Photo courtesy of http://www.ebaumsworld.com/
“The things you see, when you haven’t got a gun!” my dear Mother-in-law used to exclaim when she found herself amongst strange people.
I love to watch people. Yesterday Marty and I made our regular Sunday morning visit to a stretch of pine woods north of
. This is the site of the weekly Hollis Outdoor Flea Market. http://www.hollisflea.com/home.html Hollis, New Hampshire
Here are acres of tables spread with stuff. There are old comic books, compact disks, 1940s-era radios, old garden tools, furniture, bottles and jars, kitchen equipment, World War II shell cases, uniforms and souvenirs, stuffed animals and antlers, all manner of recent cribs, strollers, toys, scooters, bicycles, plants, home-made preserves, ball caps and shirts for causes that never quite caught on, and there are trucks that have just disgorged a complete cargo of the stuff people pay money to store somewhere, then either die, get divorced, or just forget about it.
These trucks disgorge mostly used clothes, and this stuff is a magnet for the growing South Asian population of
New England. There
are many little women pawing through the clothes, while they converse amongst
themselves in Tagalog, Khmer, Urdu or perhaps Vietnamese.
And the people! Perhaps it is because there is a fried dough concession nearby, as the average shopper at this market seems to be about 100 lbs. above the weight of the average American.
There’s a young man wearing a size XXXXXXL T-shirt that says “Mr. Big” and he’s so fat he needs a cane to keep himself steady. He’s accompanied by an equally fat girl friend. And they both are covered with tattoos. Trailing them a short distance behind is another very large, older woman, driving an electric cart. She is also festooned with tattoos.
I know that many young people today think it is “cool” to have tattoos, but it seems that fat people especially like to embellish their flesh with elaborate skin engravings. At this show, it seems most people, fat and otherwise, have tattoos, and the men have a lot of extra hair on their faces and head, as well.
We’re there to look for antiques, and there is one alley, amongst maybe a hundred, where some old-time antique wholesalers are set up.
We do antique shows, and you can meet some interesting people at them, as well. Marty and I did a few shows this summer, in
Wellesley and Osterville,
Massachusetts, Little Compton, Rhode Island
You don’t see all the fat people with tattoos at these, but they’re
still interesting. Camden, Maine
When an antique show opens, a few little sharp-eyed men dart into the show, stopping at each booth long enough to sense whether there is anything there that meets their discriminating taste. These are the pickers, who hope to pick up something worth $500 for $50.
They look and act a lot like squirrels. They pause now and then to sniff the air, and see if they smell something worth buying. You can just see their tails twitching.
After a few moments, all these eager little people are gone, off to greener pastures.
Then come the silver and gold buyers. These men sweep each booth with hawk-like precision. They are on the lookout for precious metals. [At the moment, silver is $27 an ounce, gold is $1619.]
They will home in on a beautifully tooled, elegant piece of early 19th century silver, and see only how much it will bring, melted down. For anyone who appreciates the work of fine old silversmiths or goldsmiths---- delicate carving, stamping, engraving and chasing... work that probably took many days to do --- the idea of melting it down seems sinful.
These men usually carry a small scale to weigh any treasure they can get their hands on.
One started to pull out his little scale in Marty’s booth, and she said, “I’d like you not to do that. That’s so tacky!”
He put away the scale, and used his finely-tuned hands to estimate the weight of a pair of Sterling silver serving spoons.
Soon, these men have flown on to their next feeding area, and that leaves the regular shoppers.
One shopper is a doctor who is moving his office to this town. He and his eight year old daughter cover the whole show, stopping to look at things that interest him—his daughter patiently stands by. Most everything interests him, as he lugs out a huge and expensive wooden ship model in a large glass case; long, ornate brass candlesticks, six feet tall, paintings, pottery, a Nantucket basket, and more.
Another shopper is a Caucasian man in a wheelchair, and he is looking for Mexican silver. He has a young Filipino man pushing him, and his wife is along, too, along with a Buddhist monk. You don’t see a lot of Buddhist monks at antique shows.
Antique shows often attract serial talkers. These are people who come to the show not to look at antiques and perhaps buy. All they want to do is find someone to talk to. One young man is very good about talking on any subject.
From what I could gather, he is a stochastic deterministic probabilistic mathematician who likes to collect things. He lives in a house that is scaled perfectly—every room is just a five-ninths the size of a regular room; the ceilings are low, and every angle in the house is measured to perfection. He knows about silver, all about how silver is mined, refined, smelted, how silverware is carved, molded, hammered… and pottery, where you get the clay for fine porcelain, the firing process, the difference between Dresden china, Imari porcelain from Japan, Celadon from China and Korea, English porcelain, the rug weaving techniques of the Kurds, the Bakhtiaris, the Baluchis, Turkomans, Qashqais. He can tell you about ship models, post cards, brass bookends, 19th century toys, paintings by known Cape Cod,
Cape Ann and
other artists, antique advertising; Civil War firearms and uniform
He often drops out of the antique world to tell you about design of a nuclear power plant (he once helped design one, he says); or the finer points of deep sea diving, or celestial navigation, or design of lighter-than-air balloons, blimps and dirigibles.
