If it's old, it's a good, good thing!

C'est Le Vie


Last updated 7/16/2014 at 10:20am

Victorian-era cheese platter, from England

With the Beach Boys famous feel-good song from 1966, Good Vibrations, on the air waves this summer, I’ve been picking up on the excellent shopping-for-vintage-treasures vibes resounding in the Coulee. Say what?

What it is, is so much more than the BB song, it’s an entreating calling, both on the wind and as advertised in The Star, with the vibes coming from the towns of Grand Coulee and Electric City, to be exact. The big message calling me, and maybe you too, is the opportunity to shop for vintage stuff at Coulee-based estate sales. No need to drive to far away places. This is a good, good thing!

From my own shopping experiences, when an estate sale advertisement pops up in a news outlet or online, the sale, usually a cut above a yard sale and a bit behind an auction, should feature or at least include vintage merchandise — old stuff from days gone by and possibly retro stuff from the 1950s forward. But not always. The phrase, “estate sale,” when used for advertisements, frequently indicates the selling of all kinds of things that once belonged to an individual or family groups who have passed away and their possessions put up for sale.

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The heat was on, about 100 degrees mid-day to be exact this past Saturday, but that didn’t stop the bargain hunters from stopping by two estate sales, as advertised in The Star, and numerous yard sales and the summer-long sale at the EC Vets Center, too. A two-day estate sale at the Rowe residence in Electric City offered savvy shoppers a huge variety of tack items, like halters, hackamores, ropes of all kinds, and other leather goods, plus hundreds of tools and man-stuff lined up inside a free standing garage. So this was a good, good thing, at least for one guy-shopper, who (while getting out his wallet) said to the crowd, “Man, this is great … I’ll take this set (tools), right now.”

And now for the pièce de résistance, an estate sale, open for several hours the last two Saturdays, for a sell-out sale with everything remaining for 50 percent off the tag price. It was without a doubt another good, good thing. Marilyn, a knowledgeable (antiques) person from Coulee City, and in charge, said all of the items once belonged to Betty Maier and her stepmother. So, imagine your-self inside the doorway of the sale on Midway in Grand Coulee, where the bargain price vibes were better than good. Here’s why. Half price on everything. I saw many old and retro things like tables and cases laid out with silver-plated and sterling silver trays, candle sticks and bowls; glassware (American, German and Japan), and collectible cup and saucer sets; 45 rpm records, linens and bedding; nicknacks, VHS tapes, and boxes filled with hardbound books, plus photo albums and wood and studio (card stock) frames, some with yellowing, old photos in them.

For those of you who remember the Wildlife Restaurant (now called Pepper Jack’s Bar and Grill), brand new water glasses, with a colorful WC design on one side of each glass, were selling for a buck each last Saturday, and those glasses were once available in the restaurant’s gift shop, possibly 50 years ago. Marilyn said the best selling items overall were “tons of hardback books,” with cookbooks of all kinds, selling fast.

Besides my own finds, I witnessed the sale of perhaps the oldest and most unique antique at the Maier sale, a victorian-era porcelain, lidded cheese platter, stamped Royal Devon inside the cover, an English company famous for various tabletop goods such as vases, pitchers, plates, and crocks, some in splatterware, and others like the cheese platter, featuring transfer designs and gold, hand applied painted edging.The local platter buyer lucked out, paying only a few dollars for this treasure.

1977 Wildlife Restaurant souvenir, USA.

More good vibes are in the wind. See you on the circuit.


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