Florence draws us to her . . .

. . . Florence, Colorado, of course. 

We did visit Florence, Italy, a number of years ago, and there as well we crossed paths with antiques, but not the same as these. Some readers might remember the post from the February 2013 visit. We liked it so much, that we went back.

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On this visit, the place was more crowded than it had been in February, and we struggled to find a parking place near what I call “antiques row” on Main Street.

Once parked, we hit the same stores as we did before, and like before, these photos were taken using the Samsung Note II phone. Normally I process the phone photos in the phone, but this time I used Lightroom.

The photo above, taken at the first shop we stopped in, hinted to a time semi-long ago, hence the treatment. Point of note, I tried to snap completely different photos than those taken during our last visit. I should mention some of these have appeared on other posts as single photos.

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I should also say that while improved from the prior batch, this is still not as good as the photos I recently snapped at a local (Colorado Springs) antique mall (it will be a near-future post).

My ability with the phone camera has improved with practice (certainly a huge jump from the photos in the first antiques post, taken with the Droid X). The Cheyenne antique stores run was also a satisfactory exercise in phone camera photography.

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Although sized for this post, these photos are pretty good, and one can see enough detail to read the tags (I should have bought that pestle . . . looks like it would have made a decent billy club).

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Some might remember this from another post . . . she looks very interested in the light fixture.

Here’s the whole thing . . .

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. . . a little creepy . . .

Bet you can’t guess what prompted me snapping this next photo.

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Here’s a hint . . . I like the smell of old-time bug spray; it brings back memories from when I was younger. That’s right; a Flit Sprayer.

I know a few French people, and they do not look anything like these caricatures, but for whatever reason, these two screamed “French” to me.

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Maybe it’s the chef’s hats, or the red hair . . .

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I can’t figure out if the above shoes are sold as functional or decorative. Certainly I would not buy them for either, but I understand some people would say they have soles . . . <chirp, chirp> . . . tough crowd!

I saw this and was appreciative of heroes who knew on what side of their pants their underwear should be worn . . .

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. . . imagine for a moment . . .

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Nope! Not gonna go there.

However, I also learned something new. I thought he yelled “Hi-ho Silver!“, or “Hi-owe Silver!“, or even “Hi-own Silver!“,but never knew it was “Hi-Yo Silver!” I thought it a mistake, and looked up when I got home. Go figure . . . sixty years and I’m still learning stuff!

Many of these shops, being in Western towns, have Western stuff . . .

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. . . and buttons.

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Some might recognize the above as the photo I used for the story The Intrepid.

Honest, I used to scoff at these places, but just walking through them is often a visual feast.

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I mean, one cabinet and you have vintage cameras, fishing lures, marbles, and drafting equipment (as in mechanical drawings, not beer or stuff for horses).

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And look at that! . . . who says there is no hope for recent PhD graduates to find a job?

. . . I joke, but it’s not all that funny . . .

As I walk around these places, I’m not really focused on photography . . . it’s more organic than purposeful; I see something, I snap a photo . .  .

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Sometimes something catches my eye, and it’s only later that I notice stuff around it . . .

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I thought the cows were interesting, but we also have Abbot and Costello in the background.

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Scales command a pretty price, although this one (perfect for weighing witches) was only $130.

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The piece of wood had a nice texture, but the thought of having the above lamp on my side table . . . no.

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Dolls still seem popular, despite some questionable choices in outfits. Some dolls can’t help but look creepy.

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I would not be surprised if she’s hiding a butcher knife in the folds of her dress.

Dasie, on the other hand, looks relatively harmless . . . she’s probably into poisons; she looks the type.

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This next item seems a rather sturdy toy; the thing looks like it was made with steel plates . . .

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This was no small thing; it was at least a foot tall, and half more as long.

I think I used this in a previous post about some of the phone apps I use to modify photographs. I give you, The Paper Lady . . . notice the ‘kiss me’ placement.

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As we walked between shops, I had occasion to snap a few photos of the buildings . . .

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This captured my attention because it says “Apartments” in the middle of the shops. I don’t know if the upper floors are actual apartments, of it that’s just a remnant from days gone by.

And speaking of days gone by . . . a Ford Fairlane from (and this is a wild-posterior guess) somewhere in the late 50’s or early 60’s.

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There are those who grew up as either Ford people, or Chevrolet people, usually based on the family they were born into (much like religion, sports teams, and so on). When we came to the US in June of 1966, we kids met some of our uncles. As it happened, one drove Fords, and one drove Chevrolets.

Without prior prejudice, without any input from either uncle nor judgment as to their character, my 13-years-old brain immediately assessed the situation . . . Fords – not so good looking; Chevys – not bad looking. That opinion carried me for a long time with the individual makes reinforcing my opinion of their styling year after year. It eventually spilled over into trucks . . . I still think the F-series looks like crap, but at least it looks better than the Rams.

Unfortunately, Chevy no longer holds the styling edge. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that Ford improved; it’s that Chevy lost its way, and now they all look ugly. Then again, what do I know?

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Back in the shops, one can find comfort in all sorts of odd things. They are, literally, crammed full of odd stuff that grabs your attention much the same way a dog will grab a bone, and not let go. Sometimes it’s the combination of stuff . . .

