The Slidell Independent – Would you call yourself a pack rat?


Got a laugh from Buddy Wilcox, owner of E. Gause Tire & Automotive, when he told me about digging through a bunch of old stuff at his house.
Buddy said he stumbled upon his resume from the first job he ever applied to, which was at Don Ladner’s Goodyear store on Pontchartrain, that is still going strong today. Just for the record, that would make the resume somewhere past 40 years old.
We laughed about how so many of us—probably most of us—save way too much stuff.
While I am sure the vast majority of you folks will quickly agree, my wife will tell you that I’m not one of those people.
I’m the guy who wants to throw things away very fast, frequently sooner than I should, and then I end up wishing I had it two months later when I go looking.
What is it about most people being pack rats?
Even though it can create a real problem when you get older, and then your kids are looking at a house full of a million things mom and dad saved and saved forever. I don’t completely disagree with saving a lot of stuff. After all, isn’t much of it a way to document and remember our lives?
My wife was the greatest at taking pictures of our four children when they were growing up. She was still using a classic camera and loved photography, and she got a lot of really fantastic pictures. I especially remember the time we were keeping chickens in the backyard of a house out in the woods off Carroll Drive, and she saw a snake in the chicken coop with an egg halfway into its mouth.
She got an award-winning shot (it really did win a Louisiana Press Association award) and we put the picture on the front page of the Slidell Sentry-News since it was so cool.
Not only did she take hundreds of pictures of our kids, but she did an equally good job of sorting through them each week and putting them into photo albums. I just went into the living room and counted the photo albums that are on our bookshelves and there are close to 60. But you know what? Anytime someone in the family pulls a few out and starts looking at the old pictures it brings back amazing, wonderful memories, so I am still thankful she did that.
As for saving other “things” just because you think you might need them one day, well, I guess we are all different, right?
My mother used to have a pet sitting business and I would occasionally help her on super busy weekends. We did get to see the inside of many homes, and I can totally confirm that the majority of people are, in fact, pack rats to a higher level. I always left the home and thought, “I feel sorry for their kids when they are gone.”
Now, as the years pass, my wife has been working to slowly get rid of things she knows the kids or grandkids might never want. And I imagine that’s a good thing to make it easier for our family when the day comes that we aren’t around any longer.
But for now, even though I’m the guy who is quick to say, “throw it away,” I do not regret that my wife has saved a lot of things to remember our kids and our life together.
So, hey Buddy, enjoy that resume.


Slidell has a lot of really great people and that is the reason I enjoy running this little paper. I have made more friends than I can count, and I frequently thank God for the simple fact I can call a lot of people “friend.”
But more than just friends, I love what I see so often about the heart many people in Slidell have.
Chuck Sabadie, owner of Elder Care, LLC with Jay Badeaux, is one of those people. He told me that as part of his morning devotion time with the Lord, he has learned to look at each day with the idea of, “what can I do to bless someone today?”
So, I guess it shouldn’t have been a surprise a couple of weeks ago when I got a call on Monday morning from Chuck, who said, “hey buddy, I’ve got a few free tickets for the Red Beans cookoff. I wanted to make sure someone got to use them, so do you want a few?”
My daughter Jenny certainly did take advantage of the tickets, but I had to say something to Chuck about his daily routine. What a great example for us all.
It’s so easy to wake up, not feel totally full of energy and good will, but make a decision to start your day with thankfulness to God, since the vast majority of us know we are blessed beyond belief.
Good reminder Chuck. And thanks for the tickets!


Kevin Chiri can be reached by e-mail at


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