Saturday, March 31, 2012

I'm Nuts, You're Nuts, We're All Nuts for Peanuts

I mentioned in my last post I had gone to an estate sale last Saturday morning looking for several key items. One of them was a set of early Peanuts figures I had seen on The figures were Charlie Brown, Sally, Lucy and Linus. I knew they were early because Sally was still a baby. The sale actually started on Friday, so I wasn't hopeful they would still be there. I showed up about 15 minutes before the doors opened and was 11th in line. When the doors opened, I was able to get in and immediately proceeded to canvas the house, not knowing exactly where they might be. After pausing for some character glasses (more on those in a later post), I found the figures. Unfortunately, someone had bought the Lucy. Just the Lucy. Who does that? You can't break up the Peanuts gang! I grabbed the 3 remaining figures which turned out to be made of plaster. They appeared to something you might buy at a pottery shop, paint and have fired, so not a commercially released item, but still nicely done.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Estate Sale Archeology

No, it's not the name of a new reality trash to treasure show on the History Channel.  I was at an estate sale off of Milburn Road in Oakville Saturday morning with the specific intention of buying a few key items (more on that later).  This house was packed from top to bottom.  I wouldn't call the previous owner a hoarder, but they certainly had tendencies toward that.  The basement in particular was a scattered mess of items, many laying on the floor covered in dirt and dust.  There were so many items, I must have gone through each room of the house at least 3 times.  On the last pass through the basement, I noticed a box of what appeared to be rocks laying on a shelf.  They turned out to be arrow points, mostly pieces.  The box was marked $2, but it was 50% on Saturday, so a dollar brought it home.

Like I said, most are pieces and not full points, but here a few of the nicer pieces:

And the best piece in the entire box, was almost overlooked, being so small.  A stone bead.  I have no idea how you would drill a star-shaped hole through a rock.  I suspect with great patience and diligence:

When I was a kid, I would often search my father's garden after the spring plowing looking for arrowheads.  By the time I came along, most choice points had already been found by my older siblings, but I still managed to find one here and there.  My father initially thought these had been left by Native Americans passing through on the Trail of Tears.  I now know these are artifacts from the Mississipian Culture, commonly know as the Mound Builders, that lived throughout the Midwest from 800 to 1500 AD.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Erin Forever

Happy St. Patrick's Day.  In honor, I present a postcard I found among those I bought at an estate sale last Fall.  I previously profiled the Christmas portion of the cards here.

This is the only St. Patrick's Day postcard I've ever come across, given from one sister to another on March 17th, 1909, 103 years ago.  It was apparently also the receiving sister's eighteenth birthday making her actual day of birth March 17th, 1891.

Each leaf of the shamrock has been annotated with "six years" for a total of 18 years.  The text in the pipe reads, "CHEER UP.  eighteen years ago you where (sic) the cause of great happiness to your mother do you remember anything about this."

On the back, "St. Louis MO March 17th 09.  For my Irish sister."  I'm unsure of the initials.  OOG?  ODG?

The card was made by the Ullman Manufacturing Company of New York.  Not much information can be found on the company on the internet, although what little I did find suggests they operated from around 1888 to 1946 and were run be brothers Nathan, Max, Louis and Isidor Ullman.  Their peak years were between 1900 and 1915 where this postcard falls in.

Happy 121st Birthday Irish sister, and Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone else.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Tale of Four Projectors

I'm an admitted AV Geek Wannabe.  Is there anything lower than that?  I never belonged to the AV club in high school and never got to wheel around or operate the 16mm projectors that would grant brief respite from the daily school lesson in favor of a film.  Any film was better than a lecture.  While I had a fascination with the films in school, it wasn't until many years later that I developed an interest in the equipment.  Over the years I've acquired a number of 16mm, 8mm, and Super 8 projectors and a variety of film.  This is the story of four garage sale finds.

First up is the Kodak MovieDeck 455.  This is kind of an odd duck.  As opposed to the traditional projectors where the film reels are upright, this one has the film reel laying flat with the film winding an obstacle course of glides into the belly of the beast and winding on a pickup reel laying flat in the bottom.  I bought this at a garage sale Summer of 2010 thinking it was a slide projector.  The projector and screen were $7.  This projector is a dual 8 projector, handling both Standard 8mm and Super 8mm film with the flip of a switch.  For those not in the know, the difference between 8mm and Super 8mm film, from a projection standpoint, is the size of spacing of the sprocket holes on the film. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Banner Year

A couple weeks back I went to an estate sale at an old farmhouse in Jefferson County.  I wasn't expecting much as rural folk tend to have fewer frivoulous items and this was not an exception.  However, while looking through some books, I came across a a couple yearbooks from the 1940's.  I'm always baffled how a family can let items like these go.  People ask me why I would want someone else's yearbook.  First of all, at a quarter, I don't have much to lose.  But also, I think I want them because somebody else didn't.    I become keeper of someone else's memories.  I just realized something.  My home has become the Island of Misfit Memories.   Memories cast off by others, gathered, sheltered and seeking a new home.  And I now have a new category for my posts!

The book I chose to profile is the 1945 edition.  The book is from Kulpmont High School in Kulpmont, Pennsylvania or more appropriately, the newly (in 1945) rechristened Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial High School.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Handy Connection

I made a Garage Salin' connection this morning.  While reading an regular feature called "A Look Back" in this morning's Sunday edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, I came across a familiar name.  The article told the story of W. C. Handy and his most famous song St. Louis Blues: 

Handy was a successful band leader and composer on Beale Avenue (later Street) in Memphis when he published the "St. Louis Blues" in 1914. He said hard times in St. Louis inspired the lyrics.

But Hardy originally called it "Jogo Blues" and renamed it in honor of Russell Gardner, a wealthy buggy manufacturer from St. Louis. Gardner enjoyed Hardy's music and tipped him $20 whenever he visited Memphis.

"It became a great favorite of his," Handy said of the song and Gardner.

I recognized Russell Gardner as the owner of Banner Buggy Works, of which I have a silver spoon with an engraved image of the company logo and wrote about here.

I was surprised to learn how wealthy Russell Gardner was.  Apparently, he even owned his own steamboat, the Annie Russell.  From the Post-Dispatch article:

Look Back:  W.C. Handy, 1932

Look Back:  W.C. Handy, 1932
Russell Gardner on the desk of his steamboat, the Annie Russell. Gardner was successful and prominent in St. Louis and along the river. His brother, Fred Gardner, was Missouri governor from 1917 to 1921. Russell Gardner's buggy factory on the riverfront just south of downtown on Rutger Street.
It makes me wonder if the spoon was a souvenir spoon as I had thought, or could it have actually been used on the steamboat.  If you can afford your own steamboat, surely you can afford to have all of its silverware engraved with your company's logo.

One final connection to this morning's article: I'm also pretty sure we performed St. Louis Blues on the album I recorded with the Oakville High School Band I wrote about here.
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