Here's how things were usually located at homework time when I was growing up:
Kid #1: "Mom, where's the stapler?"
Mom: "On Daddy's desk".
Kid #2: "I need rubber bands."
Mom: "They're in the top left drawer of Daddy's desk".
Kid #3: "Where is the typewriter paper?" (Yes, we still used typewriters back then!)
Mom: "Look in Daddy's desk, under the Christmas cards with Santa on the front."
Our parents, like many of their generation, bought this mahogany Governor Winthrop desk shortly after they were married in 1946. I never remember a time when the desk was not in our house.
And it would be a rare evening when my father wasn't sitting at it, quietly sweating over the bills for a family of six, whipping through a crossword puzzle, reading, balancing the checkbook, or drawing detailed plans on graph paper.
And when I polished the desk, I found these "secret compartments" I didn't even know were there.