Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Uncle Bobby

The second weekend arrived and it would be an unplanned long one. On Thursday, March 30th, Monica's Great Uncle Bobby passed away at the age of 87. He lived about 45 minutes to our east and spent his whole life in his hometown. In Monica's childhood, her family would make the long drive (an hour and a half) out east several times a year to visit. In recent years, Uncle Bobby lost the use of his legs but never lost even the smallest piece of his mind and every few weeks, we would spend hours on the phone with him. He was a man with a great sense of humor and a million great stories of his life and of his family. The wake was scheduled for Sunday, April 9th and his funeral planned for the next day. We would spend almost all of both days attending these events that would commemorate his life and the wonderful person he was. More on that later.

During the week, we compiled a list of several sales that we could potentially attend although we knew we would cut the day short so that we could complete some of the chores and errands that we would normally do on Sunday. We knew what our first sale would be. It was about 25 miles to our east and, in our minds, offered the best potential. It had a 10am start so there was no rush to get out of the house too early. It was pretty isolated on the map of possible sales and we knew that we had to start here first or be too far away to backtrack. Getting there early would not get us inside any earlier. There would be a line of dealers at the front because there were plenty of vintage toys and games in the pictures in the ad for the sale. We wouldn't get any of them. Our goal was to look for everything else...and we did.

Sale #1 was run by one of our favorite tag sale companies and was described as a "packed moving sale". There were lots of vintage items in the pictures, several of which were old toys and games which we knew we would not get.

As we suspected, there was a line and this was after the first wave had gone inside. We were #40 on the list but, thankfully, it didn't take very long to get inside at all. We stood on that line for only fifteen minutes.

Now here's something you don't see every day! It's a salesman's sample suitcase for a Niagara Cyclo Massage. It was the demonstration model for a door to door salesman. We did not bring this home with us.

The main floor bathroom was, for the most part, the original yellow bathroom to this house. We knew that the groovy wallpaper was an update, probably in the early 1970's.

There were a couple of these really cool tiles in that bathroom wall. Starburst! 

Most of the rooms we entered were very searchable and time needed to be spent looking through every drawer and every pile of stuff! Monica was very busy! 

Esso Tiger glassware from the 1960's. We have some of these glasses so we did not purchase any of these.

The second bathroom that we discovered also held on to some of its original design. The toilet and sink were original to the house.

If you need any orange clothing, it was in this closet

The kitchen had this great, vintage Nutone intercom/radio. It worked! 

The attic was a whole, new world. It was very cluttered and you had to climb up pull-down steps in order to enter it. There were a limited number of people allowed up at a time but we got our chance.

Our tag sale host, Denise, and Monica mugging for the camera! 

Creepy doll at the bottom of a box in a creep attic alert! 

Yup...this attic needed a lot of digging and we took our time to uncover everything it had to offer!

The basement had a lot of boxes, too, but it didn't take very long to search. Everything down there was, pretty much, out in the open.

This was a great house and we had so much fun searching it. We were inside of it for about two hours. By the time we left, it was with several books, some records, a couple of Christmas items, a crocheted pink poodle, lots of vintage cake toppers, a 1964 official button of The Beatles and several more things. When we walked outside, we walked to a garage sale that, opportunistically, set up across the street. There was nothing at that sale.

It was already early afternoon at this point and we had not eaten yet. We had already missed our usual breakfast break so we stopped for lunch and, after eating, decided to call it a day so we could go home and do what we needed to do before Uncle Bobby's services would begin the next day.

Of course, signs reading "estate sale" with an arrow pointing towards its general location can take us away from our plans and this is exactly what happened on our way home. We decided to go to just one more and try our luck.

It was an old house though there wasn't a lot inside. We left with two cookbooks, a baseball book and a great view of this pink and gray bathroom which had escaped all of the other changes this house had undergone over the years.

Here is what we found on Saturday:

Some 12 inch records

A pair of 7 inch records

Some cookbooks

More cookbooks

Some more cookbooks

Some vintage postcards

Home Improvement and party books

Mad paperbacks from the 1960's

Captain Nice, Dennis the Menace and Miss Peach paperbacks from the 1960's

T.V. spy paperbacks from the 1960's

Some baseball books

A Kresge's envelope, two How And Why books and a Life Magazine featuring Paul McCartney; all from the 1960's

A very ugly tie but...

...it is a Johnny Carson tie

Playing cards, boxes of crayons, an Eastern Airlines card from the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, an old book of matches from Circus Circus in Las Vegas, a cereal giveaway item from the 1950's (still in its package) and n old bird scissor (Monica had this same one as a kid) 

A 1964 official button from The Beatles. Prophetic in a way since you can't call John or George anymore.

Vintage cake toppers and gift tags

Vintage holiday cake toppers

More vintage cake toppers still in their package. It is a two-tiered package (there is another set behind it). Marked Japan

Vintage cocktail umbrellas

Some of the umbrellas are for Sun Ming, a Chinese restaurant that opened in 1966 but was closed and demolished a few years ago.

Others are for Kwong Ming which has been around since 1962 and still exists!

An old Halloween die-cut decoration and an old honeycomb party ball decoration

A ceramic poodle bookend, an old rat fink, an old doll, a Dream Pet donkey (for our Cinco de Mayo parties), an Easter chick and a crocheted pink poodle. Everything except the rat fink and the poodle are marked Japan

Christmas items: an elf pencil from the 1970's and a ceramic set of Christmas jelly and jam jars which their built-in spoons in perfect condition. They are marked Japan.

Sunday and Monday was all about saying goodbye to Uncle Bobby. His wake was on Sunday and his funeral and burial was on Monday.

A great picture from Monica's childhood. Back row: Monica's Nana, Uncle Bob, Monica's Great Grandpa, Monica's mom and Monica's Pop Pop. In the front row are Monica on the left and then her two sisters and brother.

As we left the house on Monday morning to take the drive to Uncle Bob's funeral, a single lone duck sat on the roof next door and quacked at us. We think Uncle Bobby sent a visitor to say hello. We will dearly miss our bi-weekly phone conversations with him (which always lasted upwards of an hour) and we will miss his wonderful stories, his sincere smile and his hearty laugh. He was a great man who will, forever, live in our hearts. Rest in peace, Uncle Bobby! 


  1. RIP Uncle Bobby.

    Those jam and jelly jars!!!!!

    1. Thanks, Mary, about Uncle Bobby!
      Yes...the jam and jelly jars were a fun find! (Rob)