They say, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”
While that is true, there is a fine line between old junk and antiques. A friend and I went antique shopping last weekend in Indianapolis. I saw a lot of old junk trying to play itself off as antiques.
Have you ever noticed how nearly all antique stores have a few staple items? It makes you wonder if there’s a rule that says you must carry old McDonald’s promotional glasses and naked baby dolls to have an antique-dealer license. And then there’s the old school strawberry cookie jars you see everywhere. OK, I really like those.
Another item that makes the rounds is old lunch boxes. Talk about antique store staples. While they’re cool to look at and bring back a lot of elementary school memories, I just cannot believe how expensive they are. I’ve watched enough of the antique picking shows on TV to know that if you have the matching thermos, you have a gold mine. I know they were utility items and few people thought to keep them in mint condition, making them scarce and more valuable. But I have to tell you, when I hear them talk about it, all I really hear is the teacher from Charlie Brown. Wont wont, wont wont. It’s just a lunchbox, man!
Enough of that rant.
I was telling my mother about our shopping trip and what a bust it was. Not one to do any antique shopping herself, mom asked me if I saw any old promotional items from companies and stores. I hadn’t really, and thought it an odd question, so I inquired as to why she was asking.
She said she had a rather large collection of dolls and stuffed animals that companies sold years back. It was in the ’80s and ’90s, she said.
I remember this collection and just assumed she had gotten rid of it when we sold the homestead. Nope, they are all in storage tubs in her garage.
She was convinced they’d be worth something so she held onto them. Again, after watching all those TV shows, I thought she might be onto something because they’re advertising memorabilia, which is a big thing I guess.
So she started telling me about what she had and I started Googling. The first one I found came back with a value of less than $10, which is likely less than she paid for the item in 1995.
She just couldn’t believe it, so threw out another item. This one has to be worth something, she said.
Google says no.
So another item came, and another Google search. After many, many rounds of this, the most valuable item I found was worth a whopping $14.
Understandably, she was frustrated. She thought for sure she was sitting on a gold mine and thought the longer she sat, the more valuable it was going to get.
I almost felt bad delivering the news to her: Sorry, Mom, your stuff is junk.
Misty Knisely is managing editor of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5155 or at email@example.com
They say, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”
- THEIR VIEW: Littering shows disregard for surroundings Numbers tell a sad story about the disregard many Hoosiers have for their surroundings. Too many in Indiana don't care enough about the environment to prevent them from cluttering the countryside by carelessly tossing litter along the side of roadway
- WOLFSIE: High-tech got you down? I love where I bank. It's a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und
- PETERS: Grizzly bear may help human medicine I've gained 5 pounds since last summer. My body mass index (BMI) is still fine, but I need to stop gaining to keep it that way. Grizzly bears put my weight gain to shame. In the late summer, they eat some 50,000 calories per day and gain more than 1
- THEIR VIEW: Lawmakers fail to act on the issue After several years of fretting over Indiana's ongoing methamphetamine problem, the Indiana General Assembly continues to struggle for a solution. The issue seems to come up every session, given that Indiana leader the nation in meth lab seizures. Bu
- WILLIAMS: Feelings of the flowers I took one of those fun tests on Facebook to see what kind of flower I am and lo and behold, it said I was an orchid! That is so wrong because I have always thought I was the exact opposite of an orchid. I'd characterize myself as a daisy. You know,
- HAMILTON: Government as innovator? You bet! Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it's down to $134 billion. People who believe in public belt-tightening applaud drops like that. I understand why: there are many reas
- PARKER: It's time to take a joke, America In selecting Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman as host of the "Late Show," CBS has waged war on America's Heartland -- or so proclaims that Palm Beach font of heartland mirth, Rush Limbaugh. Don't you believe it, Heartlanders. But wait, ther
- THEIR VIEW: Constitutional convention won't work today There seems to be a growing idea that we need a Constitutional convention. That, of course, is the other way to change the Constitution. Amendments have been used 27 times to make changes, ranging from limiting the president's term of office to the d
- KITCHELL: Forum about adding answers, subtracting questions A week from tonight, Logansport residents and those outside Logansport who purchase electricity from the Logansport Municipal Utilities will have a chance to find out some things for themselves. A free forum at McHale Performing Arts Center will feat
- PUBLIC FORUM: The people are losing control of its government The people are losing control of government President Obama and progressive Democrats and Republicans are changing the landscape of our country by bypassing our Constitution and what our forefathers fought and gave their lives for. Their philosophy c
- More Opinion Headlines