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© JamesHarmon McQuilkin
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Likes 18
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More of JamesHarmon McQuilkin’s Photos

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Photo Info
UploadedDecember 19, 2012
TakenDecember 19, 2012
Exposure1/4 sec at f/16
FlashNo Flash
Focal Length22.2 mm
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

Even though the true meaning of menagerie has more to do with a collection of animals, I've always stretched it a bit to include all collections of varied and/or electic-natured items. In this case it is an old cigar box (I saved from the 70's, while working in the tobacco industry) filled with years of undisgarded items collected for the purpose of using....someday. This box is only one of many collection examples I possess; however, one that is left over from my many years of teaching. It also only represents a potion of the contents in the box--in order to show the variety. Long before I was a teacher I was a 'saver'. I hate the term 'Pack Rat', because it represents someone who is dirty, disgusting, and worst of all--unorganized. I have always collected things, and some things have even been the typical collector's type items like: coins, stamps, cards, box tops, gum wrappers...etc. I'll even admit to being a bit of a romantic---saving anything with sentimental value. Yet, the things in my Menagerie Box represent items that have both symbolic and real value. For instance: The coins are ones that were tossed at me by students who heard I still picked up loose change from the ground. (Heh, who's laughing now my little beauties?) The rest are items I either found, were left behind by someone, left over from a project, or given to me by someone who didn't have the patience to store it. However, as far as differenciating between a saver, a Pack Rat, and even a Hoarder, for me everything has its place:Tubs, boxes, containers, coffee cans, baby food jars, tobacco cans and cigar boxes, shoe boxes--in attics, basements, closets, sheds, under the bed.....organized and out of sight. Mostly everything is labled, identified, organized, and categorized; however, something is just a little bit different with the Memagerie Box. Maybe it's the adventure of digging through it to find that special screw left over from a 1986 science project that I need all of a sudden. Maybe it's because I like to rummage my hands through my own personal buried treasure once in a while, just to reasure myself it's still there and that I am the king. Maybe when someone else needs a left-handed nailclipper, and I can reach into my bag of tricks and pull it out, raise it into the sky, and shout 'How do you like me now"--and be the hero just for once brief moment in time. Maybe I'm just a cheap ol' bastard who's just too damn lazy to drive to the store. Maybe it's all of the above, and it's just too damn much fun to be anything else. PS: If you see something you need, now's a good time to start a box of your own. Thanks for lookin' though. JH

40 responses

  • Carlo Pagan

    Carlo Pagan gave props (19 Dec 2012):

    Cool!! I believe that in every home there is a drawer like this!!

  • Dirk Fuhrmann

    Dirk Fuhrmann (Deleted) gave props (19 Dec 2012):

    What a mixture of things!

  • Donna Mullins

    Donna Mullins (Deleted) gave props (19 Dec 2012):

    My drawer is called the what not drawer. So named because what is NOT in there ? Nothing. In other words.....EVERYTHING imaginable is in there! We all like to hold on to our "treasures". I so enjoyed this photo and your wonderful narrative. I doubt seriously that you are a cheap ol B. either, just a collector of cool stuff like the rest of us. :-)

  • Lynn E. Harvey

    Lynn E. Harvey gave props (19 Dec 2012):

    I love love love this...we all, (mostly all), have a pack rat moment in our lives and this is just the very best of explanations and display!!! super cool.

  • Laurie Self

    Laurie Self (Deleted) gave props (19 Dec 2012):

    Great stuff! I, too, am a collector, mostly of the weird, and it is all in boxes or display cases, and even Tupperware containers

  • Bruce Wendler

    Bruce Wendler gave props (19 Dec 2012):

    Teaches us that treasure is relative

  • Raymond Fausel

    Raymond Fausel gave props (20 Dec 2012):

    cool shot

  • rekha nag

    rekha nag gave props (20 Dec 2012):

    My God!! What a collection!!

  • Susan Littlefield

    Susan Littlefield gave props (20 Dec 2012):

    A fabulously eclectic collection of treasures. I LOVED your narrative!!

  • Dunja Kolar

    Dunja Kolar gave props (20 Dec 2012):

    great photo!!like it

  • Leslie Hunziker

    Leslie Hunziker gave props (20 Dec 2012):

    it looks to me that there are a lot of treasures you saved! awesome shot.

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (20 Dec 2012):

    I don't think you could be a photographer without being a collector....It takes a collection to make a good picture like this.

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (20 Dec 2012):

    Rockin' JPG's Treasure Trove!

