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Do you know what it’s like to lose an old friend? Are you afraid you’ll never see them again? I’ve worked with you for almost 30 years and now you are gone. I guess I’ll have to find some sort of replacement, but it won’t be easy. They don’t make things like you anymore. What will I do? 

Such a tale of remorse, I’m sad to say. I didn’t give up hope easily. I recounted every step of every day since I last saw you. I searched all the likely and unlikely places. I remembered taking you out of my trunk to make room to load something in. I distinctly recall saying to myself ‘this isn’t a good idea.’ I’d better put you back in immediately. I swore I did just that. Where could you be?

I thought for hours trying to extract some clues from my brain. I had some great ideas. None of them bore fruit. So, I waited and waited, like everyone else who has been in this situation, and said ‘Oh, it will turn up.’

The next day I grew solemn. I began to resign myself and give up hope. Never would I see you again. All the places we had been, through decades of jobs and strange situations, all over the country and all over the world. The pieces were assembled, found and adopted in the strangest of ways. I even found one piece dropped in the middle of a road one day. ‘Easy come, easy go’ was my rationale. Parting would not be so easy!

Some stories about your history will never be known. Brand new, you were first owned by a young man of Cypriot descent named Setrak Kendir. He preceded me the year before I started a new job in 1985. His name remains as a reminder on your cover. Nearly 30 years later, I can only wonder where he may be, but his signature lives on in perpetuity.

Days passed and I came to a realization. I just couldn’t work without my old friend. 




                                          I needed a plan B. If I ordered every last missing part, it would take weeks to get delivery.                                                                           Some things were so old they were beyond exact duplication.

I delved into my basement and I was amazed how much I could amass. I couldn’t believe how much I did find. I even found a pouch quite similar but, of course, not quite as good. This collection sufficed for a couple of days. I still wasn’t ready to let go. No, not yet.

The loss of my old pals only made me appreciate just how familiar they had become. With my backups, I could still achieve almost everything, but it just wasn’t the same. I missed the perfect feel in my hands, the colors of the collection and how everything combined to make a team. Never more?

Maybe I could plea for help. Signs were posted in all the possible places of departure:


Would someone please have pity upon me and return my loss as fast as can be? I need them to do my work.

There were no replies, only silence. The sadness was joined by frustration and even a little anger. ‘How could I have lost something so essential to my existence?’ I just hate losing things, especially ones I regularly use and need.

Another morning arrived with more gifts of recollection. My big blue carry-all bag still felt unusually heavy. I took a moment, just before work and looked once again to see what was inside.

Angels must have heard my pleas. Tucked invisibly behind a fold of my bag, it magically appeared! 

All I could say, over and over again was ‘Wow!’

As my Mother used to say

‘If it had been a bear, it would have bit ya!’

Reunited, I gained a new light to my step. How did I overlook something so obvious? Was my mind so careless? Am I getting that forgetful and old? Was I blind from emotion and loss? It didn’t matter. There they were. My tools once again would be in my hand ready to do work in old familiar ways.


About The Author

Karl Zuk

Karl has worked at ABC, CBS, and NBC Television over his 40 year span working as a broadcast engineer.