by Adam Messer
Oscar Roberts had a funny peculiarity about the way he arranged his things. Nothing out of order, or at least the order to which he arranged them. He inspected his things and had to have a perfect version of the thing, lest he disregard it for the trash. For example, he loved his books more than he loved reading them. He collected volume upon volume of his favorite titles, often more than one copy of a particular printing.
He also collected toys. Not just any toys, but antique wind-up tin tinker toys which made all sorts of bells and whistles brim from the stroke of a key. Oscar delighted winding the mechanism and watching the little automatons run about aimlessly. Aimlessly to the average onlooker, but not to Oscar. He knew each toy had a life of its own, and a story to share.
Who was the little child who gasped for joy when they opened the ornately wrapped present on Christmas morning? Oscar especially loved the tinker toys that were well worn, but worked. Those were the ones had once brought a smile to the child’s face, much like his own.
Now with little time to spare, Oscar spent more time tracking down his tinker toys, often traveling great distances to meet the owner. He took the train, since he did not drive, and often he sat alone on the long rides. He didn’t mind though, as he would imagine the story behind the toy and the child who owned it he was going to collect.
But alas, it was rare for Oscar to meet the owner of many of the tinker toys. Their time had come and gone. Family members with greed in their eyes and hunger on their lips only wanted a quick transaction. Most cared more about selling the tinker toy than they did about the loved one who had owned it.
Oscar would ask who owned the toy originally. When he could find out the name, he named the tinker toy after them. Margery, Bill, Roy, or Cathy. Oscar delighted in collecting their names as much as he did collecting their once prized possession.
“How quickly do you think we can process this estate sale?”
“I feel we can find a buyer within a couple of weeks based on the rare and extensive pieces in this collection, Mr. Roberts.”
“Oh really? That sounds good. And you can handle the processing of the estate sale paperwork? How long will it take to process?”
“We handle the process from start to finish. It may take a few weeks. Once you authorize the sale, the payment will process, and the transaction will be completed, Mr. Roberts.”
“Thank you! Otherwise I would have no clue how to get rid of Uncle Oscar’s stuff.”