Wednesday, October 5, 2022

The Ghost Book

There's a long tradition of posting complete strangers' childhood drawings on this blog.  And it seems like they are almost always Halloween themed. I think it's because Halloween seems to bring out the most imaginative images, those of ghosts, ghouls and goblins.

Back in 2014, I shared this "Brew Print"

In 2019, I shared this picture and my own childhood story. 

Today, I bring you an entire book of drawings. Okay, it's only 4 pages long.  But in the words of Count Floyd,  oooooohhhh, it's SCARY!  From approximately 1980, I give you "The Ghost Book".

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Click Click

I recognized the graphics on this small tin metal basket when I came across it in the basement of an estate sale this summer.  I already had the matching can where I keep my smaller Halloween cake decorations

Monday, October 3, 2022

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Bowled Over

I've found you can't let the feel of a sale throw you off and lower your guard.  I was in a newer home a couple months ago and wasn't finding anything vintage.  I'd already swept through the basement and was getting ready to head up when I went looking for my wife to let her know I was leaving.  She was bent over a box filled with newer party supplies which I'd seen but not thought much of.  She pulled out a stack of 6 vintage Halloween scalloped plastic treat bowls.  They were in mint condition.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Halloween 2022 - It's My Bag, Baby, But I'm Running Out of Them

Yes, it's Halloween season once again and that means it's time for those things I've found in the past year that lean toward Halloween or the weird; it's time for "Garage Sale Finds" to transform into "Stranger Finds".

As always, I'll begin this year's offerings with a Trick-or-Treat bag.  Let me tell you, I'm running out of ones I haven't already posted.  I've had this one for a while, but I've yet to post it.

This bag dates from 1988 (which is 34 years ago, people!) and was given out at Michael's (which I didn't even know what a thing in 1988, but apparently has been around since 1973).  It features a scraggly, if not "scratch", cat astride a hollowed-out pumpkin.  Frankly, he looks a little strung out.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Percolating Finds

 Okay, Summer is over and the Countdown to Halloween begins next week.  I need to clear out some cobwebs and when I say "cobwebs" I mean coffee pots.

For some reason, this past year produced a bumper crop of them.  I can't resist picking up percolators and other coffee makers, particularly when they're under $5.  I've kept some (okay quite a few), but I've also sold quite a few of them too; all to fund future purchases and to subsidize what I decide to keep.  These are in addition to the Jet O Matic coffee maker I bought last December.  And yes, many of these need a good polishing.

First up is this Mirro copper-colored aluminum coffee pot.  I've seen these attributed to the "Colorama" line, but I haven't found evidence of that.  Colorama was made by Weller Hostess-ware.  I'm not aware of a connection to Mirro.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

The Black Hole..That is This Blog

I know, it's been almost a month since my last post.  It feels like this summer has been sucked into a black hole. Hey! Look what I have for you.  As promised to Dex, the complete "The Black Hole" coloring book (mostly uncolored).  Full of line drawings and games and coming straight to you from 1979 and Walt Disney.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Between the Covers - The Black Hole Coloring Book

First off, let me apologize for letting the grass grow so high on this blog.  It's been 2 months since my last post.  Rest assured, garage and estate saling have continued throughout this time and many things have been bought.  I just haven't had the time (and admittedly the enthusiasm) to blog about them.  But let's change that now.

Allow me to explain the title of this post.  Back in 2017, I started what I intended to be an ongoing and occasional post topic.  I picked this topic back up a few years later with this post.  These posts are about things I find inside of books. Usually, it's a bubblegum card, a makeshift bookmark, occasional writing, etc.  Here we are a couple years later and I'm once again exploring this topic.

A couple weeks ago, I estate saled at a hoarder house. I picked up some books including this Black Hole coloring book.

This post isn't about the colored pages in this book (although, that can be arranged), it's about what I found stored in the book; printed on a dot matrix printer, the rules for a club called "G.R.O.S.S." along with a couple other printed pages.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Walt Disney's Comics and Stories (and Ads)

It's not quite officially summer yet, but we've already hit 100 here in St. Louis, so we might as well call it.  And summertime always brings my childhood to mind which involved not going to school (the best), watching game shows on TV, hanging out in our basement (because it was cooler) and reading comic books.

I often pick up random (cheap) comic books at estate and garage sales to supplement our bathroom reading supply.  This is one of them.  This particular comic dates from 1978.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

The Egg and Eyes

I'll be honest.  This almost made a "Stuff I can Live Without" blog.  But something about it called to me.  The colors, the late 60's mod design, the lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eye.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Mixed Drink Mix

I found these "Instant" cocktail mixes in the basement bar of a recent estate sale.  I'm not an alcohol drinker, but I have to imagine these are pretty bad.  The fact that the these remained after all these years strongly indicates that.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Thursday, June 2, 2022

You'll Never Get Rich (You Son of a Smif) You're in the Army Now

 It's been a while since I've had a vintage postcard find.  Here are a few from a recent find.

These WWII-era postcards feature the popular (at the time) comic strip character Snuffy Smith, or "Smif" as he's known back home.  They were all sent by Private Louis F. Cimo of Rome, New York.  

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

May the Fourth, and All That

Well, here we are on "May the 4th Be With You Day" and I've just about blown through all of my Star Wars content.

All but a few that is.  Granted, they're not very exciting, but they did make me a little money.

I was at sale in January and came across a bag full of children's bed linens.  I immediately saw they were vintage character-themed and dug through them.  I came up with a few original Star Wars sets.

The Empire Strikes Back set included fitted sheets, sheets and a pillow case.    

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Star Toaster

It's been a while since I've shared a toaster find; I know everyone was on pins and needles.