  • Andrea Silies

    Andrea Silies gave props (21 Dec 2012):

    Got that....don't have that....don't know what that is...kinda fun looking at your stuff :)

  • Nancy Richard

    Nancy Richard gave props (21 Dec 2012):

    I remember my "junk drawer" (Every kitchen needs one, but gotta admit you've got me beat on this one, James). Great theme entry!

  • lowison

    lowison gave props (22 Dec 2012):

    Creative confusion!

  • Hilda Cox

    Hilda Cox gave props (22 Dec 2012):

    wow !!! we are not the only ones that have junk drawers too !!!

  • Paul Farley

    Paul Farley gave props (23 Dec 2012):

    Great your composition and description.

  • Susan B. Griffith

    Susan B. Griffith   said (23 Dec 2012):

    Love the shapes in this composition.

  • Pedro Teixeira

    Pedro Teixeira gave props (23 Dec 2012):

    Brutal composition and story too...I really like this photo!!! Merry Christmas,JamesHarmon!

  • Sarah Springer

    Sarah Springer (Deleted) gave props (23 Dec 2012):

    That's a major junk drawer for sure...organized chaos is truly the sign of genius...amazing the stories behind the collection

  • Patty Gross

    Patty Gross (Deleted) gave props (23 Dec 2012):

    This is a perfect photo for this theme, James!! It is so interesting I can look at it for hours. Also, your narrative is very descriptive and captivates the reader. Very nicely done my friend!!!!

  • Yaz Hawkins

    Yaz Hawkins said (23 Dec 2012):

    I think I got more than one of this drawer in my basement! Good one, James!

  • Michele Wambaugh

    Michele Wambaugh (Deleted) said (24 Dec 2012):


  • Anastasiia Kononenko

    Anastasiia Kononenko said (25 Dec 2012):

    Nice ! )

  • Dennis Burlingham

    Dennis Burlingham gave props (25 Dec 2012):

    I used to have tons of this stuff. In all my moves I was forced to get rid of most of it. I am down to one small drawer.

  • Bailey Cooper

    Bailey Cooper said (26 Dec 2012):

    I could likely duplicate every single item in the box. There are things that are in yours and mine that I love just because of the work each can do... like the Allen wrench... unique, useful, and irreplaceable. I also love the pearl hatpin/stickpin and the Peacock bookmark. In these collections there is always at least one holiday represented (in your case Christmas) and items that survive into their extinction (fuses, machinery belts). Plus, what kind of teacher would you be without at least one piece of chalk (right)? But most of all I love the box itself. Not just any old cardboard cigar box... a wooden cigar box beautifully constructed and well preserved. Oh yes... and I enjoyed every single revealing word... I didn't skip even one. Such a great entry and deserving of recognition.

  • Ron LaFond

    Ron LaFond gave props (28 Dec 2012):

    Stuff! I love stuff! There are so many great stories in a box of stuff. Great image, James. R

  • Paperini Renato

    Paperini Renato gave props (29 Dec 2012):

    An incredible variety of small objects, probably unusable. These are still the precious things that make sense, because we know them and we do not change your life by throwing them away.

  • Heather Mellon

    Heather Mellon   gave props (2 Jan 2013):

    Great stuff and a great narrative.. perfect for the theme! Love treasure troves like this, they really come in handy at times, too..

  • Roger  D. White Jr.

    Roger D. White Jr. gave props (2 Jan 2013):


  • Pilar Flores

    Pilar Flores said (6 Jan 2013):

    Great collection of little treasures!

  • Massimo Bardelli

    Massimo Bardelli   gave props (6 Jan 2013):

    Perfect entry!! And a big treasure!

  • Anton Purba

    Anton Purba gave props (7 Jan 2013):

    Creative shoot!! Same what i have on my tool kits box...:)

  • rafi rose

    rafi rose gave props (9 Jan 2013):

    such is life ... always trying to organize

  • Stephen Zacker

    Stephen Zacker said (13 Jan 2013):

    Like all the shapes and colors

  • Shelley Tucker

    Shelley Tucker gave props (13 Jan 2013):

    love this

  • Harsh Wardhan

    Harsh Wardhan said (26 Jan 2013):

    Rich & lovely

  • Victor Dominguez Farias

    Victor Dominguez Farias (Deleted) gave props (5 Feb 2013):

    Great stuff. Those are things I always like... Recycles .....

  • miguel ramos

    miguel ramos gave props (16 Sep 2013):

    Nice, and thanks for the visit

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