My Bride and I took the baby and went to garage sales. Our little podunk had its citywide garage sale (for the uninitiated, this just means that lots of people have their sale on the same day across the town.) I have not had good luck at garage sales in recent years, but I hit the jackpot for some reason yesterday.
No kidding, aside from the baby toys and some other useless junk My Bride bought, this is what I brought home from the garage sales:
Total cost: $2.25 American.
- 2 boxes of .45 brass, Winchester white box
- 1 box of .500 S&W brass, Cor-Bon
- 1 book of four short stories by Tolstoy
- The Garden of Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
- Explorations, a book of Poul Anderson short stories
- Behind the Walls of Terra by Philip Jose Farmer
- A book of three H.G. Wells novels (The Island of Dr. Moreau, A Story of Days to Come, and The First Men in the Moon) with foreword by Isaac Asimov
- 1939 printing of Anne Karenina with foreword by Thomas Mann
- A 1969 printing of A Fitzgerald Reader
- One book containing both The War of the Worlds and The Invisible Man
- A 1945 Viking edition of The Red Pony by Steinbeck
- Travels with Charley by Steinbeck
- And a cheapie edition of Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe (Original Title: The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the famous Moll Flanders &c. Who was Born in Newgate, and during a Life of continu'd Variety for Threescore Years, besides her Childhood, was Twelve Year a Whore, five times a Wife (whereof once to her own brother), Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon in Virginia, at last grew Rich, liv'd Honest, and died a Penitent. Written from her own Memorandums . . . .) Huzzah for subtitles!
My Bride was puzzled by the brass purchase.
"Do we have a 500 Something & Whatever?" she asked. Seriously, how irrelevant can you get?
"Well, you never can tell, honey, we might . . . . someday. Hell, it's worth more than the price (75 cents American) if I sell it as brass scrap."
"Are you going to save it up and sell it as scrap, or are you going to pile it on a work bench with the rest?" she asked, plunging off into new irrelevancies. That's not the point. The point is that before, I didn't have the brass, but I did have 75 cents burning a hole in . . . . well, I guess it would have been burning a hole in her pocket at the time, since I was broke. But still, now I have neat brass from a large gun, and that makes me happy. I am what is sometimes called a "cheap date."
I was puzzled that I got so many neat old hardcover books for free, but it was past noon and the little old ladies at the church sale were just glad someone was going to take them--books are heavy. They're full of the little touches you don't get at Barnes and Noble. For instance, someone, at some point, made a bookmark for Travels with Charley. What would make a good bookmark for the memoir that won the Nobel Prize in 1962? A newspaper clipping from 1963, about the death of Charley, the poodle featured in Steinbeck's book. Someone laid it on notecard, cut it all to match, and wrapped scotch tape around it over and over, and you know what? It's a passable job of laminating. It's lasted 45 years without coming apart, anyway. The book with two Wells stories had a dark green, square patch with four black five-pointed stars arranged around a black circle. I don't know if it's some sort of decoration, or a military patch, but it's kind of neat. Might put it on my bag with my MHI patch.