Dearest Rachel –
This probably shouldn’t come as any great surprise, honey, but as we’ve been going through the basement, we have been finding things from so far back that we just can’t hang on to anymore. Not just because of the mice – although that’s certainly contributed to the need to dispose of these – but also because, well, there’s no real place for them.
I know we wished we could keep everything that we put effort into – and in this case, you and Ellen put a lot of effort into building this – but where could it have been stored where it would be safe? When would we ever use it again? And considering the path from the utility room to the basement was (up until less than a week ago) hip deep in… well, stuff… could we even get to it to see and appreciate it, even if we could keep it?
At least we have the pictures that it was a real thing, and that it really did look cool back in its day. So I can show it to the world by setting it out here on the internet, and some other people can appreciate it, even as we can all note the ravages of time on it, like all of us.
And so, I give to you (with thanks to Ellen for the old photos) the TIE Fighter Advanced, Darth Vader’s attack ship:
Built out of rain ponchos and some forty-odd wire coat hangers, the cockpit was constructed out of a combination of bicycle handlebars and an old backpack to hold up the rear of the main section – which, by the way, actually lit up in that blue bar. The wings were detachable, with the logos added by Ellen in vinyl based on Daniel’s own Lego model of Lord Vader’s ship.
Not that he wanted to trick-or-treat as Lord Vader, mind you. He just wanted to go as the ship. And you and Ellen made it happen, as you did so many other times – I hope to find more of these records to put out there for the world to appreciate.
To be sure, we did our level best to make sure enough of our neighborhood (and the folks’ neighborhood) got to see it at the time. Ellen herself recalls at least one neighbor, who, when we rang his doorbell, responded with, “Oh, I was so hoping you would make it here! I saw you walking around like that, and just had to see it up close.”
I don’t know how much of a haul Daniel brought in; probably more than most, as Halloween was on a Sunday that year, so he had that much more time (as did I to drive him around between neighborhoods)
But that was in 2004. Now, in 2021, there is so little left of it. The wings are long gone; having probably been detached and stored separately, I presume they fell victim to an earlier mouse infestation that caused even you to determine that they and another costume (which I’ll cover another time, when I find the pictures) was too far gone to salvage, and had to throw it out.
All that remains is the cockpit. And it’s in sad shape:
And yes, that’s it in the dumpster, along with other contaminated toys. Time – and the ravage of nature where it wasn’t supposed to be – has taken its toll, and just like we’ve had to say goodbye to you, we’re saying goodbye to the TIE fighter as well.
Daniel tells me that, thanks to certain preachers he’s been listening to on YouTube and wherever, that he’s not as attached to ‘stuff’ like he used to be. His conclusion is that, since God holds everything together – every molecule, atom and quark – it is a trifling matter for Him, if we should wish for a thing in the hereafter, to reassemble it from all of its combinant parts, from the ground up for us to enjoy once again. I can’t deny that, believing as I do that nothing is impossible for Him. Now, whether this will occur to us to ask for this or that thing once we join you there, that’s another matter.
Either way, this thing, with all the work put into it, and all the fun we had with it at this time, is no longer of any consequence, and it should not pain us to dispose of it, even in such an ignominious way as this.
But… it kinda still does, doesn’t it?