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.
Useless facts they point out on tours… The table top is from a single tree trunk and the edge was carved of that same trunk. The gilt on the porcelain ware is platinum. It maintains its shine better that way. The room was altered to accommodate the size of the rare wallpaper. The upholstery of the setee was cut from a woman’s fancy dress – the ultimate in re-purposing. George Washington slept here: how about he ate here? It’s dishes from his home. Thanks for the info. I also discovered that antique silver was polished every 20 years. More polish and the metal wears away so much that the silver weight is less. Once every 20 years… Umm, ok!
I made a new best friend. Wrong. I became a new best friend. The last time I saw Rory she was not quite aware of me. She could not remember me before our recent visit. Now, I am her best friend. Nice. I am touched and flattered. Because of covid we have not traveled much. It was sure nice to see the kids and get to know them, again.
We always seem to find things in little side trips – rolling pin, cheap gas, hungry relatives… There are always animals to be see and be seen with. I think we agreed it was a successful trip. We saw the relatives, the sights, antique shops, and photo ops.
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!?
Remember Yogi (Berra)? He said, “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” Nikon D70. The price was expensive but reasonable. Heretofore, digital SLR cameras cost upwards of $10k. Yikes! I got home from work and opened the box. Yes, I work late, really! And, I took pictures of the living room and kitchen. … and the family dog. I tried the built-in flash. The cow was a porcelain replica of large cows painted and distributed around public spaces in NYC. The ivory figure was a gift. It was used by women to point at areas of their body which were ailing. Modesty must be served. That figure was lost to me in the divorce. But, I can visit it.
How things changed! I timed the D70 purchase to use it for David’s graduation. It turns out that I never shot another frame of film from that point. Clean break! Complete. It was so abrupt. Done.
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?
Cameras? Colleen reads spinning and weaving – looms and spinning wheels. She follows new products and pines for that next new… wheel. Me? Cameras. I read the reviews and follow the innovations that make things easier/better to get the “shot.” Lately, there have been a host of new equipment releases. Nothing is shattering or a game changer. Ha ha, no wheels, no cameras. There’s nothing new to note. That is there is no camera pining around here for me. Colleen and I both recall having our very own Gilbert microscopes when we were younger. Telephone? We had one when an operator answered when you picked up the receiver in the days when our phone number was four digits. Singer sewing machine? Typewriter? Today – I live near the beach, have eight cats, and attend opening receptions at the museum. I don’t have a new camera. But, the ones I have do quite nicely. Looking back and now, I believe Colleen and I have very nice memories past and present. I am especially happy to say she is my present wife.
I’m a hobbyist – photographer. I do not collect cameras. I have cameras – more than one.
Don’t ask. We spin. Forget weaving for the moment (too many pictures). We have (spinning) wheels. We do not collect? Well, sort of. There are a few old ones not currently spinning. The rest are in active use. Even the old winder – weasel – is in use. Weasel? Yes, as in “pop goes the weasel” – a term used/derived from the button which pops when you have wound off the yardage of yarn you desire. There are different features – castle, Saxony, single or double drive, single or double treadle… Do we need ‘em all. Do you care? Colleen uses them. All. I do, now. Fun? Fun!! There is a certain “zen” in spinning. Oh! Did I mention wooly winder? And?? Spinning wheels go back over 1000 years. We have followed in a long hallowed cherished tradition. Neat!
Me? Spin? … in self defense. We have so much stash – fiber waiting to be spun – it would be impossible for one (or two) people to spin. So, I, too, have wheels in rotation. Name the wheel? Model, manufacturer? No, real names, Colleen has given real names to the wheels she uses. Ahem, … my cats have names.
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?
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.
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!
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.
A slice and a coke. What’s more American? This is/was my childhood. It has changed. The pizza is much more “craft” than of my high school days. We could get a slice and a coke by the subway for 35 cents. Games? Yeah, who’s looking for a Democrat Republican tic tac toe set? Old typewriters? In my lifetime they are obsolete. Striking mechanical keys? How quaint! Suddenly, things look so old…
There’s a shop we visit where the owners have been retiring for about five plus years. Everything is on sale 50% off. They wanna retire. Correct prices? How about 2X mark-up at ½ off? No? Well, whatever you buy is worth whatever you are willing to pay. There is a sense of scale to what things cost. Right? They specialize in Far East art, like Buddhas. Lee asked and was told depending on the culture Buddha has a different look. Some cultures believe Buddha is slim and in others, he is fat. I never paid much mind. I have learned something new once again. My cat? It could be Ray or it could be Nutley? Either way, they are well on the way to enlightenment. Does it matter which cat posed for me? Ummmm….
