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One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure

Renovation of Lincoln Mass. Town Offices

So I had just finished my Insanity® exercise workout at 8 o'clock on a recent Saturday morning. I popped out the dvd and the Channel 8 local access station came on. A notice appeared telling interested Lincoln, Massachusetts residents that they could come to the Lincoln Town Offices building (which is about to be seriously renovated) and salvage anything from the building. I wished that I hadn't just finished a workout because my work for the day was about to begin.

I gathered up the family and we all drove over to the building that was originally built in 1909 as Lincoln's Center School. Over the years it was repurposed into the Town Offices, but it still retained its "old-school" flavor, including blackboards, old oak doors, and boys' and girls' matching staircases.

The notice about the Lincoln town offices renovation said that the first-come, first-served giveaway would last from 8:00 a.m. until noon and items had to be taken away during that time. When we arrived, the junker dash was well underway. People had already stuck claim stickers on many items, including a great 1940's Steelcase desk, almost all the blackboards, most window air conditioners, a safe, and even the brass handles on windows.

It must be noted that this really was leftover stuff -- the town was not giving away all its office furniture and equipment, by any means - but it brought out people's acquisitive nature. A town worker had volunteered to help people unscrew hardware and move items. The rule was "no private toolboxes." The poor man bit off more than he could chew with this crowd. People tagged doors, wanted shelving pried off walls, and asked for Venetian blinds to be removed from 15-foot high windows. (That last one was my request!)

My daughter came out with a 6x6 foot map of the Town of Lincoln that shows every bit of conservation land and every lot in town. She wants to redecorate her room around this piece. So if anyone wants to know how much land Parcel #XXXXX has, you can call her! We ultimately came away with a birch slab door to replace one of ours, a metal chair, and the town map.

I commend the town that these things did not just end up in the landfill. But I think they underestimated how dearly Lincoln residents embrace the values of recycling and reusing!

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