« Quote | Main | The Long Gimlet »



I have a real weakness for ephemera. Were it not for my general reticence to spend money - okay, cheapness - our house could easily be soon filled with esoteric items which would be considered valuable to only a few people in the world other than myself. But my resistance has been sorely tested the past two weekends, when we've gone to a couple of local estate auctions. I don't know how other estate auctions work, but this particular auctioneer combines smaller household and memorabilia items into individual boxes, so a box may contain one or two interesting things while the rest is all junk.

This past Saturday I was tempted by a box that included a bunch of old advertising blotters from long-defunct Joliet businesses, and the previous Saturday it was two 1960s vintage Chamber of Commerce-type publications that purport to show how proud local merchants were of their fair city of Joliet, but in reality are really just advertising vehicles. (Which is fine with me - I love the old ads, regardless of what was really behind these publications' coming into being.) But I never saw either box come up for bid, and after being at both auctions for several hours we had had enough and went home, and I realized I really didn't need any of that stuff.

But Julie went back to Saturday's auction for a second time, and after picking up a few more items of her own she also got some free books that the auctioneer had been lugging around for a while and was glad to get rid of. The quirky old books were interesting enough in themselves, but to our surprise one of them contained the photo shown above. I have no idea who this pleasant couple is (they're not even necessarily the old couple whose estate was being sold off) but I've decided to call them Phil and Estelle. The photo is now my favorite bookmark.

August 18, 2008 in Ephemera | Permalink