We go to antique stores. I pass the time by shooting typewriters. Do I like going to antique stores? Well, yes, it has grown on me (going to antique stores). So I shot typewriters to fend off boredom… well, I did collect one typewriter. It was an Underwood model like the one I typed all my term papers. Yeah, that’s a great memory?! But, anyway, I get three views now – front, top down keyboard, and the keys. So, I have a collection of typewriter shots. This is one set. Aren’t you thrilled? Yeah, yeah, the front view isn’t quite a front view. I am lazy. I don’t rearrange the displays to suit.
Lurking in antique stores, you come across a lot of weird stuff. People sell stuff like spittoons and bedpans. No! Skeevy! Every day I learn something new. Skeevy is a word. Onomatopoeia – words that imitate sounds – e.g. honk. Umm….no spittoon, no bedpan. Who collects, saves, and sells stuff like that?
The only difference between your iPhone and my camera is that my inconsequential pics have a higher technical quality. My daily diary is not particularly interesting. I have shots of the cats, where we’ve been, and the food we consumed. Mundane. Boring, no doubt. The stories behind the picture(s)? It’s all an experience/experiment. Does the picture come first or does the narrative come as I take the picture? Both, all of the above, a gorgeous sunset is easy. But I experiment. There are few new pictures. It’s mostly reworking previous subjects in a new situation. Repeat? You bet. New? Some, too. By now I should know what I’m doing and never miss. I should not have to repeat my mistakes. I know what to do. But… most of my stuff (images) is mundane and not worthy of more than a glance. Throw stuff away? A friend told me recently that he dumps all his bad images. Clutter! No clutter! No, no, no. I have faithfully cataloged all of my clutter with a database. Database? Why not? And images are stored on hard drives. There’s no space taken up there. …except if you have too many redundant drives. Anyway, today was mundane. Anything but… Coffee in the antique store, antique store (another), ghost church/cemetery, dinner/anniversary with the cousins, and food! There’s a fine line. But, every day is a gift! Really!! You gotta be smiling by now, YTIMA spelled backwards is llits AMITY.
I don’t drink. And, I especially don’t drink beer. It’s bitter. Colleen likes to laugh at my scrunched up face when I taste (she makes me) hers. She got to collecting beer steins. Real ones. Not Bud or Avon or Japanese. German, there’s a difference. (I bet you didn’t know or care.) Price-wise, we limit our purchases to under serious money. That is to say, I won’t agree to spend $100 and usually we are well under $50, like more in the range of $10. It’s no sport to find old steins unless you make a ridiculous set of limits. Occasionally we will break our rule, but on the whole it’s no fun to just scoop up anything in sight. It’s the hunt! Some days we find a lot. It’s always random. And, I still don’t drink beer. … gonna have to build a bigger bookcase.
Colleen got one (ornament) a while back. There were still some on display and for sale when we returned (antique store) about a month later. Indulgence. I did (for her). I admit it. I’m helpless. So, I let her go wild. She got the rest…except for the pink one. She hates pink. Okay! What was the internet price for my moment of weakness? 2X. The ‘net price was double what we paid. Something only has worth if it is something you desire and will cherish. So, it was a bargain at any price, but, I do like a savings, of sort.
So, we were tasked with three white elephant birthday gifts: two guys and one lady. Off we went on a scavenger hunt. Antique stores. Why not? I found a reticulated plate. Okay! One down. Next, I found a reticulated (different) plate. Okay! Two! In between we found a whole of other things not quite suitable, but in the running. Colleen was after a teapot. ??? Okay? She found one finally. Nice! She liked the teapot. So, it was off the gift list; it was a keeper. Okay! But when we put all these things together – they matched. Really! Nah! Ha! Matched! Who’d have thunk it! What were/are the odds? Pretty slim. Neat, sometimes, things just come together. Related? Yes, they are all labeled Germany and have the same print pattern and reticulation. Imagine our surprise? I sure was!
They make fun of me. I take pictures, randomly, of everything. There’s no rhyme nor reason. Is it just to take something, anything? Why!?? Film cost $$. A memory card costs $$. But the bang for your buck… is incomparable. So, I shoot, whatever. Lately – for a while – I shoot old typewriters. Now, I shoot in three views – face on, top down, and the keys. Three pictures explain better than my description herein. I have seen many many typewriters. I have the view of them. Why? Dunno, but I do.
What? More. The baby pram? Um? Colleen has admired them. We don’t need one. Right. There are no kids at home. Old Singer sewing machine. Don’t ask. I’ve got too many to count. Don’t laugh. Old typewriter. Ditto. Old writing desk. Curious. Neat. And a harp? That’s something you don’t see often.