We were just in Winterthur. 90,000 objects of antiquity collected by Mr Dupont and foundation. No touching! You would not want to weather, age, or damage a “collectible.” Next stop, New Castle, antique store, priced items for sale. Touching required. I get to handle priced antiques before they go priceless. Gee some of the stuff is pretty much what we saw and were forbidden to handle moments ago. Go figure.
I shoot old typewriters and Republicans too. Oops! Did I just type that? No no no, I say, I did not type that. I get three views of a typewriter now: top down, keys, and logo view. I shoot sewing machines and adding machines. I shoot Republicans too, if you would count Ginny… with a camera! Duh! Telephones? Not so much. Who has one any more? – roatary, touch dial, and no key. I once had a 4 digit phone number when we lived in Elkins. And the operator came on the line to connect you whenever you picked up the receiver. My my, that’s old. None of our kids currently has a hard line phone. We ditched ours years back when we got rid of the cable TV company for poor service. It’s all iPhone nowadays. Wow! Suddenly, it is unusual for anyone we talk with to not have an Apple phone. Yes, there are plenty, but they must mostly be Republican.
We’ve been indoors and isolated for about a week. The new Covid variant…. Clouds from my window… dramatic! Antique store, yes we were bored. Who collected empty tins? And, there was even stuff in some of them! Poor, goy, he could not decide and got his money’s worth in the stained glass sign. Yeah, I gotta say, we do have fun times. One more time to the “Ag (griculture)” museum. Oh my!!
Sign – in 14 languages. Are there universal signs? You know, signs that will start a fight in any country? What’s with the glass skulls? – healing, psychic abilities, and power over death. Oh. Aha! Old phone, old clock, gotta have one. Got one?!
And, Ruth Lyons? Never heard of her…the owner of the booth gave Colleen a long rundown on her career. Longgg…explanation. Who’s Ruth? The group album – in the middle – duh! But I found another album with just her a few booths later. Hmmm, popular in her time, so quickly forgotten.
Patience. If you are patient and wait antiques will present themselves at a “right” price. Old camera? Argus C3, my mother had one. It was the first camera I used when I won the Golden Horseshoe in West Virginia and took utterly bad BxW photos at the event. I had no clue how to use the camera. So old, the camera is not worth much, hence it must be bargain priced to consider purchasing.
Just about anything old can be found. A gas pump? Thank goodness we never collected rolling pins. Old violin. Our granddaughter has begun playing… Tea pots, beer steins, Santa, old European phone…?
Typewriter?…looks like elephant ears. I have to admit I like a bargain. I like the thrill of the find. And I am thoroughly bemused that one might wake up in the morning and say, “Let’s go out and buy an old gas pump today!” No no, Budweiser steins are not particularly collectable. West German steins are more commonly admired. Everything has an audience and a buy it would seem. Yes, there was a booth with many empty beer cans. Ugh!
Typewriter? I have never seen one the likes of this one. Ebay? Internet? Sure, probably easy to find. Ha ha. They are called “bat wing” style – two, right now, on Ebay. Don’t miss out!?
Antique stores are indulgence. You don’t need anything. And heavens knows we do not! We are not minimalists as our kids are. It’s embarrassing. Beer steins? We collect them. We adhere to a price point. A low price point ensures that we go home with few steins. And yet, we still have to many on the shelves. Typewriter? No! I got the one that I typed my college term papers; it’s enough! Nope, room for one more… A clock…how quaint. It works! Empty or full, no Coke bottles. Nope! Perhaps it’s better if we do not walk into an antique store. It’s sport. There is an element of gambling. There is the thrill of the “find!” Sometimes you win. Often you don’t. It’s nostalgia. There is no admission and no cost to “look.” And then…be careful of indulging a whim.
Since we are only recently found and married together Colleen and I have a lot of decades to make up for. We both bring things to the marriage and we both are still in the acquisitive stage. For instance: Christmas.
Thank goodness we do not collect everything. But at about this time of year we haunt antique stores for Santa figures. Recently Colleen admired carolers. Too expensive $$. Then we got some in an estate sale. Cheap! And now we are acquiring them. It seems they jump out and the price is too low to resist. We do not collect nutcrackers. Nativity scenes? Nope. Not them either. Vintage mixing storage bowls – would you believe the price? Hundreds of $$ for a set. No way!! Too expensive for us. Ha ha! We do not like nor need them. Blue Willow pattern porcelain – yup. Music Christmas boxes – on occasion. And our home? It’s cozy and getting more cozy after each trip to the antique store. Ah! And it is always a photo-op.
