Today we put our freezer to sleep. No it did not die. We put it to sleep
much like you would an ailing and aging pet. And, like a much loved pet, it
was a sad day for us for the freezer has faithfully kept ticking along without
complaint for 48 years.
After we got out of the Navy we moved to Chicago where I worked on the
60 story 1st National Bank building learning the methods of the high rise
construction business. Specifically, how to apply granite panels to the
outside of multi-story buildings.
After nine months and a cold and windy winter in Chicago we packed up
our baby daughter Tara, our English Setter Zeke and our worldly
possessions in our ’66 Barracuda and headed for the Pacific Northwest.
We moved in to our frst house, a wood frame rambler on a sandy bluff
overlooking Eld Inlet (AKA. Mud Bay) a tidal arm of Puget Sound. It was
about 20 miles outside of Olympia in an area of hobby farms and wooded
The place already had a stove and a fridge courtesy of the previous owner
so we had to buy furniture and our frst big appliance purchase— an
upright freezer. Considering cost, we chose a Sears Coldspot and placed it
in our tuck under garage.
It got plenty of use. Every year we’d make a trip or two out to Westport on
the Washington coast and go salmon fshing. A cooler full of salmon and
perhaps some ling cod would be carefully flleted, wrapped and stashed in
the freezer. Our neighbor down the road raised lambs and each year we’d
purchase one, cut it up and have lamb for a year. A quarter or half of beef
got stashed in there as well.
Just to fll up any holes in the space of the freezer duck and pheasant
hunting proved excellent in western Washington in those days and they
ate well. One fall I shot a blacktail buck in my neighbor’s apple orchard
and that really filled the Coldspot to over flowing.
Karen and Mike were born when we lived in that house and they all
learned to love seafood as we could catch trout in local creeks and sea run
cutthroat off the beach. Clam digging on our beach was easy and our
friendly neighbor had an oyster farm. I vividly remember the girls sitting
on the counter on either side of the sink while I popped oysters that they
quickly slurped up.
It was a great time, but shit happens and the recession of the early ’70 hit
western Washington particularly hard. Boeing laid off something like
65,000 people and the ripple effect through the economy raised the
unemployment rate to 25%. We went from 25 employees to just me and I
could not get a freplace job. I took a job with a granite company in
Minnesota and we had to move. It would be the first of 14 times we and
the poor freezer moved.
We and the Coldspot got hauled to Minnesota and some years later to
Wisconsin. We moved several times in Wisconsin as our circumstances
improved. Finally, we retired to Whistler, BC and after our skiing days
ended with various injuries and ailments, moved to Surrey, BC.
The Coldspot too was showing its age. It had some dents and the light no
longer worked but it still kept plugging away. It got flled with ducks and
moose a few times in recent years but it became clear that the door
gaskets were leaking. Finding parts for a 48 year old appliance is not
possible. Besides, we had two other freezers and sadly we decided that
it was time.
In this age of planned obsolescence our Sears Coldspot has been a
champion. As they say, they don’t make ’em like that anymore.