Advertise Here


Cleaning Kershner’s desk

I moved in the newsroom this week to the desk formerly occupied by Jim Kershner, our own walking historian, now retired from the newspaper but writing history, still, for us and others.

He had cleaned out his desk pretty well but left behind about 12 files. I'm pretty sure he didn't forget or need them, because we talked about what items he would be coming to collect over the weekend and he didn't collect these.

I looked through each file before pitching them all. One contained photos from an Elvis impersonator. Another had ideas for his column, dated 1992. One of his ideas: “Cars that are smarter than you.”

Cleaning out his files made me miss him even more and it also helped me pitch many of my own files because I realize I won't need them. I flashed ahead to the time when we're all older people and then when we have passed on and our children and grandchildren will be charged with giving away our things. Or throwing them away.

We leave. Our belongings remain. And then they leave, too. Reused or ditched. This is life. And death.

My conclusion: Best to clean stuff out as you move along in life. Easier said than done. Anyone have tips on how to pitch files?

Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to EndNotes

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

Ask a question: Catherine welcomes questions about aging issues and grief. Email her at

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
Advertise Here