Antique – older than 100 years old. Vintage – older than 1999. Antique – anything old…
Hey, we are old! Antiques?!
Ladies Home Journal 1898 issue, that would be old, vintage, and antique. I’m impressed that it sold for as little as we paid. But, then again, who’s heard of the magazine, much less who wants an old copy?
I remember mine. Colleen remembers hers. Each other’s parents. They were born after 1900. 10, 20’s? It’s a number. It is abstract. And we approach the same relative to our grandchildren. Sadly, my brother has not yet seen his grandchild. Life is never simple. Age is not just a number. Hug the one you’re with.
Two years ago, covid pandemic, we ventured out – to the antique store. Cautious! Precautions! What did we see? What do we collect? Old cameras – a few. Spinning wheels – ha! Sewing machines – a few, done! Blue willow china – more please. Christmas carolers – oy, expensive! Santa – where you find one. Ornaments – ok, but of course. Beer steins – at the right price. When is enough enough? I guess it is the lure of the bargain, finding something of value for less. It’s like a lottery. Sometimes you win. Or, maybe you never do. All I can say is that I am happy to be in the game. Yeah, yeah, I take pictures in the antique store. Of course! It’s free to look!
What’s in yours?
Ha ha. My Lightroom catalog reflects what is in my life. Of course! Family! Love. Life. Food. Sunrise. Sunset. Cats. Antique stores. Flowers. Sheep. Fiber. I state the obvious. There is so much. No going back. I wish…. I miss Lulu (Saudi). I love Feather and Spice. …and Colleen. Transformational. Colleen has made all of life worth living these days. I hope the day never ends.
Scene at the antique store
What is it? Seen it? Need one?
I had an early Kodak instamatic camera back in 1965? It was the “100” model and shot 126 film. I got it and we went to the NY World’s Fair in Flushing, NY. Old soda? Can you drink it? At these prices? How about a sewing box? Need one? Dirty or clean? I guess the clean ones sold out. It’s a winder. Wind what? For what? Elephant pottery. Use? Dunno. New! In the box! Food mill. It’s a bargain, you don’t see them around nowadays?
Nostalgia? Memories? We go to the antique store and find more stuff we don’t need and didn’t know we wanted and didn’t know we missed. Fun. But, no.
A day out
After a week of rain, fog, and wind, we ventured out into the world again. Stir crazy! Low and behold the beach was severely eroded. Wind and tides. I would say we lost 6 feet of sand. Well, as they say, I know where it went. Insanity! The police and beach people say they do not know when the government will be by to replenish the sand. Why? Would you? Should you? Meanwhile, Mother Nature sure is powerful!
After a week… we hit our usual antique stores. Strictly browsing. We still got stuff I/we did not need! But not this. Elvis? Fewer and fewer people remember. I carry a replica license. His pic and mine are similar. Retro hats? We still plan to attend another high tea. One simply must be properly attired! Yes, nuts. Us. But, fun!
When I said to my wife – no names please – “We need another loom, like a hole in the head.” I meant it; and, I am, indeed capable (of drilling holes in your/mine head, as a retired neurosurgeon! Later that day a large heavy box arrived. A cat tower! It’s taller than my (same, present, nut) wife. What?! Wut?!! W#$hat#$!! The cats paid no attention. We had to put them on it. No, nope, never! Yup! Since then, they have been all over it! Darn! Another piece of furniture that I have no space for! (Would this be the proverbial “dangling preposition?”
No more!? Stuff!? No more stuff? No, more stuff! What a difference a comma makes. “,” one little punctuation point. No more cats?! Another loom? They were giving it away at the Thrift Store. Yeah, $550. Ok! Price reduced! We bargained down – way way down (under $100) – the provenance? It was made in Marblehead MA. It was a therapy loom – Devereaux, for insane people in recovery rehab. Oh! How appropriate! Bookstores?! No more! We just went through our bookcases…. A ton of books lie on the floor waiting to go to donation. Go!? No!? I don’t know. Magazines find us. And, books leap into Colleen’s arms. And magazines!! Still!? Yeah, it is a cute antique loom made centuries ago. A real antique. I have no room! It’ sitting in the hall landing. Help!?
