I’ve never been one to frequent antique shops, but earlier this year, I discovered that I like it (even if my sinuses protest all the dust). Really, it’s like hitting pay dirt when it comes to photographic subject matter.
But it also triggers nostalgia and causes long-forgotten memories to resurface. Leafing through this box of old 45s, a few of my own records popped into mind. Some that saw serious play: Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street,” Eagles’ “Take it to the Limit,” and Prince’s “Purple Rain,” to name a few.
As I proceeded through the store, I’d stop occasionally, clap a hand over my mouth, and say to myself, “Oh my God, we had that!” Like this Santa. Don’t know why, but it was always one of my favorite Christmas decorations.
Seeing this basket of football equipment reminded me of at least one Halloween when I borrowed my cousin’s gear to go trick-or-treating. Man, were those shoulder pads cumbersome. (But nowhere near as horrid as the stiff saddle shoes we had to wear for cheerleading.) Another year, I remember browsing for costumes at Kmart, where there were tall stacks of cardboard boxes, each containing a cheap, suffocating plastic mask and apron. I picked Bugs Bunny, and all I know is, if I got one, it must’ve been on Blue Light Special.
Not everything is connected to personal memories, but there are many odd items to draw the eye’s attention. I mean, you just can’t walk by a trio of soap cats who look like they’re driving with one arm, can you?
I know some people get weirded out by dolls, but I love to photograph them, especially the really old ones.
And then there was this box of light bulbs. Makes you wonder (and this is earnest curiosity talking) just who would be absolutely delighted to stumble across something like this? What would s/he do with them exactly?
These swim medals pinned to a yellowed Charlie Brown wall covering made me think that there is a story behind every one of these objects. Who won all these ribbons?
Was this Schwinn bike with training wheels a birthday gift, presented with a big bow tied to its shiny handlebars? Did the child’s face light up with joy when he saw it? Why weren’t the training wheels ever removed?
It’s easy to kill a couple of hours in a place like this. I highly recommend it for fellow writers, poets, photographers, and artists of every other inclination in need of inspiration. The stories are there—waiting to be remembered or created.