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Other times it’s a single piece that forces you to look twice, even though you might not be able to express why . . .

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. . . although sometimes you have a pretty good idea . . .

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This reminded me right away of the ’40s and ’50s (and even later) Westerns, where white actors dressed up to play indians in poorly thought-out movies. But man! . . . some had great music.

Some things I capture because they are colorful . . .

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. . . while others just . . . well, look at this next one; that must have been an interesting day.

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Ooops!

I mentioned scales . . .

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This one is $179 dollars . . . that seems high for something I’m sure is not very accurate. I don’t know what drives the prices, but all the scales one sees are priced at what I consider an unjustified premium.

More creepy dolls . . .

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Now, this next item was somewhat interesting . . .

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. . . my guess is a surveyor’s scope. I don’t remember the price, but I do remember thinking it was more than the cost of a decent GPS.

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It could be I’m wrong, or chose to forget, but there is a good chance this is the first bear rug I’ve photographed. Then again, at my advanced age, memories are as much forgotten as manufactured.

Add the propensity to want for each moment to be significant, and I give you “WOW! . . . the first bear rug I ever photographed!” Who knows; it might even be true. 

Here’s another fellow I posted before . . . the butler holding up a magazine tray; I presume the original intent was to hold some sort of liquid beauty potion (i.e. stuff people drink to alter their perception of themselves or others, thus facilitating mating and reproduction regardless of whether either or both be a good idea).

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Now, I don’t understand this next thing, unless the attraction is all the logos and names printed on these pens. . . .

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I do understand this next thing . . . a piggy bank, and darn if it did not look a bit like Miss Piggy. I wonder which came first?

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Ans this is a theme oft repeated  . . . . roosters.

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At first glance I thought this next arrangement was all one piece . . .

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But no; the figurines are sold individually, which stands to reason as the center fellow would be out of place. Also, note the marionette to the side. I had not noticed it, otherwise I might have been tempted to try it out.

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I’m sure someone could tell me the name of the artist, the period represented, and all sorts of stuff about these figures, but I mainly like the guy with the gun . . . he seems a sensible fellow.

I’ve never seen a live one of these . . .

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. . . but I did look around for a coyote, or at least an empty Acme box . . .

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This is a payroll check machine . . . almost bought it until my wife explained to me it was unlikely banks would cash its checks all willy-nilly-like.

I remember one long ago puzzle/question I failed at was the following . . . what letters are missing from the phone dial?

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It was one of those examples showing how we don’t really look at everyday objects. Rather, we see them, but don’t look at them.

It was a neat little lesson (and one lost to those who have not used or even seen a rotary phone), and since then I do try to always look at things beyond just seeing them. Interestingly, the advice works the other way as well . . . don’t just look at things; make sure you see them!

Whatever, pay attention.

. . . and yet, I did not . . . that center hat looks neat, and reminds me of something I’ve seen on a movie character, but I can’t think of it. It it triggers something in your mind, even if your mind just makes it up, let me know; it might be right.

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Prior to this I had no opinion regarding raggedy Ann . . . but that fellow sure looks happy.

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If one is looking for cheap flatware . . . 

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I think we still have nutcrackers like the two in the upper frame of the photo. These days we buy shelled nuts.

Now, two of these were “played” with apps on the phone, and one with settings in Lightroom . . . not that it matters.

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Another group of items priced outside the value I would place on them are old bicycles . . . 

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That beauty is $225 . . . despite the electric plug reaching down to it, it’s strictly a human-powered machine, and in sad shape, at that.

Duck!

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I did not mean you . . . 

Here’s an early calculator.

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What I like about old machines like this, or typewriters, or steno boxes, etc, is the mechanical noise associated with their workings. You knew the thing was doing something, you knew you were accomplishing something!

This next thing perplexed me . . . it’s a door knocker . . . 

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Who would put these on their door (there were more than one). Perhaps a Congressman? A Senator? Politicians in general? 

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There are a lot of Budweiser and other beers logos on all sorts of things you can find in these places . . . these were some of the more ornate.

I liked the effect of this arrangement (it was not accidental) . . . 

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. . . so much so that I played around with it on the phone while I was still in the shop.

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The last shop we went to had this car parked in front (I parked right behind it). It turns out the owners use it on a daily basis to get around. Neat.

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It’s a Ford, obviously before they lost all sense of character.

Inside the shop there were many things of color.

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I don’t think humanity has advanced much beyond its affinity for sparkly colored glass . . . nor perhaps should it.

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I had a strong urge to pick one up, ring it loudly, and yell “Hear ye, hear ye!” . . . but a stern look from my wife stopped me. Wives have that kind of power.

I walked outside and out back . . . 

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A box of old roller skates . . . 

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. . . an old bike, in poor shape, still commanding an $85 asking price.

And finally, a piece of interesting wood. I almost went back to the car to get the Nikon, as I really wanted a good photo of the texture . . . but was too lazy to do so.

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And that, dear readers, was Florence in September of 2013 . . . we’ll return, of course, especially since on the way out of town we passed a few stores we have yet to visit.

No SMugMug album, I’m afraid . . . not worth the trouble to set one up since these are pretty good presented in this format.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Scream into the Night
Scream into the Night

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