Almost more fun than my childhood trips to the local cheese factory were our trips to the Dump.
Whenever my Dad would mow the lawn, he would gather up all his glass clippings in big garbage bags, and load them in our Dodge Ram van.
And then came the exciting part. Our visit to the Dump. The Dump, as we called it, was basically a huge hole in the ground where people dumped their garbage. I guess they call them landfills now. I always felt special as I sat in the front seat next to my Dad as we took our 10-minute trip to the Dump.
When we got there, there was a gate blocking off the driveway to the Dump, and my Dad would get out and take a key out of his pocket to unlock the gate. I don’t know why he was so special to have a key to this amazing place, but I was little and just assumed that my Dad had all the keys to everything. He was like Superman to me.
And finally, we drove around to the Dump. We got out of the van, and as my Dad unloaded the bags of grass clippings, I stared at all the weird things that people threw away. I remember being so amazed at the furniture that people threw away. I vividly remember one time when I saw a pea-green living room chair that someone threw away. Why did they throw that away?, I thought. In my little five-year-old brain, I couldn’t fathom why on earth someone would ever throw away a chair. And then there was the funny stuff sometimes, like a cracked toilet seat. Sometimes my sister would come along, too, and we’d laugh and laugh at the weird stuff we’d see.
And then, it was time to go home.
But I have never forgotten our trips to the Dump. It was about as exciting a place as you could go when you were growing up in rural Wisconsin.