Browsing an antiques store today prompted many palm-to-forehead moments.  The inventory in the store matched the contents of my parents’ basement for so many years.  We grew up without much of anything other than already-been-owned items, so everything in our basement represented what we needed but couldn’t have unless someone gave it to us secondhand.

We couldn’t have anything new because we simply couldn’t afford it.  So we had all kinds of things that were already old and well-worn by the time we got them.  Over the years they just took up space and eventually became yard sale items with the passing of my father and my mother’s move to smaller digs.   If we’d been better educated, we would have recognized the value of that stuff as more than what could be gained via a yard sale.

One item I remember quite fondly was an old Underwood typewriter that my aunt gave to us.  One key stuck so if struck, the user had to reach into the guts and pop the leg back out.  That mechanical marvel must have weighed 142 lbs but it fascinated me nonetheless.  I have no idea what became of it but I went shopping today in hopes of finding an affordable old, manual typewriter.  I will have one eventually, just not today.

There were also all kinds of old postcards and sports trading cards and LIFE Magazine copies in sealed plastic envelopes.  My goodness, we had all of those dustcatchers in boxes under the stairs for years.  Albums from Herb Alpert to Elton John to Joni Mitchell in their wonderfully artistic covers were displayed in several different places.   My family of six children had hundreds of albums over the years and I have no idea what happened to any of them.

One of the first items I saw when I entered the store this morning was a set of golf clubs so old the woods were actually made of WOOD.  Yeah – you heard me – WOOD!  Wouldn’t you know I just tossed a set exactly like that in the dumpster.  I had received the (used) set as a birthday gift during my college years in the late 70’s.  Probably should have cleaned them up and driven them down there to see if they could be sold.

So I look around right now and wonder what might be considered a fabulously valuable antique years from now.  My cell phone?   Microwave oven?  Toothbrush?  Crocs?  Red Solo Cup?  If I had that insight I probably would have spent my morning dusting my old Underwood instead of shopping for one.Image

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