I am currently working on filling my fourth jar of junk.
A jar of junk, you may ask?
Yes, a jar of junk!
It all started 20 years ago when I found a couple spent bullet casings at a cemetery in New Madrid, Mo., the namesake of the New Madrid Earthquake fault line and the birth town of my mother in the Bootheel of the Show Me State. The casings were more than likely from a three volley salute from a Memorial Day service.
My folks and I were touring the area so Mom could relive her childhood days growing up near the Mississippi River. We drove all over the Bootheel that day.
While touring the area, we stopped to visit family who are buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in New Madrid. My mom’s younger sister, Genola, is buried there. She was only four when she passed in 1948. My mom always spoke fondly of Genola. I know she loved her dearly.
I have Genola’s doll, which I had put back together. A friend and well-known doll fix it lady from New London, Iowa, who I met at the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion, put her back together a few years ago after she had fallen in disrepair in my grandmother’s trunk. It is one of my treasured keepsakes from a time that I know little about.
Anyway, I had a large empty Miracle Whip jar under the kitchen sink. I washed and dried it off and tossed the bullet casing inside. I sat it on the kitchen counter and when I would find a bottle cap or bolt or screw, I would stuff it in my pocket and carry it home for my junk jar. One jar led to another and now I’m working on jar four.
It’s larger than my other glass jars. I found it at one of the antique booths at Montezuma Floral on the town square. It is coming along nicely. I just added a handful of screws, bolts, plastic hooks and plastic O-rings I found the other day.
Other items in my junk jars include clothing buttons, clothes pins, paper clips, screws, bolts, nuts, washers, old keys and key chains, pieces of wire, electrical parts and old fuses, bottle and beer caps, bullet casings and more. I’m always on the lookout for small junk items.
I hope to display my junk jars on a shelf someday. They have no value, outside of being a conversation piece. If I do decide to sell, maybe I will get lucky and be like the person who sold “The Meaning of Life,” on eBay for $3.26.
“I have discovered the reason for our existence and will be happy to share this information with the highest bidder,” the seller told Time magazine in an article published in 2000.
Eight people were curious enough to place bids. That’s not much to learn about the meaning of life. It cost more than that for a cheeseburger and an order of French fries at McDonalds.
Jars of junk are not the only thing I enjoy collecting. I have quite an extensive collection of postcards. Most of my postcards, which are neatly organized in three-ring binders, have connections to my family, where we lived, visited on vacations, etc. I even have a nice collection of outhouse postcards and military comic postcards from World War II. I am currently collecting postcards from different Iowa towns. There are some really neat ones.
I also have about 100 cigar boxes. Most are cardboard, but a couple or metal and one is plastic. Some of the artwork on the boxes is nice. I also enjoy collecting old tools, saws, hay hooks, bottle openers, vintage board games, Skelly Oil items (my mom worked at Skelly Oil back in the day), Pepsi items, seed corn pocket note books, hat patches, toys and other smalls.
And when possible, I enjoy going garage sale hunting. Just last week I hit a few garage sales at Lake Ponderosa outside of Montezuma. I found a “Touring (card game)” in the original box for 10 cents. The game was first introduced in 1906 by the Wallie Dorr Company. Parker Brothers acquired the game in 1925. I have a much later version and there is no instructions, but for a dime, I consider it nice find.
I also picked up a vintage Louis Marx Disney Mickey and Friends tin doll house for a good price. It came with a sack of furniture, but I don’t know if it is all original to the house. Those old tin doll houses are cool. Debbie and I have a few of them along with a tin western town.
It’s good to have hobbies. Collecting and antiquing is fun and it is something that Debbie and I enjoy doing together.
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.