Monday, June 8, 2009

Jammin' Weekend, Act I

The weather was being touted as PERFECT for the weekend, so what's left to do but get in the pickup and hit a few estate sales--and hit 'em I did. I decided to skip the first day of the sales since I figured that the professionals (translation: grabbers, pushers, dealers) would be there bright and early and both sales were too far away to get up before dawn for, just to get mad at someone and then get mad at myself for being spineless AGAIN. Side note: With my doctor's help, starting today I am weaning myself off the happy pills, so in about a month, Mr. Big Fat and Sloppy better watch out!

The first sale I went to was in Tylertown, MS, about 2 hours northwest of me. It was the usual sad tale--the grown grandchildren were selling the house and most of the contents, the grandparents had lived in the house forever, and there were lots of stories about various items up for sale. I like these kinds of sales more than those run by a professional service since sometimes when you pick something up a family member will offer up a little story about it. When I picked up the boxes of Shiny Brites, one of the women said, "Oh, I'm so glad someone finally showed some interest in those. They bring back such nice memories of when we were kids and decorated the tree with them." $2 per box, ornaments all there, intact, and the cellophane front unripped. On top of the ornaments are eight unopened boxes of vintage holiday matches.

The grandparents were obviously avid readers since the hallway was one long bookshelf, the bedrooms and living room had bookshelves, and there were stacks and stacks of magazines, some dating back pretty far. I could NOT pass this one up: It's the Summer 1952 edition with jokes and cartoons and a hilarious interview with Martin & Lewis, wherein we learn that Dean Martin was born Dino Crocetti in Steubenville, Ohio in 1917, changed his name to Dino Martini when he started his singing career, and finally became Dean Martin. Jerry Lewis was born in 1926--his father was a veteran burlesque performer and his mother an accomplished pianist. Jerry & Dean met in 1942 and teamed up a few years later.

What is REALLY cool about this magazine are some of the ads: "How To Write Love Letters" (98 cents) and "How To Get Along With Girls" (98 cents). For $1.98, you will receive "Bed Manners" the "friskiest discussion of nighttime intimacies you have ever read! Full of roguish, devilish wit that will keep you laughing from cover to cover . . . you'll want to send for this hilarious book of Bediquette for married people today!" And of course, no 50's magazine would be complete without a full page ad that screams "SCRAM! YOU SKINNY SCARECROW! The boys shouted at me ONLY A FEW WEEKS AGO! I was a SKINNY, scared, girl-shy skeleton. Now I feel and look great. Pal, do as I did, right NOW! Mail the coupon below." Not Charles Atlas, either, but George F. Jewett, and for one thin dime, he'd send you 5 books GUARANTEED to give you a new he-man body! Wowza!

The Girl Scout Equipment catalog is just beyond fabulous:
Any former Girl Scout of a certain age would positively drool over what's offered in these pages: uniforms for Brownies (including chubby sizes), Intermediate Girl Scouts (again, taking care to include the chubs), Senior Girl Scouts, Mariner Girl Scouts, and Adult Girl Scouts/Leaders; official REALLY REALLY sensible shoes; outdoor wear; at-home wear ("For Dates With Dreams"); and accessories, accessories, accessories! And badges! And troop crests!

Ohhhhhh . . . this camera. I want one. Now. Other books scored were "Tricks & Puzzles for Boys & Girls" (1945), "The Dinky Ducklings," named Peter & Puddle, "Slappy" a little duck who didn't like being a duck, "Hiawatha" and "Cowboy Eddie" (both Rand McNally Book-Elf Books), "My Daddy is a Policeman" by MISS FRANCES herself (so naturally, this is a Ding Dong School Book), and two vintage Little Golden Books: "Daddies" (1953) and "Walt Disney's Donald Duck in Disneyland" (1955).

I paid the same price for these books that I would have paid way back then: 25 cents.

The memories the books brought back: priceless. As I walked to my car with my loot, (thankfully assisted by one of the great-grandsons since I had much more than shown here), I happened to look back at the side porch, and lo and behold! A CHIPPY CHAIR!!!!! A CHIPPY ROCKING CHAIR!!!! And not only that, but a rusty kettle with lid, a rusty meat grinder, a rusty cupcake pan AND a bashed up aluminum pitcher--all for less than $10!

Lagniappe--a bird's nest in the pitcher!

I still had another estate sale to go to in Brookhaven, MS. Act II coming up!