Thursday, December 31, 2020

Stag Famous Firsts

Just in the nick of time for your New Years Eve party are these helpful party and snack tips from the folks at Stag Beer.  There's no date on this, but based on the hair and clothes styles, I'd put it late 1950's.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Revlis Starlite Christmas Tree

There's a neighborhood garage sale in Affton, Missouri that's held annually in June to which I've been going since discovering it about 3 years ago. It's an older neighborhood and always seems to bring out some good items. This year, I came across a beaten up box filled with what appeared to be white branches to a Christmas tree.  Further digging revealed they were indeed that and that the box also held the trunk.  It looked similar to the silver aluminum trees I'm more familiar with having 2 sections of trunk that fit together with holes drilled into the trunk to receive the varied sized branches.  The needles weren't aluminum, but rather plastic or vinyl. 

It wasn't marked with a price, so I asked the woman who was hosting the sale.  She said $10.  Not knowing if all the branches were there, I was a bit hesitant and put the tree back.  As I was getting ready to check out with my other items, her husband whispered, "I'll let you have it for $5".  So I went home with it.  Setting it up, I found it was missing just one branch which didn't really affect the look.  I put it away in our attic and almost forgot about it until this past week.  I dug it out and set it up and decorated it using just red, green and gold glass ornaments and an atomic tree topper (another garage sale find).

Monday, December 21, 2020

Santa's Surprise Book (The Surprise is the "Follow the Dots" Are Really Easy)

The week of Christmas is upon us already.  If you need something to put you in the spirit, here's Santa's Suprise Book, courtesy of Walgreen (or Walgreen's, as we always called them).

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Surprising Die Cuts

I picked up this vintage plastic wreath a couple years ago and it has sat in the box since then. Normally, we hang a "fresh" wreath, but to be honest, I usually wait until a few days before Christmas to buy one because they go half-off (yes, I'm cheap).  So I thought I'd hang this plastic one in the interim this year.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Trashed Santa

 Not a Santa that went on a bender, but rather a Santa literally thrown in the trash.

Last winter I while driving my daughter to school, I saw a debris pile in front of a house being renovated.  Actually, what caught my attention was a large dollhouse next to the pile.  I thought my youngest daughter would enjoy that, so I stopped to pick it up. After loading that up, I glanced through the other items thrown out and saw a Santa Claus figure covered in snow and leaves.  I initially dismissed it as a modern decoration, but figured I might as well take a look.  As it turned out, it was a Harold Gale piece, made most likely in the 1950's.


Here he is, still covered in dirt and leaves.  He stands 22" tall to the peak of his hat.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Behind the Scene

A year ago last summer (2019), I walked into a garage sale in Sappington, Missouri where nothing was marked.  The host said "Everything is for sale".  I noticed a framed print hanging on the wall of the garage and pointed at it and asked if it was.  "Sure. $3," was his answer.

It wasn't a particularly nice frame and the print was deteriorating, but I liked the subject and bought it.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Halloween Post Mortem 2020

Well, once again, Halloween has come and passed.  I may have stretched the idea of Halloween on a few posts this month, but overall, I think I kept it focused.  I managed to once again churn out a post per day, which believe me required some stretching.

So how did I do?

Based on my site's statistics, readership peaked on October 19th with 529 views.  Total views for the month was 9,980 which is down about 2,000 from last year.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Waxy Witchie

Welcome to Day 31, or as we call it in the business, "The Big Dance".  Nah, nobody calls it that.  It's Halloween!!  Or Hallowe'en or even All Hallows Eve if you like to get all olde tymey.

Today's offering is possibly the smallest I've posted this season, but to me, it encapsulates the embodiment of Halloween memories in a wax shell.  In this case a wax witch.  I found this lonely witch among a miscellaneous lot of Halloween decorations at an estate sale this past summer.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Halloween Dynamite

This issue of Dynamite is a find from a while back. Amazingly, it's one I didn't have from my childhood days of reading Dynamite.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Great Giant Jigglin' Skeletons!

