June 8, 2002
I do believe the drought in New York is coming to an end. We had a major soaker on Thursday night, one of those storms where the sky turns green, the lightning makes it look like daylight for an instant, and you can feel the thunder shake the building. Today, we are back to bright sunshine in The Apple.
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF RODS SO HOT, THEY SIZZLE
So, what city do you think has the greatest concentration of fully restored and maintained 1950s cars? Detroit? New York? Las Vegas? Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Atually, It's Havana, Cuba. According to The New York Times, Cubans, caught fifty years ago in the Communist takeover and the ensuing trade embargo, have been very creative in their restoration efforts. They've done without replacement parts, supplies, nd even repair manuals, and have managed to maintain the world's largest and best collection of 1950s classic American cars. Cuban mechanics have been said to cannibalize Russian Ladas and Volgas for parts, and to make exact replicas of 1950's hood ornaments and windshields from scratch. They also use a mixture of oil, shampoo and soap for brake fluid. The news is that a group known as TailLight Diplomacy, formed under the aegis of the United States-Cuba Sister Cities Association, which promotes relationships between Americans and Cubans, has approached Cuban government officials to propose cultural exchanges among Cuban and American vintage car lovers. They hope to promote the classic cars as "a national cultural asset, like the cable cars of San Francisco or the gondolas of Venice", according to The Times. The group wants to send container-loads of parts, manuals and supplies to Cuba. A documentary on the subject will air on PBS in August.
OOH, I'M GONNA TELL ON YOU DEPARTMENT
As reported by the AP, a 13 year old Ohio boy used his friend's Mom's password, and bought about $2 million dollars' worth of stuff on eBay, including a helicopter, motorcycles, a pick-up truck and a jet. He used a computer in his middle school, in science class, to be exact. The helicopter went for $1.1 million and the jet was a real bargain, selling for just $199,000. The jig was up when the friend's mother received a phone call from the owner of the helicopter, asking how she planned to pay for it. She is, of course, cancelling the sales. And someone we know will be available for lawn mowing chores for the next several years. If he's not in jail, of course. Authorities are still trying to decide what to do.
YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT THEY'LL BRING TO SHOW AND TELL
Jose Luis Landeras, 42, of Modesto, California, is cooling his heels in jail. Police first went looking for him after two of his grandchildren, ages 5 and 7, took $1,000 in 100 dollar bills to school, and showed them to their classmates. When the school administrators called police, the tots told them they only took a few $100 bills from the pile in Grandpa's van. A few hours later, the police moseyed on over to Grandpa's place, and found Landeras stuffing money counterfeiting supplies down his pants. No, Officer, I'm just extremely well-endowed. The police said they confiscated $2,000 in phony money, and arrested Landeras on suspicion of making counterfeit money and spending it from Ceres to Los Banos. The police had a tough time getting information from the children, who thought they were being arrested for stealing. Finally, one cop asked the five year old what games he and his Grandpa liked to play. The boy replied that his favorite game was Frogger, but that Grandpa's favorite game was "The Money Making Game". Grandpa's new favorite game may be "The Baking A File Into A Long Poundcake and Visiting Grandpa in the Slammer Game".
So, Accumulators, it's off to my high school class reunion. No, don't ask which reunion this is - I'm not talking. I'm afraid no one will remember me, but He Who Is The Light Of My LIfe says , "Don't worry - anyone who's spent more than fifteen minutes with you will never forget you." I'm not entirely sure this is a compliment. Tomorrow, we're going to the home of our dear friend, Vince, Auctioneer Extraordinaire, for a gala party. Hope wherever you are you have some fun plans. Don't forget to scour the countryside for whatever you love to collect. Have a great week, Accumulators. Happy hunting!
© 2002 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #182
U.S. Library of Congress
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