September 6, 2003
Summer is drawing to a close - not too quickly, I hope. We just got back
from Pittsburgh, where I worked at a private appraisal event. To all
Pittsburgh Accumulators, please don't mind my saying this: Great town,
Pittsburgh, with nice people and good restaurants. But, horrible road
signs. We took the grand auto tour of Pittsburgh. About eight times.
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF "EH?"
Some of you ar familiar with the tribulations my family suffered as a result of Grandma's hearing problems ("Driving Miss Grandma", LINK). Clearly, Grandma considered it our problem, not hers. But, historically speaking, many have opted for practicality over vanity and used devices to improve their hearing. They have chosen to know what the heck was going on around them over attempting to make people think they were younger than they actually were. This, byt the way, never, ever works. Having someone say, "What?" every time you speak does not make one think to oneself, "My, this is a youthful person." Help for the hard of hearing is on the way! From Lyon and Turnbull Auctioneers of Edinburgh, Scotland, comes news of a pair of Victorian ear trumpets that deliver amplified stereo sound. And they look like a pair of audio headphones. Imagine the possibilities. The contraption, which will be auctioned later this month, consists of "two earpieces made of papier-mache and held on either side of the wearer's head by a flexible metal band, allowing them to fit inside both ears." Apparenlty, these were custom made for someone who knew exactly what he/she wanted. Now what would a sales pitch be without a cutesy name? The auction house has announced that the "Walkman" trumpets, which are valued at approximately $500, which is actually cheaper than some modern hearing aids, are to be sold during a furniture and antiques auction in the Scottish capital on September 24. You can view a photo of them in use at LINK. And no batteries to change!
HELLO DOLLY DEPARTMENT
Oh how to display your collection of sex toys? Why not use them in an extreme sport? From a story from Pravda, we learn that Russian sports enthusaists have been racing down river rapids on inflatable sex dolls. The latest race was staged on rapids in the Vuoksa River, near St Petersburg, which are usually used for canoe or catamaran rafting. All the competitors had to wear helmets and life jackets. They also had to remain sober and those who were drunk were disqualified. I don't know about you, but I would assume that just the oppposite would be true. The event was open to both men and women and was won by one Alexander Korolev, who rafted on a doll he had rented expecially for the competition. According to Pravda, the participants praised the dolls for "floating wonderfully", being "nice to the touch" and for "not wanting to get married". And now you know why Pravda is not famous for its uproarious sense of humor.
AND YOU THOUGHT PANDORA WAS SURPRISED
A man who bought a wooden box for about $1.00 at an Ohio thrift shop got more than he bargained for. Rocky Oldaker, who also bought a stuffed animal and a picture frame, says he just thought the box looked interesting. He said he could tell something was inside when he shook the box at Village Discount Outlet in Columbus, but it was screwed shut. When he got it open, Oldaker discovered a plastic bag of ashes and a note identifying them as those of June Peltier of Marion, Michigan. Peltier's daughter said, when contacted, that the ashes were her sister's responsibility and that, "I know my sister wouldn't knowingly get rid of it. She had to mistake it for something else." Close family. Passersby near Peltier's grave the next evening are said to have complained about hearing spinning sounds.
It is now Saturday afternoon. I have cooked two meals and washed all the
dishes by hand. I have showered and dressed and opened the snail mail, all
while writing to you. Tonight He Who Is The Light Of My Life and I will be
attending a surprise 50th birthday party. No, I can't say who is the guest
of honor. If I told you I'd have to kill you. Tomorrow we embark on another
adventure. We're going to attend the Renaissance Faire. Yes, I know it's a
fair, not a faire, but the producers apparently feel that the ancient
spelling lends an air of authenticity to the proceedings. We shall see.
Have a great week, Accumulators. Happy hunting!
© 2003 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #225
U.S. Library of Congress
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