"Great Giant Jigglin' Skeletons" may be my new phrase of astonishment and it's what I said when I saw this set of twin jiggling rubber bones at a recent sale.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Spook-O-Lites

One of the challenges in collecting vintage holiday decorations is establishing the manufacturer and production year.  If you don't have the original box and there are no markings on the item, it's that much more challenging.  Of course, this information isn't necessary to enjoy them for what they are, but as a collector, it enhances my enjoyment of them and furthers my understanding of the progression of Halloween decorations through the years.  I can't say I have a very structured or scholastic approach to determining the source and age of the items I collect. I generally do a lot of searching on the internet and through shear volume of data gathering, I'm able to stumble upon an answer.  Such was the case with this small blow mold skull. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Stairway to the Halloween Stars

I found this in the basement of an estate sale quite a few years ago.  I've always called it a "moon shelf".  It looked homemade from plywood, and as it turns out, it was.  My daughter hung it in her room and put knick-knacks on it.  She's recently (and quickly) grown up.  A whole 13 years old and wants to distance herself from the things of her childhood. Sigh.

Monday, October 26, 2020

What was on TV October 24th through 30th, 1981

This is a repost from October 30th, 2015, but it's a fun one. Plus I've fixed the invalid Youtube links. Enjoy!

I don't have a lot of commentary on this issue simply because I wanted to get it out quickly.  Halloween is fast approaching and I'm hopping busy.  This issue has some great Halloween show ads including "Disney's Halloween", "Bugs Bunny's Howl-oween", "Dark Night of the Scarecrow" (still a favorite), the network debut of "John Carpenter's Halloween" and of course "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."  The network shows were running behind this year, so there are also lots of season premiers of your favorite shows from yesteryear.  Enjoy!


Electric Halloween Candle Sticks

I found a bag of these electric candle sticks at a garage sale a number of years ago.  They probably date from the late 1980's to early 1990's.  They're a fun spin on the more traditional white Christmas candle sticks.

 

Sunday, October 25, 2020

A Shocking Find

 This porcelain Jack O' Lantern lamp dates from 1980. It was a recent find (just last week).  While it's not terribly vintage, I liked its look.  It stands 8" tall.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Halloween Ads -- Leftovers

Today will be the final installment of my Halloween advertising slicks (collective sigh heard throughout all blogdom).  Today, I'll focus on some of the full pages with some closeups and a general house clearing of the leftovers. Enjoy!

Friday, October 23, 2020

Timmy the Copyright Infringing Ghost

Capitalizing (if not downright infringing) upon the popularity of "Casper the Friendly Ghost", Charlton Comics introduced "Timmy the Timid Ghost" in 1956.  Casper had been in Paramount cartoons since 1945 and Harvey comics since 1952; 4 years before Charlton decided to throw its sheet into the ring.  This November 1970 issue was nearly at the end of Timmy's afterlife; the comic was cancelled in 1971, though it made a brief 3-issue reprint reappearance in 1985.  

Despite sporting an upswept curl and a bold red "T" on his chest to dispel any confusion with his rival, the similarities far outweighed the differences.  Timmy even had a  bowler-derby-wearing "Spooky"-clone friend named "Max".

I'm not sure what Timmy had to worry about here.  He could fly, so he wouldn't fall in the lake, plus he was already dead.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Scholastic Horrors

When I was a kid, we had a couple books laying around in our "book box" (we didn't have any book cases) that both intrigued and frightened me.  They were both Scolastic/Arrow books of ghost stories.  It wasn't the content of the books that scared me, it was the covers themselves.  Those books were lost over the years, but I was able to find them at various sales.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Ghostly Rehab

Following up yesterday's Witch candle, we're going to take a look at another classic Gurley candle.  This one is a popular design of a shrouded ghost holding a Jack O' Lantern.  I thought I'd talk a little about candle maintenance as well.

I found this candle at a garage sale over the summer.  Candles have a tendency to collect dust and dirt and this one was no exception.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Oooooo ooo, Witchy Woman

 This witch has seen better days, but she was unique and not like other candles I've seen.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Palace of Poison

In 1947, a local St. Louis, Missouri entrepreneur named Arthur Wild opened a hamburger stand with a twist in Lemay, a community in south St. Louis County.  With a passion for the weird and unusual, he named his restaurant "Wild's Palace of Poison".  Situated at 1500 Lemay Ferry, one of the main thoroughfare's in South St. Louis County, it became a popular hangout for teens of the 1950's.

A few weeks ago, I attended the estate sale of Art's widow (Art having passed away about a decade ago).  There were few mementos left of the restaurant, but I did pick up this facsimile of an original menu.


Sunday, October 18, 2020

And They Used Bon Ami

I'll admit this is another post with a tenuous connection to Halloween, but ask yourself this: How much are you paying for this?

