Once again I was struggling for a topic to cover in this month’s Editor’s Log. I revisited a few old ones I had begun before the original thought train got derailed, but nothing seemed to fit. Nearing the deadline, which is often times enough to kick my brain into gear, I was still at a loss so I read what New Jersey editor, Jim Hutchinson, Jr. had written in his Editor’s Log to see if it would give me the necessary spark that I sought.
Jim’s November log is interesting as he tells the story of a new pair of waders he recently acquired. At face value it may not seem like a real page-tuner, but give it a read if you haven’t already done so; I’m sure it will entertain you as it did me.
Anyway, as I was reading along I had that “ah-hah” moment when it came to me: buckets and coolers! You see, in Jim’s Editor’s Log he talks of his past difficulties in the wader department and how he had a very old and leaky pair which his wife wasn’t so fond of. This immediately made my mind jump buckets and coolers. Yeah, I’m sure you’re sitting there scratching your head, you maybe even said aloud, “What the heck is this guy talking about?” So here goes: I have a thing for buckets and coolers and my wife couldn’t be more pleased about it (hopefully the sarcasm came through in the latter part of that sentence.) Some people rescue dogs, others take in abandoned parrots, for me I can’t help myself as anytime I see a poor, abandoned cooler left for dead on the side of the road or tossed into a dumpster. A look in my shed will reveal a snow blower, a couple bikes, a riding lawn mower, a few dozen 5-gallon buckets and at least a dozen coolers in varying degrees of repair.
When it comes to coolers they don’t have to be pretty or have hinges or lids that fit (heck, some don’t even have lids), they just have to show me some potential for future use to wind up in my possession. I have salvaged coolers from dumpster diving, donations, road-side finds and once I even returned from a weekend trip to Block Island one cooler richer as I found one that had most likely fallen off a boat before washing up around Snake Hole.
As for buckets they too come into my possession in a variety of different ways, but while I have purchased a few coolers over the years, I can say with complete honesty that I have yet to bring myself to pay good money for a bucket. My most recent addition to the bucket collection came in bulk due to a small addition being put on my house. When I realized that the sheetrock and paint crews were tossing their used 5-gallon buckets into the on-site dumpster, I began a daily routine of looking for their discards. To me this was like finding $5 bills on the ground!
Whether bucket or cooler, odds are pretty high that they’re not the original color in which I found them. If they ever spent time or were considered for use as an eel storage device, then a coat or two of black paint was sure to have been applied. Some might have a dark green or even navy blue coloring, a paint job done when I was out of black paint.
So the next time you find yourself about to discard an old bucket or cooler that has served you well, consider donating it to ‘Toby’s Home For Wayward Plastics.’ I can assure you that it will see new life.