I just got back from a much needed trip to Maine to visit my mom and sisters. The week was full of snail shell collecting in Reid State Park, working on the garden, watching Pawn Stars and Little House on the Prairie (tv can be magical when you don't have it), coffee on the porch, and as always, copious junk/thrift/flea shopping. Usually I take the bus from Brooklyn (an agonizing 8 hour ride each way) so I can return home with as much loot as I can carry. This time, I opted for the more luxurious flight (which takes ONE HOUR) so I could only bring back the contents of a small suitcase. And most of that space was taken up by Dylan's new sleeping bag from the LLBean outlet store in preparation for "2010: The Year of Camping."
However, I did manage to drag back an antique cigarette box holder, which I found at the Fort Andross Flea Market in Brunswick. It was used in an old general store in Holden, Maine, for those slim, flat tin cigarette cases, out of which the shopkeep would sell customers one or two cigarettes at a time (when I first moved to New York you could still buy a cigarette at a time, they were called Loosies, which for the longest time I understood as Lucys; I found this name extremely quaint, but alas, turns out they were not named for a spunky flapper lady of my imagining.)
My new box came with some wonderfully rusty old cigarette cases. You should have seen how black the rag turned when I attempted to clean them. (I made sure not to clean so thoroughly as to remove the charming old-things-patina...Pawn Stars and Antiques Road Show have trained me well.)
I love my little piece of Maine general store history, but far more wonderful is the Lancaster, PA ephemera I brought back. My beloved grandfather recently passed away, and his wife dropped off a huge box filled with old photographs and papers at my mom's house. As the resident antiquey things connoisseur, I was invited by my mom to "take whatever you want." Dangerous words. I'll save my wonderful ancestral loot for another post.