Odd Yard Sale Finds



Oh no! Not the oven!

My first thought was that this is an oven mitt, but that couldn’t be, could it? No one would stick this guy in the oven, would they? My second best guess is that it is some kind of spa mitt, if there is such a thing. That seems to make more sense. Bet that towel turban could catch fire in no time. That would not be a pretty sight, or a very safe one.

What do I win if I can name them all?

I can name most of them. Gorbachev, Kruschev, and Brezhnev are easy. One of them is Lenin and one is Stalin, I think. Not sure about the other two.

Russian nesting dolls turn up quite often at yard sales. This is the only set of Russian leaders I have seen.

Missing its Trylon?

I have to admit, this one has me stumped. It’s a 6″ diameter wooden ball that looks to be very well made. The “why” part is a mystery. Surely, it must have been made to do something, or go with something. I just have no idea.

The Trylon reference is to the Trylon & Perisphere that most collectors are no doubt familiar with. Even if you are not a collector, it’s always nice to know what those things are called, just in case you find yourself on Jeopardy one day, and the answer is “iconic 1939 New York World’s Fair symbols that everyone has seen, but no one knows the actual names of.”

“A spittoon? I was sure it was a cuspidor.”

The truth is it can be called either. If you are Portuguese, you can take credit for the classier cuspidor moniker. If you are just good old-fashioned American, you gotta call it a spittoon; and contrary to what most people would think if they stumbled upon one of these, it was definitely not designed to be a planter; although in today’s society, since spittooning (or just plain spitting) has pretty much gone out of style, the planter idea is definitely a great one.

I have been buying and selling assorted “junque” for the better part of 25 years, and this is the very first spittoon I have ever purchased. I could celebrate the occasion with a chaw and spit of tobacco, like they did in the old days, but I think it is best if I not. I would probably miss the opening anyway. Not much practice in that department.

“Harold, you need to move the HiFi and empty the ashtrays, oh, and don’t forget to fill the cigarette lamp.”

It must have been a whole different world back in the day when every home was filled with ashtrays, smoking paraphernalia, and cigarette smoke. This would have been the hit of the party, I think.

We’re the Stoney Maloneys

The sticker on the bottom identifies them as having been hand painted by Ruane Manning in 1973. I didn’t make up the name, Stoney Maloneys. They must have been named that by the artist. This is one of those yard sale items that most people would walk right by. If you see one, don’t pass it up. Besides being very cute (imho), turns out they are quite collectible too, surprising as that may be to most. Who doesn’t love a mom and dad and their newborn?

Paging Dr. Casey to Surgery! Dr. Casey to Surgery!

Vince Edwards starred as the dashing young Dr. Ben Casey for 6 seasons on CBS TV in the early 1960s. Sam Jaffe played Dr. David Zorba, Dr. Casey’s mentor. I would guess that a young teenage girl proudly wore this image of Vince, her favorite TV heartthrob.

Here are the cerebral opening credits of Ben Casey:

Bleep that!

The bleeper ball emitted a signal that allowed the golfer to track it and recover it via a mobile receiver. The golfer who spent good money for it probably needed a different kind of bleeper after the ball splashed down in the middle of the pond.

“Mother Bear, this is Sleepy Head.” “I’m checkin’ my eyelids for pinholes.” “10-4.”

The 1970s’ CB craze seemed to die out as fast as it had exploded. I am happy to say I never had a handle, or I might have had to wear one of these around my neck.

Click the link to listen to one of the most unlikely songs ever to reach the top of the Billboard Pop charts. C.W. McCall’s ode to the road went to #1 the week of January 10, 1976.

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