Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Antiques and Boutiques

So you may have heard, the old man, my old man, who has the nerve to look anything but old, turned 50 this month. Due to prior commitments, two funerals and a wedding specifically, the actual celebration for said old man was put on hold.

But finally, due to the willing nature of Jason-Son, who took over chore duties, I was able to whisk the 50 year old (who annoyingly still looks 30) away for the weekend. He knew we were headed to Galena, Illinois a Deadwood -esque village where houses are stacked up on hill sides and nights are spent worried about earthquakes, but with less gambling joints and more wineries; but he did not know of the two pit stops I had planned.

The first was LeClaire , Iowa, home of our favorite American Pickers, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz and their acerbically brilliant  sidekick slash office manager Danielle Colby AKA "Dannie D". We arrived Friday afternoon ( a three hour drive north of our farm) just as the film crews were winding up. The show has become wildly popular on the History Channel these last couple of years. Crowds were abundant that day we arrived, but other than a B and B expecting us sometime that eve, we had no where to go.

As time passed, excitement built. Paparazzi began to appear everywhere.

The crowd slickens

So like the rest of the Antique Archeology groupies, we got all caught up in the drama of the moment. Comparing notes from the show we all watched, having our pics taken alongside the jalopy in front of the store made famous by the show etc...

Weird how life evolves. 35 years ago I was screaming down the house at Led Zeppelin Concerts, stealing bottles of beer off Three Dog Night stages (because Cory Wells lips touched it That's WHY!!) and now here I was all goo- goo eyed over a couple of middle age junk men. Tastes do change.

But have you seen Mike Wolfe in a leather jacket?  'Nough said. (Google it yourself. He's all copyrighted you know)

I'm A bit worried about fellow picker Frank though. Wearing portable O2 I overheard another fan say he was recently hospitalized. Get well soon Frank, you're the stable Mable in that menage a ' bazaar that makes up the American Pickers group.

Frank Fritz on the right making a deal with a couple
trying to sell him their vintage Harley.
How do you know? They could be Harley Owners.
Yes they could.
Yes. They.

Oh yeah, this couple wanted to sell the guys their grandmothers Red Transfer ware China. Apparently it was complete with a gravy boat! How do you know? They could own
a formal china setting for 12.
Yes they could.
Yes. They.
Facing a long wait we walked across the street to 4 Miles 2 Memphis, the boutique owned by Danielle Colby herself. Fun stuff she had in there. Apparently Ms. Colby does more than just man the phones and track down good picks for the guys. She also runs her own Burlesque Show, designs a line of clothing and jewelry and manages this quirky store that looked a little bit like my own dining room. Hmmmmmmm.

Chandeliers and Leather. LOVE IT

Sadly the lady of the hour was not present but her shop was well manned, I mean, ladied, by her co-horts who were happy to take my money for a "Queen of Rust" T-shirt I had to have. They were also very gracious about having their picture taken with me. Yes, I know the three of us could be triplets.

Can you spell 'dowdy?" Just how I felt after seeing this shot. When did I start looking like such a...such a....such a GRANDMOTHER?!?!?! Well at least I'm tan. Unable to meet Danielle herself I consoled myself with a facsimile. It's OK. The shop gals said I could.

 4 Miles 2 Memphis  (named after son Miles and daughter Memphis) was filled with GRRRRRL Power t-shirts , cowboy boots , antique Singer Sewing Machines and quirky jewelry. Perfect timing as I have been feeling so blue about my house being unkempt, undecorated and uncool. When I left this shoppe I felt that maybe if I just found myself an old birdcage or two I'd feel better. (24 hours later I did! More on that later)

Soon enough we could see action across the street. Crowds were being allowed to move forward.
We strolled back and shoved our way to the front. (With 50% of the crowd over 60 and at least 60% of the crowd using walkers, canes and motorized Scooters "shoving" was unnecessary. ) Without further adieu we entered...

My only complaint: The shop itself was too small. After waiting about 20 minutes after filming ceased, a diverse crowd (bikers, slackers, stalkers as well as pickers) was allowed into a petite ex-garage to visualize lots of familiar items seen on previous shows.

Their was a definite affinity for bikes, trikes (I believe mostly Mikes) as well as some premo skulls. No skeletons in these guys closets, they're all out on the shelves dolled up with cool biker goggles.

Keith is not the crowd lover I am, being as I was raised on North Ashland and he was raised on the North side of any rural route, so he went back outside after a couple minutes while I enjoyed the gang of followers as well as the great old stuff all over the shop. My only (other) disappointment was the lack of price tags and the lack of staff.  OK, I guess that is three concerns but still...I loved everything else.

Would have liked to have bought a little souvenir tidbit but didn't want to go through the trouble of manhandling my way through that vicious crowd again with that wire basket I really wanted, only to find out they picked  it for $4 and wanted $80 for it. Hey, I've seen the show.

So, soon enough I bailed and we headed father north to Galena.
Which I'll tell you about later this week. And after that Miss Effies. No, she is not another  member of Dannie D's Burlesque Troupe but she does do a mean garden dance! Stay tuned.


  1. What a great way to spend your (old man's) 50th. I WANT that little V-Twin, second from bottom!

  2. I love that show to bits..also Canadian Pickers is good. What a great outing.

  3. Nice to hear about the great time you had.

  4. You need some ink! Something that says "I love pigz", or somesuch. That would make you feel more "in".

    I think you're fine the way you are, however.

    Looks like a good time was had by all.

  5. I love love love !! The picture of you and the girls. You're so adorable! I just love this blog and your great sense of humor.

  6. Sounds like you had a ball - great photos too and belated happy birthday to your old man ;)

  7. Tom, Although I spent my fair share on the back of a Harley in my South Dakota days circa 1970's I have no clue as to value or rarity of them.But if you want it then I'll get it for you. Thats what blog friends are for.

    MBJ. Really ? Canadian Pickers? Would love to see that. My dad was the authetic Irish Picker. He'd bring home more crap from other relatives houses than they seemed to own in the first place.

    Doug. A grand time was had by all.

    Jocelyn, and what makes you think I don't have any ink? Hmmm?

  8. as a fellow 50 year old...... I must say he's only a babe!

  9. Alright, Miss! That is one HECK of a birthday. And yes, Keith has found the fountain of youth. YOU look amazing...and...and, MISS Effies?? You FINALLY went! I MUST hear about it!

    Happy Birthday Mr. Farmer! :)


  10. Hi Donna,
    Wow, what a time and hey, your 'old' dude is half a century young.
    Seeing scenes like this makes me hanker for a trip back to North America.
    Take care, eh. From a somewhat older dude from Canada living in England :)
    I'm really glad I visited your blog. Terrific stuff!

  11. What an awesome time! So much fun ... and you do NOT look like a grandmother.. sheesh!

  12. Happy Birthday to Keith! 1962 was a really good year. (LOL I was born then too)

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