Thursday, March 29, 2012

R.I.P. Old Friend

The world lost one of it's finest backpacks last month.  In February, my trusty Adidas backpack was finally decommissioned after nearly a decade of unparalleled service.  The bag looks perfectly healthy in this photo, but don't be fooled...

Here's the problem--even when the zippers on the front pocket are in the closed position, the pocket can still open wider than a fat kid's mouth at a pie-eating contest.

The sad truth is that my old friend has been showing signs of age for quite some time now, though Mom's thread, needles, and creativity added many quality years to his life.  As the bottom of the pack wore out and chunks were literally falling off as the days passed, she MacGyver'd a durable reinforcement patch out of an old swatch of black denim.  When the zipper pull broke off years ago, she tracked down a clip-on pull that ably filled in for its missing counterpart.  And she even operated on the very zipper that finally gave out in February.

I don't recall all the details of exactly how or when I acquired the backpack, but from what I can remember, I picked it up before my senior year of high school in 2002.  It carried my books during my final year of high school, and it was right there with me on the first day of college when my bitter hatred of learning and education caused me to forget that I needed to bring a pen and paper to class.  In addition to the standard backpack duties, over the years my Adidas pack has been a pillow, a gym bag, a hiking partner, a man purse, and above all, a trusted friend.

That bag is extremely well-traveled, having accompanied me to numerous high school and college sporting events and countless trips all over the country.  To honor his departure, I've created a photo tribute to his travels over the past six years (I'd go back even farther, but the bag predates my photographic archives).  Rest in peace, my friend.  Cards, flowers, and replacement backpacks are welcome and highly encouraged.

February 2006
At an Iowa State Tennis Club event in Des Moines, IA

April 2006
 In the hotel room at another ISU Tennis Club event in Austin, TX

December 2006
Serving as my pillow in Burbank, CA

June 2007
 At the top of Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, AZ

Taking a break in Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona, AZ

At Torrey Pines in La Jolla, CA

December 2008
Hiking at Paramount Ranch in Augora Hilla, CA

July 2009

All over Hawaii.

June 2010
At Airport Mesa, back in Sedona, AZ (post car crash)

July 2011

 Yet another trip to Sedona, AZ

Near Flagstaff, AZ

At Walnut Canyon, also near Flagstaff, AZ

March 2012
 Hiking without the Adidas backpack at Afton State Park in Wisconsin.  A very sad day...and the end of an era.

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