"The Ghost and Mr. Chicken", Don Knotts' first movie foray post "The Andy Griffith Show", is a favorite of mine. I've watched almost annually since I was a kid back when one of our local stations would broadcast it once a year, normally on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.  If you're not familiar with the movie, it concerns a wannabe newspaper reporter who is given his big chance for a front-page newspaper article by spending the night in a haunted "murder house". One of the main props in the movie is an organ that was said to have been played by the murderer whose blood stained hands left permanent prints on the keys.  Efforts to clean the keys were useless -- and they even used...


I will admit, this was the sole reason I bought this at an estate sale.  An inside joke only a select group would get.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Halloween Ads - Vignettes

 You didn't think I was out of ads, did you?  Today we look at some of the standalone Halloween vignettes you could add to your ad.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Witch Jack O' Lantern Blow Mold

A couple weekends ago I headed out garage saling by myself for the first time in a long time.  Normally, my wife and any number of my kids will go along, but they were all busy that particular morning.  I took one of my old routes I hadn't visited this summer and it paid off. I found a lot of vintage items which I plan to blog about after the Countdown is over, but one of the items was Halloween related.

This pumpkin blow mold sporting a jauntily worn witch's hat is smaller than my other jack o' lantern blow molds.  It measures 8" tall and only about 6" across.


Thursday, October 15, 2020

Jack and Jill October 1961

I'm going to take it easy today and just post this October 1961 issue of Jack and Jill with little commentary. I hope you don't mind.  I'm posting mainly the Halloween related pages of the magazine, although I did include the interview with Jerry Mathers since it's on the cover and because "Leave it to Beaver" is one of my favorite shows.  Answers to the puzzles at the end.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Uncanny Finds -- Red Devil Lighter Fluid

I came across this little can of Red Devil lighter fluid in the garage of a recent sale.  Looks like old Scratch is a bit of a fire bug. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Blinky Skull

This Blinky Glow Lite blow mold skull was a find from last year.  Apparently, I never got around to posting it, so good news, now I can.

 

Monday, October 12, 2020

The Monsters Go Disco

 I often lament to my kids as we stroll down the cereal aisle how the magic of cereal is gone. Time was every box in the aisle touted prizes and mail-in orders. They were full of sugar and hope and we loved them for it.

This flexi disc was found on the back of the various General Mills Monster cereals back in 1979.  We know it's 1979 not only because of their design, but because they are going to the Disco.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Halloween Slicks -- Banners

Continuing from yesterday's theme, today I bring you more vintage advertising slicks. These templates allowed customers to choose a themed layout for their store's advertising.

Today we look at banners.  Those eye-catching headline grabbers that get you to look at the full ad.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Halloween Slicks -- Witches Edition

I'll be honest, the subject of today's post hasn't seemed to be as big of a hit on the blog as I thought they would be.  I think they're pretty neat, but I'm a sucker for vintage advertising.  I've posted other examples of these in the past year. This time, it's Halloween ads.

These are from what I now know are known as advertising "slicks" (thanks, FrankO).  These were magazines of advertising templates from which potential customers could choose for newspaper ads. Place holders like "Shop Name's" would be replaced with your business details.

These ads date from the early 1970's. I'm going to spread them out this season as I have quite a few and I don't want to bore overwhelm you all at once. Today, we'll focus on witches. Enjoy!

Friday, October 9, 2020

Doorways to Public Domain Horror

I picked up this "Doorways to Horror" game way back in the 90's.  I've been doing this garage saling thing for a long time.  I remember seeing the commercial for it in the 80's and really wanting it, but never did get it until I found it for $2 at a sale.

"No two games ever the same!" But they all suck.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Invaders from Mars! or at least my Neighbor's House...

I'm afraid I'll need to stretch my inclusion of not-necessarily-Halloween-related items again today.  But hey, aliens are scary, right?  And these are supposed to be aliens, I think...or maybe they're just supposed to be our own astronauts, who technically are aliens when they land on other planets.  Oh, heck, let's just get on with it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Monday, October 5, 2020

Uncanny Finds - Hall-Owl-een Edition

 As I mentioned in a previous post, it's been a lean year for sales, so I have to stretch the definition of "Halloween" a little.  But I've always associated owls with Halloween, so hopefully I'm not stretching too much.

I picked up this can of Red Owl Ground Cloves at a garage sale a few weeks ago.  They had an odd assortment for a private sale, mostly tools and utilitarian items, and the last thing I expected to find was a vintage can.  This one dates from 1948.


Sunday, October 4, 2020

Two Heads are Better than...Five?

