The retirement was finally done, at least, insofar as closing the office. I emptied six rooms, 900 square feet, of all evidence of my 40 years’ occupation and practice of law. All the old typewriters, printers, computers, desks, chairs, etc. that were so familiar and served me well – gone. It’s odd the sentiment and attachment felt for inanimate things. The books, OMG, the books, the foundation of my knowledge, the tools of my trade, although some were just for show. All gone. The contents of ten legal sized four-drawer metal file cabinets were emptied into large bins which, along with more than 40 legal-sized boxes of files, were unceremoniously hauled out and shredded. It’s impossible to describe the emotions, watching 40 years of life’s work dumped into a truck and shredded. All those hours, days, weeks and years of work, rendered into tiny disparate strips of paper. Maybe they’ll be recycled and reborn as Starbucks cups. Or maybe birthday and get-well cards, printed on the back: “Made from 100% recycled career of John C. Chappell, Attorney at Law.” Having my routine ripped out has been more of a shock than expected. Life used to be: get up, breakfast, drive to post office for mail, drive to office, work, work, work, drive home, supper, more work or, with luck, some family time, bed; repeat, repeat, repeat… The vacuum created by the loss of routine and familiarity has been a shock. Don’t miss the profession, though! Don’t get me started about why I’m so happy to put the legal profession behind me. I’ll just say, it’s not the profession it was when I entered it.
We’re closing in on retirement, which necessitated clearing out nearly 1000 square feet of office space. We’re talking about office space we’ve occupied for nearly 40 years. During a span of four decades, one can accumulate a lot of stuff. The process of clearing out turned into a trip down Memory Lane. Actually, it turned into several Memory Lanes. One of the most memorable was the lane that represented our technology timeline. Here are pictures of some of our first business computers: the venerable Kaypro CP/M portables. Yes, we still have them and look forward to firing a couple of them up when we have the time. Imagine! These were pre-DOS. No hard drives. Well, the Kaypro 10 has a hard drive, all of 10 MB, hence, Kaypro “10”. The others worked from two 5.25″ floppies. One we booted up from, the other we saved our work on. I’m going to have to come back to this later and write more about it. I’m being flooded with too many fond memories.