(Nathaniel Grann/For The Washington Post)

Fred Bomse

74, Glenwood, physicist

In 1982 I found myself in need of a lock to use on an exercise room locker where I work. My oldest daughter had one that she had been using for her middle school locker, but since it was summertime she didn’t need it and gave it to me. It was just an ordinary combination lock. It is always attached to a loop on my workout bag and gets transferred to a locker each day, then transferred back when I leave the exercise room after a run outside or exercise inside. Since 1982, the lock has seen three different locker rooms. I estimate I have locked and opened it 10,000 times. It is still in good working order.

On a few occasions I left it unlocked on a locker, but it was always there when I returned the next day. By and large, people around here are very honest. Some people don’t even lock their lockers.

The lock is a small thing, not worth much in monetary terms, but it has come to be one of my most prized possessions. Funny how you can get attached to something that becomes part of your life without your even realizing it. I will bequeath it to the daughter who never asked for the lock back. I hope she will keep it to remember me by.

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