I am not a fan of cold weather and it sure cramps my picking style. Aside from a few auctions I haven’t had much of an opportunity to get out and search for the rusty junk that gets my blood pumping. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy a good auction, but somehow it’s not the same to win an item that someone else has found just by outbidding the other guy. The real fun is when you have to dig for the good stuff. Any significant garage sales are at least two or three months away so maybe I need a good barn to dig through. The one advantage to the cold weather would be the absence of wasps.
I always enjoyed the TV show “The Waltons”. I’m not sure if it’s the wholesome family fun or the nostalgia that does it for me. Probably some of both. Set during the time of the Great Depression and later WWII this TV family always seem to have a positive outlook even when things were hard. They made the most of what they had.
As with most successful shows there were a number of merchandising opportunities and when our oldest daughter became a fan of the show we began to look for a gift to surprise her.
That was a number of years ago and today I ran across the items we found for her and wanted to share.
The central Kentucky area where I live is known for it’s pottery. Numerous potteries sprang up in the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s and at least one (Bybee) continued to produce pieces until they recently closed their doors.
You can find contemporary pieces still made in the area by much newer potteries, most notably from the Tater Knob pottery near Berea Ky.
One of the neat things about pottery is it can be both utilitarian and beautiful artwork. A variety of colors and glazes add to the appeal.
It is pretty easy to find bargains at garage sales for just a few dollars, but it can be more expensive to buy pieces sold at auction. There are lots of collectors willing to pay good prices and bidding wars can result in high prices.
Whether you are searching for a turn of the century pitcher or a colorful vase chances are you might find something to take home if your searching through the garages of central Kentucky.
My place of employment is located in an area rich with antique and high end consignment shops. I often use a portion or all of my lunch break to wander through displays of pottery, primitive farm tools, vintage advertising, furniture, and any number of other items.
I don’t often make purchases on these trips but occasionally I will find a great deal that I can’t pass up. Mostly it’s therapy.
Because of the obvious time constants on these lunchtime jaunts I always have certain spaces I will search first, usually based on typical contents or past deals. Dealers who have consistently good prices draw the most attention.
There’s no better way to relieve the stress of a hectic work day and occasionally you find something really cool.
“Junking” is sometimes a family affair. I have been bitten the hardest I think, but we all enjoy the occasional junking adventure as a family outing. We each have our favorites. We search high and low to find salt and pepper shakers, Elvis albums, vintage Fisher Price toys, and of course soda related items.
We also have a game of sorts. My youngest daughter plays it most enthusiastically. Of course there is a back story, so let’s begin there.
My wife’s grandmother (also a junker) gave us a punch bowl and cups shortly after we were married. It was unique because of the square shape of the bowl and cups. She told us that it was rare and that we wouldn’t see another like it and because we never had, we accepted this to be fact. After her death, the punch bowl meant much more to us and we found a place where we could display it.
Several years later we were at an outdoor flea market and discovered another exact bowl and a few cups and naturally we bought them. I found two more that summer and it became a game to see who could find the first cup or bowl any time we were out. Over the years we have accumulated fifteen or so of these “rare” punch bowls and probably two hundred cups. Do we need them? No, but the memories of a loved one past… yes we do. Sometimes the rarity of an item isn’t where value is found but in the memories that it brings.
How many times have you said, or heard someone say “things were so much better back in the good ole days” or something similar. It is easy to understand how we look back on a more simple time with nostalgia. It seems that our lives are so complicated. Despite all the advancements in technology and the improvements to the tools we use to complete our daily tasks, our work days are often longer. Modern devices with which we can communicate seem to hinder our ability to talk to the people around us and no one talks across the back fence anymore.
Well, I enjoy buying, selling, and collecting things from the “good ole days”. Primitives are among my favorites and I have a number of pieces displayed throughout my home. Reflecting on a number of these pieces, I wonder how much better life could have actually been scrubbing piles of clothes on a washboard or plowing a field with a plow pulled by a pair of mules. They make great décor, but I can’t imagine we would want to go back to using them, churning butter in the old crock churn, or reading by the oil lamp.
Maybe we should take the best from both then and now. Let’s enjoy the progress we have made and also make time to enjoy the simpler things of life. Take time for a conversation across the backyard fence or a visit in the front porch swing. Oh, by the way that butter churn looks really good standing beside the fire place.
As long as I can remember I have enjoyed finding old, unusual, and unexpected things. Whether found in a dusty corner of a barn, under the floor boards of an outbuilding, or buried in an old trash dump these items have always brought an excited smile to my face.
One of the earliest finds I can remember was an old soda bottle buried in the creek bank. With some effort, my father and I dug the nearly hidden bottle from the dirt and washed what turned out to be a nearly perfect specimen.
Most of my finds come from auctions, flea markets, and tag sales these days, but it’s no wonder that even now old bottles are among my favorites.