LARSON: Recycling column recycles readers' memories

Susan Larson

Susan Larson

I never know what kind of response my columns will bring. When I wrote last week about creating a clearinghouse for castoffs, I wondered if I'd get more requests than I could handle. Instead, most readers thanked me for recycling memories of the good old days.

"This brought back memories," Sarah Davis, a preschool teacher at Greater Atlanta Christian School, wrote. "Now I just recycle to the recycling center, but we still make telescopes out of paper towel rolls for our unit on pirates when we study X (marks the spot.)"

"Over the years when my girls were growing up I think I saved everything you mentioned. I have always been a craft person and can't stand to throw some of this stuff away. Even made purses out of used tuna fish cans," Gloria Bantekas of Buford wrote.

"Boxes were my kids' favorite toys. It's too bad that most toys now have to have batteries or 'do' something," Jeanne Pescitelli of Lilburn said. "My dad used to bring home huge sheets of waxed cardboard and they made the coolest sleds."

But there are a few of us who still delight in recycling projects.

In response to my claim to all the castoff oatmeal boxes, Fran Stewart of Hog Mountain replied, "No -- I keep my oatmeal boxes. I have a tower of them in my family room. My grandkids build the most incredible towers -- and then have great fun knocking them over. Sometimes they use a smiley-faced beach ball to bowl with, after having placed 10 boxes in the requisite triangle shape.

"They've built train engines out of cardboard boxes, old wire fencing (for the cattle guard,) various odd bits of lumber -- you name it -- and the oatmeal boxes for the smoke stack. Amazing what one can do with junk and duct tape! My garage is a veritable store where they can find just about anything they need."

What fun it must be to visit this grandma's garage, but Susan Trepagnier of Jefferson is in a position to make a public display of her recycling projects.

"Thank you," she wrote, "I thought I was the only one that felt this way anymore. I am the director of Keep Jackson County Beautiful in Jefferson, Ga. I asked my fellow employees and board members to save their toilet tissue and paper towel rolls to help us make musical instruments out of milk jugs and other plastic containers. You use a kazoo (yes it's purchased) as the musical part, but kids learn about recycling that way. At the end of the lesson, no doubt, the teachers hate me for the noise makers, but the kids have a great time decorating their recycled containers and then making their kazoo. Teachers can take them outside for a parade at the end of the lesson and the kids get to use their kazoos."

And, in more ways than one, those kids are keeping Jackson County beautiful.

Susan Larson is a Lilburn resident. E-mail her at susanlarson4@yahoo.com.