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Monday, September 25, 2017

Game of Throwns - The magic of Urban Archeology

When I want to explain my method for discovery at these sales - I can't. There is no trance, Zen state, or Vulcan mind-meld I enter, yet there certainly is no clinical explanation either.  I walk in and look around - like every one else does.  Sometimes my discoveries make me think that some other force is at work - luck maybe? Another weekend, another case in point.

Driving my daughter to her practices every Saturday means I have just about 60-90 minutes to try and find a story to tell. I stretch this imaginary bungee cord as far as I can before a text calls me back for pick up. It's not unlike a timed event at some estate sale competition.  Can I do it? A warm summer-like day does cause the sales to blossom like so many dandelions that carpet my lawn. "Maybe there's a chance..." I thought.  30 minutes and 2 sales later and I am not feeling too confident. I think about the good corners where signs can pop up and I consider the time left until pick-up, "Let's see how far I can stretch that bungee." I think.

Sure enough the corner I envisioned one town away produces a single sign and I am back on the hunt. If you can imagine the roads in your towns, you know that some are short and sweet and others can be long and circuitous. This road was the latter, fortunately, within a minute of travel I had arrived.

A sign posted by the driveway "Tag and horse tack" sale causes me to exhale with a whinny. As I searched I came across boxes that had been pulled from a damp barn or storage unit. Sometimes oder and discoloration can turn me away, but then I remember that sunlight is the best disinfectant. A little patience and a little persistence are the other ingredients in curing distaste. Combine all three and - It pays off.

I don't collect comic books, but I do collect items from eras I've never seen. With all the Hollywood interest in superheroes, these characters are part of current pop culture, but who is this guy?

From wikipedia:
The original Golden Age Blue Beetle was Dan Garret,[18] son of a police officer killed by a criminal. This Fox Feature Syndicate version of the character debuted in Mystery Men Comics #1 (August 1939), and began appearing in his own 60-issue series shortly thereafter. Fox Feature Syndicate sponsored a "Blue Beetle Day" at the 1939 New York World's Fair on August 7, 1940, beginning at 10:30 a.m. and including 300 children in relay-race finals at the Field of Special Events, following preliminaries in New York City parks. The race was broadcast over radio station WMCA.[19]

The Blue Beetle was born in what was known as the Golden Age of comic books (meaning - if you find one from the late 1930's in good condition - it's Gold!) What I had found was the second iteration of Blue Beetle by short-lived Charlton Comics. This series lasted about a year in 1964.  I had found #3 in the series and it's value was in question and of secondary interest to me.

The real surprise was inside, as all of these comic books have the requisite "Mail Bag;" kids write in to voice their support, pleasure, disdain and even ideas. The editors, or someone, kindly responds in italic.

These are always light reading and meant more to excite future readers to feel some control in a part of the world the publisher has created. The question I have always wanted an answer to: Are these letters real? On the 2nd page I found a name that's difficult for the publisher to have fabricated:

Yes, that is the father of the "Game of Thrones" series George R.R. Martin! Just 16 years old at the time and already articulate and interested in the finer details of a character and his backstory.

There you have it. A random find based on a minor curiosity for nostalgic subject matter. By stretching the figurative "bungee" to almost breaking, the universe cracked open and a mythical dragon swooped down and deposited this icon from its golden talons - sparing me in the process. Once again, with no planning, I am  honored to be able to discover an artifact containing a timely-relevant association with the present day.

1 comment:

  1. I don't comment often, but I sure love your blog and am amazed at all your finds.


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