What’s in the Trunk?

Pearl Harris

No, not the trunk of the car – it’s what the old trunks used to hold. They were always a kind of mystery to me. It seems that whatever was valuable was put in a trunk and locked. What brought these memories of trunks back to me was a picture of an antique trunk being used in front of a sofa – I suppose like we use coffee tables. I was visiting with a friend whose son was home from Texas and who brought some photos of his home. It seems he bought this big beautiful two-story house built in 1925 and has furnished it with beautiful antique furniture. I saw this picture of the trunk and I began remembering my childhood and my relation to trunks. We had no closets in our home and our good clothes were folded and put in dresser drawers or in trunks. Anything of value was usually put in one of the three trunks at our house. One was a big rounded or dome shaped top. It held the “Sunday Best” clothes. One other older trunk held quilts when they were not being used in the summertime. I think the other one just held “things” we didn’t need – but don’t throw out because you might need them?  My best recollection of trunks and most recent – if you call 70 years recent – was a little blue “steamer trunk”. When my husband was stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, he called and said he needed me out there. Well, I didn’t even have a suitcase – I never needed one – I hadn’t been anywhere. So I bought this little blue metal steamer trunk from my sister-in-law and put what clothes I had in it and boarded a train for Wichita Falls. There was snow on the ground when I arrived – no taxis were able to get on the streets. Our room was 12 blocks from the train depot. How was I going to get to our room with snow on the sidewalk. Needless to say there was no blue paint on the bottom of the trunk – but we got to our room. Afterwards, we moved into an apartment and the trunk went with us. It made it to Texas, Florida, Shreveport, LA, Lake Charles, LA and back to El Dorado, AR and then to Bernice, LA when he returned home and World War II ended. I gave the trunk back to my sister-in-law and that is the end of my trunk story. I’m thankful that I got to see the picture of the antique trunk in my friend’s beautiful home and I’m thankful for the wonderful memories it brought back to me. Wasn’t God so good to give us the part of our brain to hold such good memories.  “Thanks for the memories”.

P. S. My curiosity got the best of me and I asked this young man what he kept in his coffee table trunk. To my surprise he told me it was empty. So that is the first empty trunk I’ve been in contact with.


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