If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you probably are aware of my toaster obsession.  I just love how many different styles and ways there are to perform the simple task of toasting bread.  That combined with the fact that vintage toasters were made to last and you can expect them to perform exactly as they did when they were new up to nearly 100 years ago makes them desirable to me.

This Star toaster by Fitzgerald Manufacturing dates from the 1920's. 

Monday, May 2, 2022

Star Wars Finds

Following up on my previous post, I thought I'd share the other Star Wars-related finds from the big collector sale.

But first, let me elaborate a little more on the sale as I've referred to it several times, but never really detailed the sale itself.

This was a private estate sale (meaning the family hosted the sale rather than a professional company).  This usually means one of two things.  Either the items will have high sentimental value and will be overpriced, or the family just wants to get rid of the accumulation of a loved one so they can sell the house and move on.  This sale was a mix of both.

A lot of the items were way overpriced.  The family used the standard "look how much it's selling for on eBay" without considering condition or actual sold prices.  At the same time, there were quite a few things of value that the family overlooked or just didn't both researching.  I shopped the sale the first day as well as the last when they were looking at a large remaining inventory and more willing to bargain on some of the items they had priced high.

I spent a lot of time going through boxes of random toys as well as many boxes of paper in order to glean what I felt to be the most saleable (and what I thought would be cool to have myself).

First up is this Burger Chef "Empire Strikes Back" poster.  I had this series hung on my bedroom wall when I was a kid. Boris Vallejo painted so much of my childhood.

Boba Fett Candy

I'm sure someone can explain to me, but I honestly never understood the popularity of Boba Fett (perhaps I should have issued a nerd alert prior to opening with that remark).

I remember even before "Empire Strikes Back" was released, he had been issued as a 12" figure action figure joining the ranks of the main stream characters of Luke, Leia, Han, Darth Vader et al.  Sure, in the movie he captures Han Solo, but he has a screen time of just six minutes and 32 seconds and 4 lines of dialogue. And of course, he would go on to have perhaps the lamest demise (or so we thought) in screen history when the unfrozen (and temporarily blinded) Han, accidentally knocks him into the sarlacc pit where he would be "digested for over a thousand years" (again, or so we thought).  Despite everything going against him, Boba Fett had a following.  He even ranked his own candy. This was another find at the collector's estate sale. Sadly, no candy remained.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Jaws (Breakers)

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the candy aisle...

Continuing yesterday's theme of candy containers, I present this 1981 "Jawz" (not "Jaws" so don't sue us) candy container, complete with original candy. I found this at the same sale as the "Chug-a-Can".

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Be A Schlepper

The late '70's and early '80's were the golden years of gimmick candy, and I was a sucker for them.

From Pop Rocks to licensed candy bars like the Reggie bar to sweet tarts packed in every variety of container (coffin, sarcophagus, lunchbox, trash can, fire hydrant, locker, you name it) I eagerly handed over my quarters and gobbled them down.

I found this empty (sadly) container at an estate sale among a miscellaneous box of smalls.  I instantly recognized the Wacky Package-esque parody, but not the container.  

Monday, March 14, 2022

Up Your Nose, This Song Really Blows

A couple weeks ago I featured an album by John Travolta. It seems fitting I would find this 45 a week later.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Paint by Blunder

I was a fairly good artist as a kid, or at least I thought so.  I did a lot of pencil drawing, mainly of superheroes like Spider-man or my own cartoon creations. So you'd think a paint by number kit would be a cinch, even an insult to my artistic abilities.  I received one of Snoopy and Woodstock for my birthday when I was about 11.  I recall the painting had them sitting on a bench, wrapped in a  red blanket holding a flag that said "Rah".  Doing a quick Google search, I was able to identify the exact kit.

Courtesy of

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Classic Osterizer

We had a blender growing up, but I could probably count the number of times we used it on one hand.  It's always seemed like a very job-specific appliance, and of course, it is. It chops things. Or gooifies them, depending on the setting.  I've always done my chopping manually.

My wife and daughter, however, like smoothies, something we'd never heard of in my family growing up.  So we've picked up modern blenders from the store and garage sales in the past.  None survive.  The blenders made today are mostly plastic and utilize cheaply-made motors.

I came across this 1960's Osterizer Classic VIII at an estate sale a few months ago.  It was in rough condition and the motor was locked, but I liked its looks.  And when I picked it up, it weighed a ton.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Flair Fi Fo Fum

Sometimes I buy things at estate sales just because of the graphics on a package or because they trigger a particular memory. These pens had both.

Monday, February 28, 2022

Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting!

I recall seeing this toy in the Sears and J. C. Penney's Christmas catalogs of my youth. I'd always assumed it was a G. I. Joe toy made by Hasbro.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Knock Off Wars

Trips to grocery stores in my youth always included a visit to the toy aisle, pathetic limited as they were.  There you could always find cheap throwaway toys which sometimes featured non-licensed knockoffs of popular intellectual properties.  And there was no bigger target for knockoffs than Star Wars.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

"Alias" Barbarino

I decided the cure for the winter doldrums was to do some gleaning of my past finds that laid dormant and push some content through (lucky you).

First up is actually a recent find from this past weekend.  I admit I bought it strictly for the sticker alone.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Marx Presidents

Coincidentally, I had scheduled a day off today.  Being Presidents' Day, some U.S. companies (mostly Federal offices and banks) are closed today.  But that's no reason to close Garage Sale Finds!  Okay, I'll admit, it's closed for business most of the year.  But you'll takes what you can gets!

Given the holiday, I scraped scanned through my past finds and pulled out this Marx Presidents of the United States figure line.
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