Though she tries, Colleen has been unable to filter me. Hey! Who doesn’t like the holidays? We like them though they are stressful and lots of work. Really? Ummm… well… we have lots to do. I am, sometimes, beside myself. Slow down! Let things unfold slowly and naturally. And, yet, we have a good time, too. That, there picture would be Charles Dickens great grandson performing a one man show of Christmas Carol. For real! Yes!
Strange things happen during the holidays. Masks were still in – style. And, the non sequiturs? Don’t ask, I take odd and strange photos, too. The pink juicer has been our unicorn for years. Buy it?!
It was the year of the gnome. What do our cats know from Xmas? Our youngest. It used to be, that you dressed up all formal for Xmas. No more. PJ’s are just fine! Cuteness is independent of fashion. Have I worn a tie since I retired?
A while ago
I have recounted our courtship and marriage before. Claddagh ring and Celtic knot – Colleen’s ring was made in Ireland, mine is of titanium. Symbolic? Colleen’s symbolizes friendship, loyalty, and love. Mine is a knot without beginning nor end – unity and eternal life. Titanium (was) – the material of spinal fusion screws that dominated my later neurosurgery career.
Dog year – it varies but, is considered equivalent to 7 human years. Our relationship is barely a year old. Baskets, beer steins, antiques, and cats are sprinkled liberally about our lives. We make elaborate baskets but nothing so woven as these from the museum. We have a real toaster oven. We did discover civilization as we got older. We have a fun and loving marriage. No, I do not know how a squirrel got inside a squirrel-proof bird feeder. Once in a while, I look back. Did I shoot that picture?
In a rut
I can hear Carol – “…enough cats already” And, “eight is enough!” I’m shooting the same things over and over as when I was diving the Red Sea. Enough fish… hey! I have a camera near at hand. This is the subject material that presents itself to my lens. I am lazy. We don’t get out enough. My bad. Colleen wants to go around anytime anywhere. We got a lot of “going around” to make up for. When do you see a bed pan with a chimney? The moon is not an easy subject, but, it shows up. Telephone poles always seem to be close by when you want to shoot the perfect sunset. I love my cats, too. They are just too cute sometimes. So, what to shoot? I hope travel restrictions end soon. We would like to go again. I am, indeed, a lazy photographer. I shoot what’s available. No doubt. But, I do try to shoot each and every day. Hey! It’s a hobby, not work. Happy and hobby have lots in common.
I have never been in many antique stores before I was with Colleen. No longer. I have been in antique stores across the US and the world, now. In our early days of getting to know one another, we were pretty innocent. Anything goes/went. Now, we avoid curated antique stores and equally we avoid junk shops. You would know one or the other if you saw it. I still shoot (photograph) typewriters. My first phone as a kid had no numbers. Ha ha. You picked up the receiver and the operator answered.
Too little time
Too many stories. We are lucky. A picture can tell a thousand words. I prefer to be succinct. Pictures!
Colleen says I look at people (women) too much. Things have changed. How do you come to work? Really!? Mom always said wear clean underwear. If you come to the trauma ER, they cut your clothes off you. I’ve seen some pretty fancy underwear (shredded). Just wondering…. Another sunrise? I am so fortunate to see another. It’s a gift. The Turkish plate? It’s totally out of character and out of sync to everything else in the house. It fits right in. Nope, we are not in need of a bed pan. I don’t see an old “set” every day. Likely, I will not again. Everything is disposable now. Yes, the times are changing. I used to go to work in suit and tie. In my last job, I simply lived in scrubs for four straight years. A tie and jacket came out of the closet only a handful of days.
Years later… pink juicer
This is a tale. Ha! Colleen saw a pink juicer a long, long time ago. We have been to many antique stores since (years!!). We have never seen another. I presume she did not buy it when first seen, because it was too $$. Oh! The waiting! Don’t they sell them? They sure don’t make any! I caved. This past autumn I went on eBay. Voila! Delivered! Done! Ah! She said I was so sweet! We haunted antique stores this Christmas for Santas and other such Christmas bargains. This shop, we almost did not go into. It was the end of the day; we were tired; and, how many antique stores can one wander into? Damn! Sitting pretty! Right there on the shelf! A pink juicer! The price was reasonable. It was almost surely coming home with Colleen at about any price! And who knew there was a pitcher that went under the darn thing?
