Some things we come by the easy way, some the hard way. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve experienced both extremes. I’ll explain with reference to the photo below: Left to right,
Primus 71 with accompanying Edelweiss cook kit of wind screen and 3 nesting pots. The set of choice among my hiking/climbing buddies in our teenage years and later.
Optimus 8R – well known to many of you.
Optimus No. 45, about which I know very little.
Dietz No. 2 Cold Blast
Coleman 200A USFS lantern (2/’73)
Coleman 200A USFS lantern (4/’68)
The Coleman items were the easy ones. A friend (one of my old climbing buddies) had a friend who was cleaning out his garage. Knowing I was interested in such things, he texted asking whether I wanted the stove. I said sure, I’ll take it, mainly because he was kind enough to think of me (I already have three Ds – okay, 4 now). I only had to drive 200 miles one way to pick it up. Then, a month or two later, he texted me with a picture of a 200A and asked whether I wanted it, too. It was coming from the same garage cleaning friend of his. I had to drive that way anyhow (see below), so I went by to pick up the stove and lantern. But when I got there, he had a second 200A, and both happened to be USFS lanterns. What could be easier?
Now the hard ones. My 92-year-old father-in-law had to leave his home of 60 years to move here into a ‘retirement home.’ He was my boss before he was my FIL and he was a climbing buddy before he was my boss and he was a hiking buddy before he was a climbing buddy. We went to the same church before that, so he has been in my life probably since I was about 5 years old (longer than that for my wife lol). The move is hard enough emotionally, but the pandemic puts it on a whole new level. The Dietz is probably from his childhood home, but no one knows for sure. The Ford wrench probably came from the family car. The stoves will be reconditioned/restored and offered up to any of his grandchildren who will actually use them.
By the way, note the graphic on the No. 45 tin. For those of you who have been wondering how to write ‘Optimus’ in the Persian alphabet, now you know.