I admit it: I'm a total geek. I love electronics, programming, 3D art, vintage Apple hardware, and whisky. I'm always juggling half a dozen projects. I also enjoy documenting it all: my successes, my failures, my experiences... and everything geeky along the way.

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Do You Keep a Memory Box? | Kevin Rye.net - Main

Kevin Rye

Geek Extraordinaire. Yeh, I said it.

Do You Keep a Memory Box?

Do you keep a memory box full of treasures from your past? I hope you do!


Look at that! What a treasure trove of goodies! Most of this stuff is from my childhood. There’s been a few recent additions, but most of it is as old as I am. Usually when I add something, I just open the lid, toss it in, close it, and forget about it. I don’t regularly go through it. I do that maybe every 5 years or so. I sit down with it and thoroughly go through it and take a walk down memory lane.


I’m not going to bore you will all of it, but just some of the cool things I found.

This is a wafer of chips from back when my Dad worked at Pico Electronics in Scotland during the mid-to-late 70s. It’s a pretty neat item and worthy of a post of its own.


An original 1979 Boba Fett. This is the one and only Star Wars figure I still have. When my brother and I were kids we had all of them. And I mean all of them! My Mom used to present us with a new figure pretty much every day we got home from school until we had them all.

Sadly, one year we moved and my Mom asked us if we still wanted our Star Wars stuff or were we too old for them? At the ripe old age of about 10 and 13 we were into Metallica, Iron Maiden, and hanging out and were too cool for action figures, so we let my Mom give all of our stuff to her friend’s son. If we’d only known how much they’d fetch on eBay 20 years later.

Boba Fett in this condition only goes for about $15-20 bucks. Being one of my favorite figures of all time, and the last of its kind, it’s priceless.


This is a Unisonic LC-281 calculator from the early 80s. My Mom got it as a prize or something. It was probably free with a checking account or a time-share. Who knows? All I know is that I wanted it for years! It was just the coolest thing. Who’s ever seen a calculator that small? It measures 2.125” x 1.75”. A marvel of modern technology! I was so happy when she finally gave it to me.


These will probably end up in my kids’ memory boxes. My Dad gave them to me when I was old enough to not kill myself with them. The blades are pretty dull, but still. They were probably my Grandfather’s.

The large knife is stamped: DECORA-SOLINGEN Made in Germany D.B.G.M.
The small one: Richards Sheffield England

Richards was founded in the 1930s. They were bought out in the ’70s, so I gather it’s probably from the 50-60s.

The DECORA-SOLINGEN one used to have a nice leather sheath, but my brother lost it. A search online revealed that anything stamped “D.B.G.M.” means it was made after 1950.


I always wanted a pocket watch as a kid. They were just so old school and vintage. I loved them. I was so happy when I got one for Christmas. I had to stop using it because the battery died and I could never figure out as a kid how to open it. Years later I had another go at it. While I did figure out how to get to the battery, the contacts broke off when I removed it. I should have just left it alone.


Here’s a medal from my Black Belt days. It’s from a tournament I went to in 1989. I had my trophies stored in a crawl space for years. When I moved I ended up throwing them all out. All the glue had dried up. The name plates had fallen off, and all the nuts and bolts holding them together were rusty. I might have a plaque or two in a box somewhere, but this is definitely the only medal I have.


What kid didn’t have a lucky rabbit’s foot? Complete with patches of green Silly Putty.


I thought this might be worth a pretty penny, but more than likely it’s not since it’s such an obscure thing. And it’s made of brass, not gold. My suspicions were confirmed when I found one on eBay for $5 and another for $15. My brother’s teacher gave it to him one year for something. Not in 1979 like it’s dated, but sometime in the mid-80s. He didn’t want it, so he gave it to me. I thought it was the coolest thing. I also thought it was made of solid gold!


Any kid flying British Airways in the ‘80s was in the Junior Jet Club. You used to get to wear these cool pins, get your log book signed, and hang out in the cockpit. You used to also get a pretty hefty activity book to keep you busy on the flight.

It’s too bad mine has some ink on it. Or is it melted crayon? Whatever it is, it doesn’t come off with rubbing alcohol.


What? You never put a quarter on the railroad tracks? You never lived!


I also have my hospital bracelet from when I was born. I guess I was right when I said, “some of this stuff is as old as I am”!


Another one from the early to mid ‘80s. I scored this cute little turtle in a Christmas cracker one Christmas in Scotland. My sister’s been trying to beat me for it for over 20 years. She can’t have it! I love this little thing. Maybe I’ll put it in my will.


My Dad gave this watch to me. The strap broke and went missing many moons ago. It’s a GCE Game-Time watch from 1982. It plays 4 games (Firing Squad, Missile Strike, Alien Assault, and BlastAway). Basically clones of Pong and Breakout, etc. I’m amazed it still works. There’s one on eBay right now going for $200 bucks. Granted, it’s mint-in-the-box. I guess this little guy is worth a little bit of coin.


If you were a kid in the ‘80s you loved the Ghostbusters! This bookmark is dated 1984.


Also being a kid in the ‘80s, you loved collecting Garbage Pail Kids. These were all the rage. I sold all mine on eBay years ago, but I kept the first one that I every got for nostalgia. A friend in 4th grade gave it to me and got me started collecting them.

Janet Planet, Series 2 from 1985.


I also found 2 more fossils I forgot I even had. I guess I’ll have to move these out of the memory box and into the fossil collection. I kept this one in the memory box as a kid because it actually belonged to my Dad. He collected fossils as a kid, which is probably why I collected fossils as a kid.


I found this one on the side of the road when we stopped for a break on a long car ride back from somewhere.


Ah memories!

If you haven’t started a memory box, time capsule, whatever you want to call it, you should. It’s not too late. Go through boxes and drawers and round up all the old stuff from your childhood that you can find and throw them in a box. Keep them safe all in one spot. Random things scattered throughout the house in boxes and drawers is a good way to lose them. Especially when you’re moving or something. People have a natural inclination to indiscriminatly toss things out because “who needs that old thing anymore?” It’s not about needing it. It’s about holding something in your hand and remembering a place, or a time, or a friend.

PS When your kids say it’s OK to throw something out because they’re too old for it, maybe stick it in a box in the attic for them for another time. Start a memory box for them. Maybe 20 years from now, they’ll thank you for it.