The Lives – And Remnants – Of Others

The Oregonian

Growing up, we always dreamed of a basement filled with items the previous owners had left behind. Not junk, mind you, but old clothes, books and letters...clues as to who came before and what kind of life they led. Our childhood home never had a basement, attic or any such history, but we're still fascinated by the thought of finding a little bit of the past in the present; precisely why this three-part series nearly brings us to tears.

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The Oregonian highlights a beautiful mystery – a donated crate of sheet music, stuffed with two bundles of letters sent home during World War II by a GI named Ted Scheer. Who was Ted? And who was the Glenna to whom he wrote?

The search leads from Portland to Germany to Medford, Ore. and back to Portland again where, at last, it draws to a bittersweet end that you'll have to read for yourself.

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We also love the series for another reason, as it's the story of Portland's Community Warehouse and the incredible work they do every day. For years, we've listed the Community Warehouse as our favorite vintage furniture and housewares resource. Household items are donated and then provided – for free – to people in need via 70 social service agencies.

But there are often items donated that make more sense for the agency to sell, using the cash generated to purchase what's most needed for their clients. These high-quality, often collectible, frequently vintage pieces are sold in their "estate store," open every weekend.

From a pair of art deco marble lamps to an expandable Danish modern coffee table, we've found incredible treasures at the Community Warehouse...including a dining set that once belonged to our grandmother's very best friend. Sure, they're not old love letters, but our own little pieces of history still bring a smile to our face.

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