The Old Bag
by Linda Casper
The beaten-up, old leather bag of indeterminate colour looked the most interesting find so far. James brought it down from the attic and dumped it on the kitchen table for further investigation. After rummaging amongst the contents, James proclaimed it to be a doctor’s bag. Catherine had her doubts. The house had belonged to her family for generations yet she could not recall any relative being a member of the medical profession. She had to agree, though, the contents did back up James’ theory to some extent. Catherine set about the task more methodically. She removed each item from the bag and scrutinised it with care, giving a running commentary as she did so. “Green tin containing bandages; a ceramic pot, I can’t make out the writing, with some dried up salve in it and, oh, a couple of old bottles for my collection from Veno’s cough cure and Beecham’s pills! Seems as if the bag did belong to a doctor.” James held up some more items. “Look at these old shoes. Golf shoes by the look of them and a hat.” He twirled a felt beanie hat around on his finger. “He must have been a small chap from the size of these” “Strange how you assume a doctor must have been male,” countered Catherine. “In those days doctors usually were. Anyway, why don’t I take the shoes to Charles and see if he can’t shed some light on them? I’ll probably find him at the Club now.” James was already picking up his car keys on his way out. “Leaving the little woman to tidy up the mess,” thought Catherine. As she picked up the hat, she had a recollection of an old photograph of a woman wearing one just like it. Rummaging among the old family albums she eventually found what she was looking for. A young woman pictured wearing a beanie hat and a striped top. She couldn’t hold back a smug smile when she read the inscription on the back of the photo: Jean Turner, Stoke-on-Trent Ladies Football Team, 1910. ………………………….. Linda Casper hails from Yorkshire and, after a long career as a high school teacher, she has recently begun to write and has had many short stories, poems and travel articles published. Linda has a keen interest in gardening and is a judge for Yorkshire in Bloom
Richard Edwards has a BFA in Creative Writing and Journalism from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Education from the University of Akron. Managing editor of Drunk Duck, poetry editor for Prairie Margins, reporter for Miscellany, Akron Journal, Lorain Journal, and The BG News. He has also worked as a professional writer and editor in the medical publishing industry for several years. For the last 15 years Richard has also taught literature and writing at the secondary and post-secondary levels. He works much of the time with at-risk students.