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“One man’s junk is another man’s treasure”. I don’t know who said that, but someone did many long years ago. I tried to find the source but I lost it in biblical times.

This statement is never truer than Princeton in May. The first two weeks in May are designated for town clean up. The residents on the east side of town are the first week of May and the residents on the west side of town are the second week of May.

A very strange behavior overcomes many of us in the merry month of May...anxious to rid ourselves of the junk we have accumulated, we drag and carry items from our garages, basements and attics to the curb.

Now, here is the strange part...after ridding ourselves of junk, we (along with anyone owning a pick-up), prowl the town’s curbs for stuff we might be able to use. For instance, my family once found a claw foot antique bath tub on the curb. It took four of us to carry it home.

Another time I was walking my dog on clean-up day. He had “done his duty” and I had cleaned “it” up and put “it” in a plastic bag (the kind that grocery stores use). As I was walking, I glanced down at a box on the curb. In the box were six crystal goblets. I inspected them and discovered they were mismatched but in good condition. My pulse quickened when I realized the garbage truck was right behind me at the end of the block. No time to go home, so, I hate to admit this but, I put the goblets in my dirty doggy bag. Yes I did that. I know, yuk.

Now I am reminded of clean-up week every time I place little tea candles in the goblets and use them for table decorations. I will never be able to drink out of them knowing the story of where they came from. I tell myself that I’m a good citizen having recycled them. The same is now true of the bathtub. It made a beautiful addition to our daughter’s old house.


Call it vintage, antique, secondhand, discarded, old or used.

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