Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Stuart Fl

I'm going to change my will to leave instructions for how to deal with my body. I do not want it donated to science. I want it to be cremated. Then I want as much of the ashes that fit to be stuffed into my coffee thermos and then the thermos thrown into some body of water. I'll explain.

Long term friends who know me best, identify me with that unbreakable Stanley thermos. You see, I've had it for more than 30 years and another one just like it for 15 years before that. It traveled with me over countless miles on countless business trips. I used it as a potential weapon, carrying it with me as I walked the streets at night in strange foreign cities. I brought that thermos to work with me every day, both at home and abroad. I carried it in checked baggage on countless flights; never once being asked about it by security screeners.

Some friends and acquaintances may have never seen me without that thermos in my hand.

The original finish on my thermos was green. It had no handle. The plastic handle you see in the picture was an upgrade that I purchased in K Mart when the thermos was already several years old. The handle made it easy to carry but it wore down the protective finish and dirt built up behind the plastic bands.

Eventually the thermos became rusty and I painted it with white Rustoleum paint. Now it's rusting again. Disreputabull as it looks, I think it will last longer than I will anyhow.

You see, that thermos is one of the very few personal heirlooms that Libby and I have. A consequence of living on a boat is that we can't keep family heirlooms or familiar objects that become a part of your identity. We have some of Libby's father's hand tools, and one of my father's clocks. Libby has a stainless steel sauce pan that I gave her when we were 17. I have that thermos. We have our wedding rings. That's it; the complete inventory of objects with life-long associations that we still have.

Given all the above, I think you'll agree that it is completely appropriate that I should be interred in that thermos after I die.

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