You win. You lose. We have not lost… any cats. And we are pretty much safe with ornaments (too)… so far. We got some retro ornaments. Nice. It’s nostalgic. Ha! I/we never had ornaments that looked like this when we were kids. Bargains. One Santa was a little as a $1. I made the Santa blocks. Ok, “V” is for Victor. The other letters? Dave? “U, K, B??” Huh?! And where is “C” for Colleen? I’m in deep trouble if she figures out the names of old girlfriends?! For, now I will stick with the glow of that “found” pink juicer!
Sometimes I think Colleen and I have a lot of time to catch up. That is to say – what would have had happened if we had been together fifty years? Shopping? Oh boy! The candy store is now, an antique store. We don’t buy candy. But… in an antique store Santa and Xmas is fair game. Gifts – the nativity went to a cousin. Snow globe – for Noa’s pleasure. The stone tablet, now painted – was ballast for ships coming to New Orleans. We scored a German pyramid ornament. Rare indeed to see; we have two now. Oh boy! Santa? Yes, Colleen decided to collect ones she liked. Oh boy! It means that they all don’t come home with us. The beneficiaries? My cats love siting scrunched up in boxes and baskets that we get. Yeah, yeah, I cannot blame Colleen alone; I have been guilty of a purchase or two. How about a light up Mexican style kitchen scene?
Custom and practice
I prepare posts in advance. It allows me the space to compose and create and pick photos from my catalog. A few posts got away (published in advance) on Nov 30. My bad. I did not pay attention to the publish date. Jules told me a long time ago, too much was a waste. So, I did not and do not post multiples per day since her admonishment. Ha ha. Another, non sequitur. We hang out in antique stores. This one is somewhere in Missouri. Yes, Dorothy, we have traversed Kansas too. It’s somewhere around St Louis. I won’t go into details about how I know. And, you cannot tell (where we are) either. Old phone? With dial or without!? I bet there are many folks who have never seen this kind of phone. I shoot typewriters, too. This is the model I typed all my college term papers on – usually at about 3AM in the morning. Remedies? What will they put in a bottle. And, some have patents as well?! Geez! Toilet cream makes me laugh. No, I have never used it. But, in the misunderstanding of terms, it makes for a great juvenile joke among pre-teens. Yeah, there’s a little Peter Pan in me, still.
Where do you wanna go? I dunno. Typical. We had no plan. Do you need a plan? The local – throw away – paper proclaimed, farmer’s market. Ok! We met a basket maker who carries everything on her bicycle, including finished baskets, reed, and basket making tools. Driving along we found the ultimate junk store. Rusty nails! … by the pound. If you dye (fiber) then this is a mordant to set and contribute color. (I bet you wanted to know.) Alpaca farm? They spit?! … if you get in their face. Rude! We got fleece! Of course! Not fleeced. No! If you spin and weave, this was a good day!
Antique stores? Some are curated. Others are more junk shop with old rusty stuff. Curated? Well, this is where I overheard a customer bargain over a $1,500 duck decoy. Yes! The paint and other details changed after WW II and there are wood artists who crafted these items. $$$$ as in expensive! Huh! How about the silver antique store? it was full of shiny silverware and objects of great $$$ value. Really?! And who shined it all up? I laughed. There were a few bargains. And there were the Tiffany scissors for $395. Ummm, no. Junk shop? Well, not that either. We will just keep moving on. There are bargains waiting, somewhere. Otherwise, photo-ops are free.
Motion… close enough
Colleen is a good sport. We went back to the powwow for more… shots, and, a better vantage point (… and to roast once more). Our position on the day before was less than ideal. I got shots but… let us say that the second time around I was satisfied with our vantage (close enough to touch); it was blazingly hot. The crowd got to participate. Politicians made a cameo. Eastern war dancers (one) from Shinnecock got called out. The chief dancer has appeared in the same regalia in other pics in other years. Hoop dancers? … new to me. As I tried to absorb it, I captured some of the energy and motion. We even got a bird show. I am glad we went back.
The price? Dinner out. I got off easy. It was pizza. We were entertained (enlarge the image) with a wedding party – extra large – in the park across the way. Colleen, eagle eye, noticed the party. And, to finish? A “Bud” mug in the antique store. Priceless!