Except for four years consecutive, plus another one later, I have lived in this town since 1965, when I came here to college the summer after high school.

The five blocks of the main drag through the center of town once sported an assortment of ‘Fifties’ stores, including an honest-to-goodness ‘appliance store’, where something like forty years ago Stephen and I bought a clothes dryer.

It’s still running.  Scary.

Today, the street is all boutiques, bars, and cafés.  The only remnant from the past is a corner drugstore called Horton’s.

Though I think there must still be a pharmacist in there somewhere, I propose that its isolated survival on the strip can probably be chalked-up to an unplanned role as ‘bodega’, where in a panic one can pay quadruple for eyedrops and flashlight batteries.

At probably about the same time the soda fountain was decommissioned, the business changed hands, and a decision was made to empty decades of dead stock which had been warehoused on the second floor of the building.

I can’t remember asking Stephen how we came by these Horton’s artifacts.

Briefly back to machines, in my older brother’s potting shed sits a ‘Frigidaire’ purchased the year I was born.  According to my mother, the keeper of the legend, a single repair: the replacement of the rocker arm on the compressor motor.  The rocker arm.  Your guess is as good as mine.

Over the last couple of years since turning seventy, I myself have had several repairs, but both the fridge and I are still running.  Scary.

I have an intuition we will go out together.