What's Your System
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My System: The Four-Pocket Office

(Photo: Margit Detweiler/ TueNight)

Who: Mary Pat Boian, editor of the Lovely County Citizen, Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Originally from Denver, Mary Pat visited Eureka in the ’70s, fell in love with the town’s beauty… and the sound of bugs: “The first thing I noticed were the sound of beetles, cicadas, mosquitoes… It’s rich here. There was nothing like this in Denver.” So, she stayed.

(I met Mary Pat while I was at a writer’s colony, in Eureka Springs. We chatted about her system over cocktails at Rogue’s Manor.)

System: Mary Pat uses her carpenter jeans as her purse or as Mary Pat says, “my office.” Each pocket has a purpose. “I have to buy jeans with decent pockets. I can’t buy girls jeans. These were $12 at Freds.”

Her 4-pocket office:

1. Left Front: “I keep my pocket knife there, and my iPhone.” She shows me her slim pocket knife. “I gave this pocket knife to my dad for Christmas and he gave it back to me.” She looks at me dead in the eye, “Never give a gift you don’t want.”

2. Right Front: “That’s my debit card and ID”

3. Right Rear: (yes, she calls it the “right rear”): “That’s for loose keys. I don’t like key chains.” She plops down her keys on the table.

4. Left Rear: “That’s for cash bills.”

What about change?

“Change goes on the floor of the vehicle.”

And your cigarettes? You’d mentioned you just started smoking four years ago. (Mary Pat is in her 60s)

“That’s right. Since I roll my own, I take two or three puffs, and I hate to throw it away, so I kick off the ash and put it in the pocket with the keys.”

You can’t wear sweatpants.

“No. I just wear those to walk the dog.”

When you get home at night do you take the stuff out and put it on a dresser? Or leave it in your pocket?

“It could go either way.”

Do you ever use a purse?

“I have one that perfectly fits a passport. So if I ever have to leave the country, I’ll use that.”

Now what about a reporter’s pad…

“That’s in the vehicle. I don’t carry it on my person. If I have to have one for any reason, I’ll tear a page out and put it in left rear with the cash. Paperwork.”

Mary Pat and her keys.

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