I first cleaned these brass ornaments, belonging to my mother, when I was 4-5 years old.


It seems that I have another minor obsession going on. Having cleaned Katie’s handgun last Saturday, on Thursday I found myself indulging in some late-night cleaning, this time it was my Buck 110 knife that was getting the attention. The brass was looking a little sad and tarnished, so off I went to find some metal polish to clean it.

The smell of the ‘Nevr-Dull’ wadding that I used to clean the Buck took me back to my youth. It smells and looks pretty much the same as the Duraglit wadding I was given to use as a young lad, when I had to clean my mother’s brass ornaments. It was a task I really disliked.

As it happens I still have a few of my mother’s ornaments that I first cleaned when I was four or five years old. When I’d finished cleaning my knife I cleaned them too. I don’t think they’ve been cleaned in 15-20 years, so I’m going to have to give them a few more sessions before they are restored to their former glory.

Cleaning them brought back a lot of memories. The donkey in particular, as it was used in many birthday games of ‘hide the donkey’. One of the yachts must have had a thermometer on it at one time — it’s a cheap seaside memento. I have no idea of its or any other of the ornaments significance to my mother, but as she kept them 50-odd years they must have had some meaning. For me they just remind me of my mother and my childhood.

No matter how much I might have hated cleaning and polishing when I was younger, I now find it a very relaxing, satisfying, and therapeutic task.

Post script: Sunday morning I got out the leather treatment/polish and treated my writing pad and journal covers. As I said, I have a minor polishing obsession at the moment.

Copyright © 2018 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.