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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Will you ever be the butt of a joke? You bet your ASH!!

Here’s a story from a buddy of mine who lives in a suburb of Albany, NY. Tony and I go way back to the late 70’s and we still keep in touch – often over the cell phone amidst a Saturday of searching for treasure. He had an odd find recently and I invited him to be my first guest author.

So, my kids and I, who often will take great pleasure in finding a good sale, had a pretty good sale-ing day last weekend. My son found a brand new, never used bike with a price of $30.00 that we haggled down to $20 (Thanks to Greg’s real time haggle tech-support advice over his really old noisy cell phone). I hope this doesn’t go to his head.

After you’ve made your first good deal of the day, the rest of the hunt was pretty much going to be a win any way we looked at it. But it wasn’t long after we hit the road to the next sale that we turned the corner and saw the "estate sale" sign. As Greg has told you, being less frequent than tag or yard sales, if you are looking for treasure these signs can make you a bit giddy. Now, I am not as much of an enthusiast (I prefer to call him “freak”) as Greg, but an estate sale is more than a hunt for good stuff. It’s often a search through someone’s personal history.  Sure, it can seem ghoulish, but you do it anyway. You can say that sifting through the life of a stranger is a bit like a voyeur at a binocular convention, but you keep wondering, “What little nugget will I see next?”  I typically looking for stuff I need or want, not like your Vmartyr who just wants to find those items that nobody ever thought existed until he dug it up and now wants to blog about it.  This estate sale we discovered was one great weird-o-rama jackpot. 

 Want proof? I found what might currently be the only personalized ashtray in existence. Oh, I bet maybe 40 years ago this was the cat’s p.j.’s. You want to give dad that special gift that will have him thinking about you everyday. Hmmm, what could you personalize? Let’s see… He loves to smoke. He’s always smoking… How about a, ummm, glass ashtray with my picture? Yeah! Every time he smothers out another cancer stick on his way to an early grave, nothing says,  “I love you” like the ash covered remains obscuring a loved one’s face.  Like I said, this was probably from years ago when Hollywood was securely in bed with big tobacco and made smoking look so cool.

Truthfully, the picture looks like it was probably lifted out of an old yearbook and quickly glued onto the ashtray as a joke gift for someone who, from the picture, looks as though he was probably chain-smoking from the crib. The list of other oddities is too long to share here. I don’t know where Greg find’s the time to blog but when I figure out his secret (possibly time-travel), I will invite you to read about the rest of my weird-o-rama sale stories as well. 

Thanks for the story Tony! That image was snapped at the sale, in case you were wondering, “Why in the world did he buy that ashtray?” That’s not Tony’s style, as he so clearly described, and fortunately, it not my style either. But an interesting story none-the-less.

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