Once In A While…

Stockgrowers Association sign

Once in a while a road warrior will turn a corner and find themselves looking up at the coolest thing they’ve ever seen. For me, that coolest thing is often a barn, a bend in the road, an old building or a sign. That’s exactly what happened to me while walking around Rapid City, South Dakota with my pal Johnna last summer.

The building is a little nondescript but the sign is amazing. We just don’t make advertising signs with this kind of character anymore. And in case you’re wondering, it does light up. We went back after dark and it looked stunning.

Majestic Behind The Scenes

a majestic ballroom.JPG

Behind the scenes tours are the best, especially when they take you into local landmarks. This is from the third floor ballroom of Chillicothe’s Majestic Theater. The lighting up there is spectacular and the potential for this space is endless.

Isn’t the sign fabulous?

Road Trip to the Henry Ford Museum

My last road trip of the year took me to Detroit to visit the Henry Ford Museum. This museum of innovation features all sorts of things I love – artifacts from history, cars, planes, trains, machinery, furniture, dollhouses…. the list goes on and on.

This was not my favorite road trip but this museum is incredible, making it all worthwhile. I’m going to tell you about a few special exhibits in the coming days but for today I’ll leave you with a handful of pictures.

That last picture is of a train snow plow from Canada. That’s right friends – this museum is so big it has a set of railroad tracks to accommodate a collection of trains. Not to mention the airplanes hanging from the ceiling and the acres of other cool stuff at ground level.

Check back tomorrow. There are stories to tell.

There Was A Time

There was a time you could pick up a cool old coffee can for under $10. I have a few in my collection of random stuff – two hold flowers on the back porch and there are two or three in my kitchen too. All are missing the lids so they came for the bargain basement price of about five bucks.

I’ve seen many coffee cans lately but they’re going for upwards $20 and sometimes $30-$40 regardless of condition. These were over $50.

The market drives the prices but it’s shocking how quickly the tide turns and the prices rise.

Another item that has become almost too expensive to collect is records. In one of these bins, I found a Nat King Cole album that I purchase a couple of years ago for $2. Here it was $18.

The average album price in this antique mall was about $13 but many reissues of albums go for about $16. Since all the cool kids are going vintage I’m guessing prices will only continue to increase.

What do you collect that has seen a rise in prices?

Happy Independence Day!

Many ideas have been crowding my mind lately about America’s founding, patriotism and what we have become today. Since I try to stick with mostly positive topics here, my wish is that you will simply take a moment to consider the spirit and bravery of those who fought for our independence when it might have been easier to sit down and be quiet.

If you choose to drink this holiday weekend, help keep the roads safe for all by not driving. And enjoy this cool 1907 ad for Coca Cola which could be used to soothe your jumpy nerves!

One more thought. The date on the calendar may say the Fourth of July but it’s really Independence Day.

Have a good day, my friends!

Springfield Antique and Vintage Extravaganza

On the first day of my fifth grade year, I sat on the school bus next to the new girl in my class.

When you live in a rural community, having someone new move in is kind of a big deal. I was expecting her because our grandparents were friends and my grandma had asked me to be nice to her. I would have been nice to Meria anyway but I’m so glad we met. We’ve been friends ever since.

It’s been a lot of years since that first day of fifth grade (ahem…. no need to count them…) and we’ve been through a lot together. While we don’t talk every day, she’s always there when I need her and we try to do something together periodically.

Yesterday, we went on a little adventure to the Springfield Antique and Vintage Extravaganza. It’s like an outdoor flea market that’s devoted almost entirely to antique and vintage items.

I’ve heard about it for years but never had a chance to experience the extravaganza for myself. I thought the use of the word extravaganza was a little much – that is, till I arrived. This event is massive. It’s held at the county fairgrounds and it’s so large we never found the actual end, running out of steam in the hot sun before we ran out of booths to peruse.

We shopped for a few hours but eventually surrendered to the sun, leaving for lunch and a trip though the Heart of Ohio Antique Mall which is also huge and which I adore.

She’s gluten free and I’m pescatarian so we’re a real fun pair to feed in a place where all the vendors sell meat and deep fried stuff. Next time I’ll pack a picnic!

Anywhoo… we saw a ton of neat stuff with prices ranging from dirt cheap to completely overpriced. But you’ll have that anytime you shop for vintage and antique items. What you don’t have most places is the sheer volume of stuff to look at.

Meria found some glass pieces for her collection and I scored some mid century children’s story books- all in excellent condition for $2 each.

Admission is $10 per person but parking is free. If you plan to shop a lot, bring a wagon, shopping cart or a large tote bag to haul your stuff around in. And, of course, remember that cash is king in this setting.

Next time I’ll probably take a backpack and will absolutely remember to pack sunscreen. I forgot mine and have a nice sunburn today.

Want to learn more about the Extravaganza? Click here!