Sunday, December 30, 2007

Discovering Treasure

This weekend while putting away all of the Christmas decorations Jill decided that it would be a good time to clean out the garage. While doing so she uncovered something that I though was long gone.

Some 18 years ago a good friend of mine, John Gates, decided to stay on with the military as a medic and went on to the 5028th Special Operations Support Battalion. Shortly upon joining the unit he found himself supporting operations for the various Special Forces groups and for department Delta. On one of his exercises he found himself returning to Panama for a second time, not to train but to help with capturing Manuel Noriega. Unfortunately Manny got away and found himself stuck in the embassy of the Vatican listening to Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart” some several thousand times. Meanwhile, Delta Force, the Navy SEALS and my friend John were ransacking all 7 of his homes throughout the country. John managed to acquire some of the booty, eventually a couple of the pieces made their way to me.

As part of the spoils I ended up with a candid snapshot of Noriega and several pieces of his stationery. Now…If I could somehow get to the Federal Penitentiary in Florida to get him to sign it.

I also found a complete compilation of Harlan Ellison’s works. When I cracked the cover I discovered that it was signed by him and addressed to me.

Along with the file that contained the Noriega stationery was a series of original hand painted animation cells from the Saturday morning children’s shows The Archies and The Lone Ranger.

I use to hate the Antiques Roadshow. I saw all of those people and thought out of all that junk I had in the garage amounted to nothing more than a pile of dust bunnies. Now, I think that I actually might have something. Not bad for a day’s find.