Unidentified Stochastic Talker (back to camera) at Elm Bank
He’s an authority, he tells you, on World War I military history, as well as the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, and once studied extinct languages of South Sea Islanders, including the Kuuk Thaayorre, who give compass directions instead of “in front of” or “next to”.
Once you have been attacked by this man, and he has exhausted all the air in the room, and you have found a way to escape, he moves on to the next unsuspecting victim.
A large woman always visits this show, and many others, sweeping in on a large, motorized wheelchair with one of those tiny little Shi Tzu dogs climbing out of her pocket. She’s followed by her husband, a wiry little man with a cowboy hat and boots.
Finally, the show is over, and it's time to put all our goods back into the van and head for home.
The Personal Navigator offers these books and papers:
Shipbuilder and Marine-Engine Builder, The, September, 1939 Hood, A.G., Editor;
Press, 47, London,
England Victoria St.,
Westminster. 58 pp. 25.5 x 32 cm. Cover shows HMSubmarine Cachalot in adv for Callender Cables.
Many ads for shipbuilders and machine builders as Hitler's U-boats were sinking
them. Ads for DeLaval, Vickers-Armstrong, Ansaldo in Trieste, Sulzer Bros.,
W.H. Allen, Sons & Co., Ltd., Carville Engineering, more. Articles include "The Twin-Screw Motorship
'Lochiel'"; story on reconditioning of HMS Erebus; Bio Sketch on A.W. Cluett, OBE, RCNC, Deputy Director
of Dockyards, Admiralty; "The
Aero-Marine Motor Torpedo-boats"; "Notes from the Shipbuilding
Centres" includes photo of HM
Cruiser Belfast on trial, and launch of H.M.
Aircraft-carrier Formidable. Magazine, slight edge wear, very good. (8251) $32.00.
World War II/Naval/Nautical
American Mercury, The, A Monthly Review Edited by H.L. Mencken & George Jean Nathan, January 1924; Vol. I No. 1, First Issue Mencken, H.L., Editor 1924
: Alfred A. Knopf. With Mencken as editor
one might expect brilliance, and this inaugural issue has it. The
Editorial announces the intent of the new magazine to devote itself pleasantly
to exposing the nonsensicality of hallucinations of utopianism and the
lot. The lead article "The
York, NY Legend" by Isaac R. Pennypacker, gives a
new and more robust look at the life of President Abraham Lincoln. His
forefathers were iron-masters, capable leaders in their communities, giving a
lie to the myth of the simple railsplitter. As a war leader, Pennypacker
compares him with Jefferson Davis, and Lincoln comes up far superior. "The Drool Method in
History" by Harry E.
Barnes is a humorous attack on purveyors of "pure
history" --- the
superiority of the Aryans, the discovery of America was by well-meaning religious
people; the sole cause of our ancestors' embarking upon wintry seas to come to
the New World was religious freedom; Loyalists in the Revolution were a gang of
degenerate drunkards and perverts, etc. "The
Tragic Hiram" by John W.
Owens is contemporary political commentary, about Borah, La Follette, Lincoln and Harding-- but skewering
Johnson. 144 pp. 17 x 25 cm. Magazine, writing on advertisement, first
page of magazine: "Ruth
Schliveh's shower Jan. 19, 1924"… and "Bill Paxton Brown U.
1924." Very good.
(7663) $76.00. Literature/History Hoover
Cuban Scouts Going on Outpost Duty
Cannons and Camera: Sea and Land Battles of the Spanish-American War in Cuba, Camp Life, and the Return of the Soldiers; First Edition Photographs and Narrative by Hemment, John C.1898.
D. Appleton & Co. This book has been widely reproduced. In this book War
Artist John C. Hemment has captured the War in New York, NY in excellent, sharp photographs and
accompanying text. Introduction by W.I. Lincoln Cuba Adams.
Hemment had earlier photographed the Battleship Maine extensively, and when he
arrived inCuba he found she had
just been blown up. His description of the Spaniards and the Cubans is colorful
and portrays the sharp enmity between Americans and Spaniards. Interesting and
detailed photos of recovery of parts of Maine, life in American soldiers' camp, off to the
seat of war in by
seagoing transport... Life with General Shafter and his staff.
