Mysteries in the Safe

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

When I was a kid, there was a safe in an outbuilding at my aunt’s house. The safe was the size of a small chest and locked. Nobody knew the combination. Nobody knew what was in the safe. It was from the past that nobody in my family remembered. At one time, some of my ancestors operated a distillery. My aunt even had a bottle of the whiskey that was distilled there. She used a little of it on her fruitcakes at Christmas time. And she threatened us with lemon and whiskey in sugar when we had bad coughs. My cough was never bad enough to even get the threat, but my sister had asthma and she did. Not sure if my aunt ever tried the cure on her or just talked about it.

The safe had been at the distillery that was put out of business by Prohibition. Why the safe ended up in my aunt’s wash house, I don’t know. I do know that when we were young, my sisters and I were fascinated with the safe. We’d twirl the dial this way and that, thinking that at any moment we’d hit the right combination of numbers and the safe would open and reveal its mysteries. Of course we expected gold bars or maybe bags of cash. Diamonds and coins were not beyond the realm of our imaginations. Needless to say, we never stumbled across the right combination. 

Fast forward fifty or so years. My sister now owned the place where the safe was located, where it had survived a fire, but still was locked tight. She sold the place. That’s the old log house being torn down that I wrote about Sunday. A neighbor asked my sister if he could have the safe before she sold the place. When he was a boy, his parents played Rook every week with my parents, and he had obviously explored, found the safe in the outbuilding and been as entranced by what might be inside as we were when we were kids. He promised to share the wealth if he could get it open. LOL. 

I don’t know if he used dynamite or skill with safe cracking, but he did get it open. No gold. No sack of money. Not even an old penny. Just some mementos from the past that had a treasured place in that safe for almost one hundred years. This woman’s picture was in there in several different poses. This ticket to the 1919 Kentucky State Fair was there too. Was there a special date at the fair that was the reason for keeping the ticket? Was she a love lost? So, after all these years, we know what was in that safe, but we don’t know why. We will never know. But it’s fun to imagine!

What do you think? Wouldn’t it have been nice if whoever had locked those things in there had locked his diary in there too?

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