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Thursday, March 17, 2005 

Maurice Snagleys first collection

Maurice Snagley
Maurice was a collector of nonsensical items. He lived to be 97 year old and collected everything from hubcaps to belly button lint. Remind me to show you my sweater sometime.
During the late 80 early 90s when recycling started becoming vogue, he almost suffered a breakdown thinking he would have to give up his aluminum can collection, he was not sure what he would do with that room in his house if he did as it was full of cans. His greatest collection came in the summer of 1936 at the age of 9 with the help of his cousin Sylvester Snagley. This collection almost brought about his untimely demise.

Sylvester and Maurice were slipping around the house one day and discovered that if they climbed up the rose trellis to the rain gutter then shinnied up the rain gutter to the roof there was an opening to the attic from the roof of Moe’s house. As 9 year olds are prone to doing they snooped into the attic and found the normal attic junk. Some old clothes assorted trunks, and then they noticed that if they tight roped the ceiling beams there was a sheet of plywood with several boxes. Sylvester was the first on there and found the boxes contained mason jars that were used for canning fruit and vegetables. All quart jars had lids. Moe started thinking, this is a dangerous activity for any Snagley, it usually means a disaster is in the making. Mo said, “Sylvester I think I have an idea of what we could do with these jars. We could start a collection. We could see how long it would take us to fill all 18-quart jars. Mo sat about filling one right then, as did Sylvester. It was filled less than ¼ full, which was not bad on short notice and empty bladder.

From that day on whenever nature called they would stop what they were doing and run to Moe’s house, climb the trellis, shinny the drainpipe, do the balancing act on the beams and contribute what they could. One day they were swimming at the local creek with the guys when Moe suddenly ran from the water headed home. The guys asked what is up with Moe he shouted I have to go to the bathroom. They were all confused this not being the standard practice among 9 year old kids when playing outdoors at the time, but Moe was a Snagley and no one really wanted to know what was going on in his mind. This continued during to the end of summer when Moe and Sylvester were topping off the next to last jar. Moe wondered how he could ask his mother for more quart jars without raising suspicion. Then Sylvester heard the sound of a ladder being put up on the side of the house. It was Moe’s father George. George was built like a fireplug and had a temper that was shorter than a Gnats hiccup. He got to the top of the ladder and said to Margaret his wife,” lord woman you left this attic door open again. It’s a wonder we don’t have opossums living in here.” Margaret was used to this and ignored him completely and made her way back inside to the kitchen to start supper.

George stuck his head into the dark attic and decided to look around. Moe and Sylvester who were more than acquainted with George’s temper, hid in the back of the attic under the cover of darkness. George was balancing his way to the plywood, He was shouting to Margaret that whatever she was storing in these quart jars was going to spoil simmering in this heat. He reached down and got a jar. He mumbled that it seemed to be some kind of juice. He open jar with to see what it was. This particular jar had been simmering since early spring when Moe and Sylvester made their first contribution to the esteemed collection. When he opened the jar tears immediately came to his eyes. He staggered back blinded and gagging overturning the plywood and crashing down through the sheetrock ceiling onto the floor of Margaret’s kitchen, followed by the entire summer work of Moe and Sylvester which came crashing down into a cloud of toxic fumes and a noxious showers.

Sylvester decided he was tired of playing with Moe and he thought it was about time to go home. Moe decided it was a good time to visit Sylvester’s family for a few weeks. Margaret and George had to move out into the barn for the night even after cleaning up the mess it was too stinky to stay in there. It took the rest of the summer before Moe was able to sit at the table for supper again, and it was not because of the smell.
Snagley out

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