Saturday, April 13, 2013


Vintage forest animal print gift wrap

Early this morning I went to an estate sale in a different part of town.  Normally I wouldn't have driven this far for a sale, but I had to drop The Man of the House off at the airport and the sale was only a couple of miles away.   (Granted, I had looked at ads for estate sales around the airport as soon as I knew I would be headed in that direction.  So it was a planned happy accident that I was there.)

This was the estate of a 101-year-old man, and the people holding the sale had put many of the items inside the front yard fence so they could be seen from the street.  There were only a handful of people in line ahead of me when I arrived, so we chatted while we peered over the fence and waited for the sale to start.  An older gentleman commented, "A hundred and one.  This situation reminds me so much of my friend, who died when he was 104, a couple of years ago.  I helped take care of him."

"I know a professor at a college who took care of a friend who lived to be over 100," I replied.  "Wow. Was this man a relative of yours?"

"No, he was a sheet music dealer.  I sold him some sheet music years ago, and we just struck up a friendship.  Told me how he usedta sell sheet music to Jascha Heifetz.  I just started coming by to see how he was doing, and I kept going back for years."  He looked off into the middle distance, remembering.  He was quiet for awhile.

"Did your friend find it difficult to get old?" I asked.

"No, not really.  He kept all his wits about him, and he was pretty active, up until about the last few months of his life when he started falling and we got a nurse to help him.  But his mind was still sharp.  And he could tell jokes -- I would go sit with him and we would laugh so hard we almost cried.  No matter what kind of joke I'd tell, he'd come up with a better one in the blink of an eye.  I could never beat him at that."

"I think George Burns called those kind of jokes 'toppers,' because they surpassed everything that came before, " I commented.

"Toppers."  The older gentleman became slightly agitated.  "We're losing this Greatest Generation, you know.  My friend, and also the man whose estate sale this is -- they're going away, and they're taking their values with them.  They knew what was what, what was fair, what was the right thing to do."

"Do you think they learned it from their parents?"  I asked him.

But he didn't have time to answer.  The man holding the estate sale came up and told us he was opening the gate early, so we could go in and shop if we would like.  We all said yes, thanks.

Among the items I found at this estate sale was a box of vintage gift wrapping paper with wonderful old designs.  I think most of them would be considered "Mid-Century" -- perhaps a bit earlier -- designs.  Here are some of them. 






Lilies of the Valley (wedding)

This one had the name of the design on the border of the piece of wrapping paper. 
It says "Candlelight Wedding     Norcross * New York * USA."


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