This purple two-headed dragon from Imperial toys reminded of Tiamat from Dungeons & Dragons, minus a few heads, maybe. Yes, I'm a nerd.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Spook House -- Digging through a Load of Sheet...Music

Sheet music is something I sometimes find myself thumbing through at estate sales.  If there's a piano or organ in the home, you can guarantee there's a huge stack of sheet music gathering dust (or mold) somewhere.

I say "sometimes I find myself thumbing through" because usually the stack is so daunting, I pass on it. But occasionally I will look to see if there are any interesting covers.  

While this piece isn't quite a thrilling as last year's "Carbarlick Acid Rag", it's a fun cover with cute lyrics.  From 1977, it's "Spook House".


Things are dark and hard to see, stumbling all around.

Creepy, crawly things are here lying on the ground.

Spider webs and icky stuff hanging in the air.

I sure hope that I don't get any in my hair!

Spooky goblins, ghosts and things making shrieks and moans.

Skeletons and monsters peer up from piles of bones.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Miss Match -- A Horror Story

Today's Garage Sale Find may be on the extreme periphery of Halloween, but all dolls are haunted, right?

This 1970's "Miss Match" comes from the fine folks at Uneeda.

 

She's soft, cuddly and floppy.  Like a line torn from a Dolly Parton song, Miss Match wears her coat of many colors proudly.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Halloween 2020 -- It's My Bag, Baby, and Nothing's Gonna Stop Me!

That's right, it's that time of year again. And despite what 2020 has thrown at us, Halloween WILL go on.

And that means that the Countdown to Halloween will happen once more.

For the seventh year in a row, I've joined this jolly band of bloggers to focus all of our blogging powers toward Halloween.  Together, we can win this and #SAVEHALLOWEEN!

And as is the norm (AND NOT THE NEW NORM!), my first offering this season is a bag.  Specifically, this Duro brand Trick or Treat bag (model PLTT-74A).  "PLTT" stands by "Plastic Trick or Treat". I'm assuming the 74-A is the year (1974).

Friday, September 11, 2020

An Ap-peeling Find

Seventeen years ago, I planted an apple tree next to my house with dreams of someday picking apples from my porch.

Over the years, the apples have suffered in a variety in ways all resulting in the absence of any edible apples come September.

There were droughts, hail, late Spring frosts, a complete absence of blossoms, and, most frequently, squirrels.  Lord, the squirrels.They would come in July and pick the tree clean of the young apples.

For reasons unknown, the squirrels around my house disappeared this year.  I suspect it has to do with a sewage backup that occurred in the creek behind my house, but that's purely speculation.  At any rate, it resulted in a bumper crop this year.
 

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Between the Covers -- The House on the Cliff or A Boy on the Edge

I pick up a lot of old books at sales and occasionally I find something of interest inside, whether it be money, a 4-leaf clover, business card or even a written note. This 1940's edition of The Hardy Boys "The House on the Cliff" contained such a note.


Friday, July 17, 2020

Monday, July 13, 2020

Ten Years

Ten years.  Sometimes it seems longer, other times it seems like it couldn't have been that long.

And to be honest, I'd forgotten.  I was reminded by Dex's own blog-iversary post over on his "AEIOU...and Sometimes Why" blog.

Ten years (and 3 days) ago, I wrote my first post on this blog. I'd been wanting to blog for probably at least 5 years prior to that.  I had a "vanity" web site in the late 90's and had let that wither on the internet vine.  I had a false start blog called "Saturday Morning TV Zombies" back in 2008 that was the genesis of my TV Guide posts on this blog. That too fell to the wayside quickly after only 7 posts.  It's painful to read my early attempts at humor (I know, it's painful to read my current attempts too!)

Any bloggers left out there (as well as their faithful readers) recognize the sharp decline in blogging in the past 5 years or so. The Golden Age is clearly over.

But I haven't let that discourage me (maybe a little) and I've done my best to keep some fresh content out here the last few years despite long gaps between posting.  I will continue to do so.  This is not a farewell speech.

A few years ago, I created a Facebook page to link to this blog, hoping I would pick up some new readers and get some better exposure.  I don't know if it's worked.  While my Facebook followers seems to be increasing in the last few months, I'm not sure if they really understand what the page is about, so if there's anyone reading from Facebook, let me know because I'm considering dropping the Facebook page.

But back to blogging.  With the current situation, sales have been down, particularly estate sales.  Every once in a while, I get the urge to go through some backlog and might do a post here and there, but my excitement over an item tends to dwindle after the find. If I don't blog it within a month of finding it, I generally don't blog it at all.

But again, this isn't a farewell.  Just a slow period.