Description of photography and developing of film, etc. under combat
conditions. Firing on Santiago Morro Castle. Among the Cuban pickets. About mules
in the campaign. Siege of . The Charge at El
Caney. Our Bold Rough Riders.and Colonel Roosevelt. Return of the Rough
Riders. With appendix and index. . 282 pp. 13.5 x 20 cm. Red cloth on
board with decoration on cover showing a sailor cleaning a naval gun; gilt
lettering. Edges worn, binding weak, spine faded. Inscription dated 1898 on
ffep. Fair. (5261) $42.00. History/Spanish-American War Santiago
Our Katie; or, The Grateful Orphan, A Story for Children , with three illustrations by Myers, Sarah A. 1859
New York, NY:
Carlton & Porter, Sunday-School Union. Author writes of her childhood and poor Katie,
whose mother died, then her father. Author's family took in Katie…Katie in
Disgrace….Katie's Reward. Morality tale. 90 pp. 10 x 15.2
cm. Dark cloth on board with
blindstamped design and gilt lettering on spine. On front free endpaper is
"No. 41 Chesterfield Facty S.S. Jan. 1868" 2 cm piece missing from
rear spine. Good. (8196) $40.00. Children's
Sweden: Vägvisare Sundsvall och dess Omnejd-- Almänna Norrländska Industri-och Landtbruks-Utställningen I Sundsvall, 1882 [General Northern Industrial and Agricultural Exhibition,
1882] 1882 :
P.A. Norstedt & Söner. Folded map and program for Almänna Norrländska
Industri-och Landtbruks-Utställningen I Sundsvall, 1882 [General Northern
Industrial and Agricultural Exhibition, Stockholm, Sweden , 1882]. Includes price for
tickets to events, local points of interest, map of Exhibition grounds, City
and area in Sundsvall, Sweden Sweden including
northern part of Gulf of Bothnia, also ads for hotels and other tourist
services. In Swedish. 18 panels 9 c 17.2
cm. Paper on cloth,
lightly soiled, very good. (8211) $38.00. Maps/Travel
Western Journal and Civilian, The; devoted to Agriculture, Manufactures, Mechanic Arts, Internal Improvement, Commerce, Public Policy and Polite Literature, May 1855; Vol. XIII No. VI. Tarver, M. & Cobb, H., Editors & Proprietors.
M. Niedner & Co. 68 pp. 14.5 x 23 cm. First Article, "Love of Money" includes these words: "no
enlightened philanthropist can conclude
but that total emancipation would be a curse instead of a blessing to both
races. We think we can trace the designs of a wise and benevolent Providence in
sending a portion of the African race to our continent to be taught the science
of civilization, embracing the precepts and doctrines of christianity, and
finally to become the instruments of redeeming the land of their fathers from a
state of brutal ignorance and the curse of barbarous superstitions." "Valley of the St. Louis, MO " by Mann Butler, Esq., continued
from Vol. XIII no. 5.Life in the early days, after 1781--large migration of
young unmarried females took place. Happily the duties of the household were
discharged, not by slaves (Would to God that all the West could have escaped
the curse and iniquity of slavery) but by white females. Ohio
roads, tramped by herds of buffalo feasting on luscious herbiage and delicious
condiment at salt licks. Description of cabin and cabin furniture.Diet:
"hog and hommony"; mush was eaten with sweetened water, molasses,
bears' oil or the gravy of fried meat. Geo. Buffalo 's address before the Iowa State
Agricultural Association, October 1845.
Jefferson and Dixon Lake Ponchartrain
Railroad. Railroad Completed. Panama
Law of 1855."The Adventures of the
Last Abencerage" concluded. Magazine,
cover detached and missing 4 x 7 cm top corner. Remainder complete and fair.
Overall poor. (8252) $40.00. History Bounty Land
Rejected Addresses: or the New Theatrum Poetarum, Tenth Edition 1813
: John Miller, 25,
Bow-Street. Collection of bizarre "addresses" on the occasion of the reopening
of London, England , completely rebuilt after a
fire. Funny, disrespectful, shameless humor. It is interesting to see how
much of this is still funny, nearly two centuries later! In "'Hampshire Farmer's
reference to cheap soup: "soup
for the poor at a penny a quart, ...mixture of horse's legs, brick dust and old
shoes." ' Drury Lane Theatre is a large earthen-ware pipkin.
John Bull is the beef thrown into it. Taxes are the hot water he boils in.
Rotten boroughs are the fuel that blazes under this same pipkin..." 127 + 5 pp. adv. 10 x 16.2 cm. Quarter
leather, marbled boards, worn. On front pastedown is bookplate (oriental
motif) of Russell Gray pasted over fine signature of Henry Wilkinson, and
on front free endpaper is name, "Russell
Gray 1883--" [Russell
Gray was Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, noted for his ruling granting
citizenship to the children born in the U.S. to Chinese immigrants working on
the railroads.] Good.
(5246) $30.00. Humor England
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