless others that no longer exist today due to our modern technologies.  The above photo is of that icebox which was manufactured in Waterloo, Iowa, and most certainly worthy of social conversation.

Joe Chodur

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