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.
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!
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?
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.
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!
What do you collect
Jen had house guests who wanted to go to antique stores. But, of course, we would join them. For many reasons we did not come to this hobby until late in life. Cost was a big hurdle. Trolling for a bargain is a must. Otherwise, well, you know what happens when you squander a fortune on a bauble. One guest was in quest of duck decoys. Sigh. Everyone to their taste. Me? I shoot typewriters. I’m content. We don’t need one. Bed pans and urinals? Ummm. No thanks. A tiered Christmas pyramid ornament? We have one. Enough. Fun? Priceless! Duck decoy? $25, maybe. $275, (nope!!) ha ha! That would take away from the quest to find a hidden bargain.
Ticks and bees
I dreamt about posting/blogging. Yeah, weird. I never did that before. The old question arises. Am I shooting for the blog? Or, are my shots “worthy” photos? Technically correct, many of my images are good. But, worthy? Goofy! Goofy? My garden – I discovered a tick (looking at the flower picture) after the shoot. Ha! I thought it was a spider. Wrong! And, long gone, there is no finding that tick. Now, I have to worry about my cats. Bee? Almost, but no cigar. The focus missed by just that much. Alas. Focus!? Ah, an antique store with old cameras. Wonderful, but, they are film. Collector’s item? No, more like they are dust collectors. Covid is pretty much done. There are no rules any longer. We are half masked, or, not. Brain coral celosia? Close, but not quite, I am still working on focus and lighting. Poor Peas, the calico kitten, has her own problems. She’s cute. The older Maine coon cats are jealous? They keep jumping her! I mean pouncing, hissing, loud, mean, ambush type altercations. So, ticks, are a problem but not foremost among what I think about.
If you take away no other information, Colleen loves to eat out. It’s a bread stick! …but sublime. What a smile! Travel day – it’s the long ride to or from. We usually squeeze in an antique store or two. Some are high end “curated” – i.e. expensive! – and others are more practical – fun. No matter what, there’s always a lot of what you don’t need or didn’t know anyone else would ever buy – an electric cow milking machine? Shepard and sheep? Empty tin cans? Iron skillet? Oh, the things you find! Herd immunity? And the smile (eating out)… priceless!
What do you do on a day you’d like to celebrate in an understated way? Head to the bookstore, antique store, and on to the favorite restaurant. Someone got a very nice day out of the deal. Pardon the out of focus shots – low/dim lighting. That would be crab imperial – pretty much straight lump crab meat. We got a teacher discount at Apple. And, “one thing” at Barnes and Noble – that’s the rule, just one thing. Happily married? I joke. But, it is not an oxymoron in our little house.
The Amish are odd because of their habits – no buttons or zippers on their clothes. And they do not use electricity or machine power. The hay baler is not powered, I guess. We all live amonst one another in peace. No pictures please. You know me. There’s never been a rule I didn’t try to break. Sorry. The rule in “Street photography” is that in “public” you are fair game for photography. It doesn’t mean I will photograph if you are in an embarrassing position. But otherwise…. that weaving device was one of the few I did not buy. What is it? Dunno. It would’ve been a good conversation starter.