Let's finish this up with some of my favorite remembrances from 10 years of blogging.

In no particular order:

Meeting the son of Shirley White (Weiss) and being able to return his mother's collection of photographs and records of her career as a Big Band singer.

Getting to speak with the daughter and son of early New Orleans DJ Ernie "The Whip" Bringier and being able to return his audition record to them.

Speaking with the son and granddaughter of Colonel Mott Ramsey.  We were trying to arrange returning his footlocker to them, but I lost contact with them.  Hey, Danica, it's still sitting in my garage if you want it.

Selling a snowglobe to Corbin Bersen to add to his museum.

The great 8mm film find. I'm still going through those.

Having one of my posts featured on Wil Wheaton's blog.

My ongoing crusade to identify every Mystery Spot that ever existed.

Introducing my youngest daughter to the joys of Garage Sale Finds.

Being able to return family photos to a descendant of the Waldeck family and being able to speak with the current owner of the building that previously housed Waldeck Bakery.

Being able to get to "know" all of the families in the various slide collections I've bought over the years.

Participating in the "Countdown to Halloween" for the past 6 years.

Being able to get to "know" all of you who faithfully follow me and comment (and even some who just pass in the night).

And finally, all of the wonderful memories these finds have triggered for me over the years.  It's amazing how a piece can bring back a fond memory and take a blog post in a whole new, unexpected direction.  I hope I've been able to trigger some happy memories of your own.

Onwards and upwards.

Friday, June 26, 2020

McDonald's Memories

The 1970's were the golden age of fast food, and the toys of the era reflect that.  From Pizza Hut playsets and ovens to Pepsi fountains to Kentucky Fried Chicken playsets.

But the fast food king is, and has always been, McDonald's.  As a child, we went so infrequently, to me, it was a magical experience when we did.  One Christmas in the early '70's, my cousin received a Playskool McDonald's playset. I was so envious.  I recently came across some home movie footage of my aunt handing it to my cousin.


Then years later, I found one at an estate sale.  It was still magical.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Your Neighborhood Burglar Needs Help

When I was in 9th grade, our home was burglarized while we were attending my grandfather's funeral. I'm not looking for sympathy, just setting the tone for today's post.  Although, the jerks did steal my piggy bank. I'm guessing this pamphlet dates from the 1980's.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

A Peach of a Toaster...or At Least a Pear

Despite being the toaster enthusiast (read "fanatic") I am, I nearly passed on this Toastmaster model.  I even went as far as to pay for my other items and get in my car. Then I asked myself, "What kind of toaster hoarder, I mean, enthusiast are you?"  After all, it was only 75 cents. So without a concern for my dignity, I got back out and went back into the garage and bought it. The seller asked me, "You must like old things."  Uh... Yeah.



Friday, June 5, 2020

Washing History

One of my binge-watching guilty pleasures in the last couple months has been "Eating History".  On the show, the hosts, "Old Smokey" and Josh Macuga ingest or drink products well past their expiration date, if not century.  Results vary.  Some things hold up, others, as they frequently explain, have gone rancid and numbed their mouths.

Given my own fascination with old cans and packaging, the show appeals to me.  While I would never eat anything I found at sales, I was tempted last week to try some old soap. Not on me, mind you.

My daughter complained my car was dirty.  I've never been too concerned with the appearance of my cars.  They get me from point A to point B.  But I will wash them a couple times a year on a hot day when I don't mind getting wet.  Looking in the car wash supply cabinet, there was no car wash soap to be found.  Then I spied this bottle I picked up a few years ago. And yes, I previously blogged about it.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Uncanny Finds: It's 905 Somewhere...

I have hazy memories (and not because I'm drunk) of my Dad drinking 905 beer.  He preferred our hometown Anheuser-Busch products, but when money was tight, 905 would do. I should mention, 905 was cheap.  It was the house-brew for a local chain of liquor stores in St. Louis.

The can featured the Arch and the statue of The Crusader King, Louis IX of France which stands at the St. Louis Art Museum. Classy.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Friday, April 10, 2020

Guardians of the Coffee

 I found this Guardian Service coffee pot at an estate sale for $1.  I'd seen them before, but never used one, so for a buck, I thought I'd give it a try.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Birthday Greetings

No, it's not my birthday, but it's been a while since I've done a post, so I thought I'd dig through my backlog.

This birthday card collection was a find this past summer. I'm not sure if they were all for the same person on the same birthday, but seem to be from the same era (1950's).

Given my penchant for vintage toasters, this first card was a favorite.

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