While the Not Now Silly Newsroom is now a mix of digital and analog, there was a time when it was 100% analog.
As a semi-hoarder, I still have most of the paper I generated during The Analog Years, a 3-decade period when I did a lot of freelance writing. It’s all in a 4-drawer, forest green file cabinet, which stands 53 inches tall, 14.25″ wide and 24″ deep, stuffed to the gills.
I say “all”, but it’s only been like that as of yesterday because for the last 12 years I’ve not had access to my file cabinet. During that time I just chunked all my research — and ephemera — into 2 big banker’s boxes. Because I could no longer find what I needed in those boxes, I decided to finally file all that paper where it truly belonged.
Consequently, last week I spent 2 hours integrating one of the banker’s boxes into the file cabinet into alphabetical order. Yesterday I spent another 2 hours with the 2nd banker’s box. Now all my files are integrated again. Peace reigns again over the kingdom.
While filing all of these documents I came across some real treasures and some real oddities, both of which reflect my obsessions. In the treasures category are pictures that my children drew. After they left from a weekend visit, I always collected every scribble they and dropped it into a file under N, for NOSTALGIA.
However, the NOSTALGIA file has far more than children’s drawings. There are many magazines I’ve saved, from those with Barack Obama on the cover, to magazines with obituaries of my favorite artists.
However, it’s the oddities that I plan to highlight over several Throwback Thursdays, because they illuminate some of my more bizarre obsessions.
First up this Thursday:
The TOUPEE File
I have been fascinated by toupees as long as I can remember. At one time I collected everything I could find on toupees, even to the point of corresponding with a variety of hair-piece companies. I attempted to sell a freelance article on “Toupees and the Men Who Wear Them”, or “Hair Today; Gone Tomorrow”, or “Toupee Or Not Toupee”. It didn’t matter what I called it; I could never convince a single publication that it would be freelance dollars well-spent for this kind of insightful material.
I’m convinced all those editors had a really bad rug and didn’t want to insult them.
Regardless, the file eventually grew to be an inch thick. Clipped to the outside was a running tally of every Hollywood star who wore a rug. There’s enough material in this file that I might be able to sell an article on toupees after all. Here’s just a small sample of the material, because I couldn’t include it all.
My Freedom of Information requests from the City of Miami are beginning to add up, not to mention all the other costs of researching systemic racism and corruption in Coconut Grove