How’s Th’ TRASH In Yer Life ?

(c) LGC Leo G Campbell 6/20/2021

How’s Th’ TRASH In Yer Life ?

How’s Th’ TRASH In Yer Life ?

My parent’s house on N.E. 52nd, in Portland, Oregon… Zone 13 (before ZIP Codes) used a garbage service: “Hans Gruetter Sanitary”.

Portlanders in th’ 1950s- had large garbage cans, and as part of the trash service, homeowners kept the can up the driveway, next to the back porch. Our family tossed trash and (some wet) garbage into the can, put on the lid.

On Wednesdays, the Grutter garbage truck, stopped in front of our house. Mr. Grutter would hop out, motor running, stride up our driveway, carrying on his back a big empty can. He came around back, dumped our trash contents, into his somewhat-larger steel can.

Some days, as a small boy, I would watch him do his job, for us.

He ignored me, I guess. But- he had a medium-sized Teddy Bear- secured to the front- on the radiator- of his big garbage truck… for folks to see… I liked that.

Another family, a street over from us, said years later- that nobody signed them up for garbage service, but their trash and garbage, got picked up (FREE) for about 12 years… Nobody billed them- into the early 1970s. That’s another story.

By 1977, I was divorced and had my own, nice house on S.E. Stark Street, in the Laurelhurst District. Garbage service was still the same: each week, the truck stopped on Stark, the man hopped out with his big carry-can, strode up my driveway, and stopped at the back porch.

I had a 48 inch tall, white-painted, wood picket fence there. He would lean over the fence, pick up my can (sounds strenuous), empty its contents, and swing my can back, put on its lid, and be on his way.

I had a young female German Shepherd, that my daughter Christine and I, named “Victoria Dog”. When we got her, we opened an encyclopedia to a random page. Christine closed her eyes… and put her finger down, to find a name…

She touched her finger… on- “Victoria Falls”- one of the largest waterfalls in Africa. So, “Victoria Dog” got her name. Called her “Vicky” for short.

Wonderful dog, grew to 70 pounds. She loved getting massages… But when the garbage man came, leaned over the picket fence, picked up my can- Vicky would go into furious barking… every time. The garbage man just ignored her.

A friend was over to my house, Bill was a helicopter machine-gunner (50 caliber) in Viet Nam (2 tours). The garbage man came, did his thing. We watched Vicky go into furious barking, as the man swung my can over the fence; Bill and I watched from my back porch; we were drinking our beers.

“See that, Bill ?” I said. “Why does my dog “Vicky”, get furiously angry- like that ?” Bill drank some beer.

Belched, and looked at me. “Vicky thinks the man is stealing… your garbage, Leo.” Bill said. Ohhh…

Oh… good “Victoria Dog”, my “Vicky”.

She grew too big for the fenced back yard, and began barking all day, while I was at work. I got served a formal written ‘County Complaint’. At my front door, by a Deputy Sheriff- about her barking. She had to go.

My ad in Willamette Week, netted a phone call- from two younger men- in their mid-twenties, that were driving their Ford pickup- to go to Montana, to live.

I was glad… when they… came by, and “Vicky” liked them… so they… took her along.

How’s Th’ TRASH In Yer Life ? (To Be Continued… With My- Trash Talk’n) LGC

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