The Ultimate Coffee Maker

I came across an old photograph while clearing out a storage locker. It was a Kodak image of my Dad’s favorite coffee pot, a percolator my brother and I called the “acid maker.” Dad photographed his percolator, one Christmas, with a new Brownie camera. Who would ever want an image of a percolator in a photo album? Dad did. I stuck the photo in my pocket and finished my work and went to look later at the machine fromĀ

I thought about the picture of Dad’s percolator all the way home. Actually, it made pretty good tasting coffee, as long as you didn’t let it percolate too long. Looking at the photo later, with nobody around, I remembered mornings my Dad woke the entire household yelling “Coffee’s ready!” The aroma had snapped us all awake long before his call.

The image of Dad’s percolator stayed in my mind. I couldn’t shake it. I stopped at a department store after work one day, out of sheer curiosity, to see if they happened to have a percolator in stock. They had cappuccino makers, electric coffer centers, several drip-type machines, espresso machines, and an electric percolator. I wanted a percolator that worked on a stove top. The sales clerk said she had never heard of such a thing.

Now I really wanted to find one. I decided that if I could find one like Dads — I’d buy it in an instant. I went to two shopping malls, two home centers and three more department stores. No luck. I even showed them the photo of dad’s percolator. I began to drive toward home; it was getting late and I was becoming disenchanted.

I drove past trash cans in front of a vacant house. They were stacked to overflowing with remnants of an earlier family’s existence. A black and white box sat atop one of the cans of detritus. I slammed on my brakes and pulled over. It was a box for a percolator like the one in dad’s photo! I pulled the picture out of my wallet and my heart leapt. What are the chances? I got out of the car, walked to the box and lifted it. It wasn’t light; I figured that someone probably had used the box for storing trinkets or junk. It contained an exact duplicate of dad’s percolator – unused and just like new! I ran to the door of the vacant house and banged as hard as I could. Nobody was home. I looked through the windows and saw that the house was empty. I walked back to the car, debating what to do, when I saw the home-made sign taped to the front of one of the trash bins. “Free Stuff – Help Yourself.”
I had a second cup of delicious coffee after dinner that evening. Made in a percolator just like the one in Dad’s photo — now prominently displayed on the first page of his old album.

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