Thursday, June 9, 2016

Old Stuff

Your wee servant loved TV and technology, especially personal computers. So you can imagine I had little desire to go along for the ride with the Queen Mother and Duchess Aunt as they shopped for antiques across several summers. I don't think Brother Michael cared for it either. But we're the kids, and they're the adults, and to heck what we thought about it.

They went in and out of odd shops all over New England, with us plodding along in their wake inside the dimly dusty interiors filled with old furniture and mystery wood. Sometimes we got to just sit in the car, waiting and waiting while they took an eternity. And then they wanted to check out another place.


"Okay, we won't..."

I couldn't understand the fascination with it. I hadn't hit my history groove yet. In my young mind, it was stuff that wouldn't survive the trip back to Kansas City. Why did Mom need so many darn jugs and crocks? But that didn't stop us from going to Brimfield.

It's Mecca in Massachusetts for antiquers, treasure hunters and junk hustlers -- a lineup of shops flea markets, although we focused on just one: J&J's. This gigantic outdoor swap meet wasn't an antidote, but at least the exhibitors varied. I got to thumb my way through old movie posters. I also got some kind of a shock I never understood -- and still don't to this day.

I remember I had touched a spinning wheel when this sudden jolt hit my right arm. The pain worked its way all the way in a wave up to my shoulder before vanishing. I stood baffled, thinking it was maybe an insect sting or electricity. I didn't see any wires or hornets. My arm was all right, and so life went on.

The Royal Father found a classic toy, buying a Mr. Machine wind-up robot.

He didn't get the version you see here; he got the 1980's re-issue, made harmless to children in a new world of concern about kids and choking hazards. He also picked up a couple of more robots here and there in those odd shops. Now if one of those places had a vintage Altair to spare, maybe I would've been hooked.

Nowadays, I'm making regular "junk runs" as I call them, mainly in search of vintage clothing or vintage tech that can be bought dirt cheap, fixed, improved or repurposed -- but crocks are still off the list.

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