Colin Trimmer is still alive — for now.
But if he doesn’t track down the iron-and-brass bedframe that was scooped up outside of his Medford apartment last month, he’s concerned “MY MOTHER WILL KILL ME.”
That’s according to a series of cheeky-but-sincere “REWARD” signs the recent Tufts University graduate plastered on street poles along Boston Avenue this month. The signs are Trimmer’s desperate attempt to reclaim the missing bedframe, which belonged to his mother, Carol Kazmer, in order to get back in her good graces.
“I feel awful,” Trimmer said. “It took an entire week to tell my mother about it because I knew she loved the bed and I was loaned it with the condition that nothing would happen to it.”
At this point, you may be asking yourself why a bedframe, an item you could find at any furniture store or on Craigslist, is so important to a 23-year-old and his mother.
The answer? The 19th-century item was a family heirloom with sentimental value. It had been passed down through generations, traveling across the country, before it was eventually given to Kazmer when her grandmother died 35 years ago.
“My grandmother didn’t have a whole lot and when she died she had 17 grandchildren, so there was a lot of mouths and not that much to spread around,” Kazmer said. “But I was in law school at the time, and needed a bed, and it was sort of bequeathed to me because I was the one who had the most need at the time. I considered myself exceedingly lucky. It’s beautiful.”
Kazmer said her grandmother grew up in a poor household in Cleveland, a city where she met her husband — Kazmer’s grandfather — while picking through scraps in a garbage heap.
The couple at some point acquired the bedframe, and, being thrifty and grateful for what they had, held onto it as they moved from Cleveland to California and raised four children.
When Kazmer received the bedframe — an iron object with brass trim, and four bed posts topped by large orbs — she brought it from California to Oregon, and, eventually, Massachusetts.
She gave the bedframe to her son, Trimmer, in January, when he left student housing at Tufts and took on a sublet in an apartment with friends.
Trimmer was getting ready to move out of the apartment on June 1, and had cleared out most of the items in his room, save for the bedframe and a rug and mattress.
In late May, he went to stay with his girlfriend for a few days, figuring he had time before the lease was up to go back and move the bedframe from the apartment. But the people taking over his room thought he had moved out already and simply left it behind — so they put it out on the curbside with the trash, he said.
“They moved in before I was scheduled to move out, that’s why this situation, I feel, was unfair and kind of tragic,” Trimmer said. “It was a beautiful bedframe. . . . Of course someone snapped that up.”
Trimmer, knowing how important the bedframe was, at first couldn’t muster up the courage to break the news to his mother. But after a week, he dropped the bomb and told her he would go to great lengths to find it.
“I was pretty sad about it because I loved that bed and it was sort of a tie to my grandmother, as all of these family heirlooms are,” Kazmer said. “But then I said, ‘It’s just a thing, it’s fine.’ And then I said, ‘But it was my bed!’ ”
After telling his mother, Trimmer printed up the reward signs, before placing them prominently along Boston Avenue. The message was urgent: “ACCIDENTALLY PUT ON STREET BY NEW ROOMMATES,” the signs read. “FAMILY HEIRLOOM — MY MOTHER WILL KILL ME — PLEASE HELP.”
So far, the family hasn’t had any luck.
“I would love to have the bed back,” said Kazmer, who has taken a lighthearted approach to the search. “And I would love for someone to have a reward in their pocket.”
That reward, she added, would be “sizable.”Steve Annear can be reached at email@example.com.