How To Buy a Paddle

A paddle doesn’t have oar locks and is used to paddle,  not row a boat.   How do you buy one?  This picture may help but my rules are simpler.  Buy what you like without painted decorations and with a good color and not too wide of a blade.  Pay no more than $20.  


How Smart is This?

We are going with “Not so Smart”.
I don’t deny the ingenuity or usefulness…BUT…it is a bench.  Why not a table?  Why not use mixed cases…not just 7Up?  Why stay with 32 ounce boxes?   Why not darken them up a bit? 

As a footnote, 32 ounce cases cost more than 12 ounce cases.  This is primarily due to the lesser supply of the larger boxes.      I estimate case prices at about $1 to $1.25 per ounce shown, estimating this table to have $128 in boxes alone in it.

Credits:  this photo is from page 59 of Country Living magazine, March, 2018.

Credit also to Esty seller

St Charles Pop Culture Show

As 2017 closed I went to the Pheasant Run based Chicago Pop Culture Show in St Charles IL.   A mix of two thirds pop culture and one third antiques.   Do I want to shop near the comic book panel discussion?  No.   Do I want to see grown men in Spoderman(tm) clothing?  No.   Either be a modern antique show or be a pop culture show.   It did pop culture well and antiques just ok.


That uncomfortable feeling when a coworker …and a foreign one at that… comments on the balayage in my hair.    That’s natural highlights and rare on anyone, much less a 1970s high school guy like me.

Ball Game

A Dr. Pepper(tm) box at $20? Please yes. And on we go with boxes and a few oars. Last stop was at Wheaton Winter in later December, 2017 where I found a 16″ softball for $2.00 Everyone loves a guy carrying around a 16″ softball and I got lots of comments. Ebay value in excess of $10. So I wonder…do vendors not research their prices? I am getting a bargain in every trip.

Music at the Antique Shop

We’ve talked about this before…the ambiance at antique shops set with the right music.  This weekend while on the excellent “Vintage Shop Hop” in central Wisconsin I heard the worst choice of music ever.  A medium sized antique shop was playing…opera.   Opera is fine…ok,  but baby boomers dont want to hear opera in the antique shop.  And we dont want to hear music from the 1920s or 1930s or 1940s…and guess what I can stand 1950s music but this will turn off the younger collectors.  Ask yourself this…who is going to want our stuff if the only antique shop experience is a musty former Radio Shack with opera music in the air.

The Winter Market

We shopped indoors at Wheaton and Grayslake’s markets.  I finally purchased a season pass to local markets.  The main one I want to visit is St. Charles Illinois’ Pop Culture Show later this Spring.  So in the meantime I get to visit the box world and follow the trends.   I met a particularly friendly pop bottle vendor who also sold boxes.   He has a carload of boxes in the parking lot but I won’t be bringing those home.   Collecting has to stop somewhere.   Maybe you can buy this pre-1921 Coca-Cola(tm) bottle box instead of me.img_0572

it was only $85.  or was it $185?   Not sure, but that green lettering is a clue to its age.

Also popular to the vintage box collector was this “rare” Ted Williams twenty-four pack also above $100.   Ted Williams the baseball player sold name brand pop in the earliesh twentieth century.  Not just root beer too.   Bottles inside not included in the price.     Those bottles by the way are east coast Moxie(tm) bottles.


The generic early century ginger ale box is interesting, but lacks the name brand value of the two previous brands.   “American Dry Ginger Ale Company” at about $40.


Finally Boxes and Oars wouldnt live up to its name without mentioning a $25 “too big” paddle.   All that is good for is maybe stencils.   Don’t paint it please.


Hair is too short to model…waiting for Summer (no picture though…) 


Winter Tradition

We visit Paul’simg_0580 house for the Big Game in February.   He has a fascinating collection of …beer cans.   One of the interesting things is that he is now collecting cans from today’s microbreweries.   He keeps them separate from the other cans shown here.   Are cans in your past?   Some habits are hard to break.


Catching Up Time

Let us take a look at some antique store items I saw over the summer.   From upper left and clockwise…

We have started to see industrial metal coming into vogue.  The timecard metal holder would serve well in any modern home (cliche alert.)

The wooden water skis are common to nearly any resort town’s antique store.  My friend at  says they are a common decor item.

Nudie glasses…here a “mid-century” trend.

Plastic oars…antiques?  No.  On your home’s wall.  No.

Oar with stupid sticker of “South Haven” on it?   How about stenciling it instead of ruining it?   I do like it with net.

Moosehead Beer, a modern collectible.  Avoid it, it is not vintage.

Antique boxes as store fixtures?  Sure, but not the best use!

Paddles by the pound?  Why not?

Finally a $42 painted oar?   I buy them at as low as $12 a piece!

What Happened to Me?

The truth is I take pictures at flea markets and cannot get them up to WordPress easily.   Hmmm, strange as a technology guy.   But a quick update on hair modeling.  I have tried the balayage on my hair.  It was strictly sun “induced”.bal