Saturday was “déjà vu all over again” to quote Yogi Berra.
I grew up around antiques so, strolling through the Antique Fest, I was at home.
Ever since I can remember, my Dad was collecting things.
Do you want to guess how many different types of bridle bits there could be?
A bridle bit is that part of a horse harness that goes into the horse’s mouth.
I can tell you Dad had a couple hundred different bits. They were tacked on the wall at the top of the hallway on the second floor of the house.
One day they were all gone.
Dad had decided to start collecting something else.
When he retired, he and Mom opened up Chicken Crossing Antiques.
At Thanksgiving dinner their huge family was served dinner in antique bowls and antique plates.
“Pass the salt, please,” I said, then noticed there was a $5 sticker on the bottom of the shaker.
One of his collections contained envelopes postmark stamped Aug. 6, 1970 when the Dwight D. Eisenhower 6 cent stamp was issued.
He went around Abilene collecting envelopes from the various businesses, adding the Eisenhower stamp and postmarking it Aug. 6.
Back then there was no Internet, thus suggested prices of antiques were published in books.
I can tell you that, most of the time, Dad knew his stuff and didn’t have to consult the books.
He would go to auctions looking for steals. Often he would find the perfect fit. At an auction he bought three golf clubs for $1.75.
One of them he liked because it was unique with an elongated head and a whippy shaft. He added it to his special collection. That collection was not in the shop, but was displayed in his bedroom. And not for sale, apparently, at any price.
A collector stopped in and Dad showed him his special collection of clubs.
The guy liked that old golf club and offered $100.
Let’s see. It cost less than $1.00 and he was offered $100.
“It’s not for sale. Sorry,” Dad said.
“Okay. $500.” The offer went up.
Dad still said “no” and the antique dealer got into his car. He rolled down the window.
“I really like that golf club. I’ll give you $1,000,” he said.
Dad said “no.”
Now you know where I get my stubborn streak.
As it turned out, the antique dealer came back the next day and Dad sold the club to him for $1,000. We did some research and the 1700s club was probably worth $2,000 to the right buyer. I think Dad found the right buyer.
When he died, his special collection contained antique baseball bats. Bats?
Who knew they were even collectibles? I still have the one with his name engraved on it.
But the antique business isn’t always a 1000 percent profit.
In the late 1980s baseball cards were the craze and who was more popular than George Brett?
Brett played 21 years through three different decades.
Playing for the Kansas City Royals, he had 3,154 hits.
When Dad had the opportunity to buy Brett’s rookie card, he jumped all over that, paying over $300.
He never sold the card as the bottom dropped out of the baseball card market soon after the purchase.
Google tells me that “under normal circumstances, you can usually find a 1975 Topps George Brett rookie card for less than $100.”
Check your attics. You might have some treasures or maybe just some memory makers.