Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


November 11, 2012

Lee Ward: 11/11/2012 — Chillin' for 74 years: Pennsylvania's oldest refrigerator

ASHLAND — I thought I had some old appliances but I can’t compete.

Jeff Peters of Lebanon, Penn., is the winner of a statewide search for the oldest refrigerator or freezer in Pennsylvania.

He’s not just any winner. His refrigerator is a 1938 General Electric that won him a gift card for $250 toward a new refrigerator, one that promises to be more energy efficient.

He was using it until he heard about contest, keeping sodas cold.

I’m surprised such an old machine worked well enough to chill a cola.

I shouldn’t be. Everybody knows the old appliances were made to last.

Emotional attachment to furniture and appliances is one of my weird little idiosyncracies.

As a child, I was sad when my mom and dad bought a new washer and dryer, even though the washer had started walking away from the wall during the spin cycle, a sign of a serious problem, I’m told. It was funny in an immature way, but it scared me, too, to see an appliance on the loose, moving of what seemed like its own free will.

I begged them not to sell their mahogony dining room set, promising to sit at it for dinner every day if they’d keep it. They did not keep it, but to my delight they always hated the new one they bought to replace it: a heavy, dark, Mediterranian-style set with gold, crushed-velvet upholstery on the seats. Like most images from my childhood, it reeked of the 1970s.

I still have some furniture for sentimental reasons.

My parents bought my bedroom suite before I was born. It’s not my style at all, but in my mind, it’s been around too long to get rid of it.

I have a sideboard that belonged to my aunt. It’s pretty and unusual and, even though I don’t really have use for a sideboard, I’ll keep it.

I wonder if Jeff Peters had some emotional attachment to his 1938 refrigerator, if that was his motivation for keeping it all these years.

Maybe it kept his drinks cold and his heart warm.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.

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