Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Thrill of the Find

I've been pretty fortunate in my life to have some truly wonderful people cross my path, some for a short while, some revisit from time to time, and others will be around as long as we're living. A professor I knew once said that some of these folks we meet leave their fingerprints on you forever, they have a lasting impression. My college roommate, Grace, is one of those lasting-impression-around-for-life kinda folks. So when Grace asks if I'm up for an adventure, I lace up my shoes and hit the road!   

Grace has settled in Williamsport and I love visiting her there. Otto's Bookstore is a favorite place to peruse when I'm in town. It's one of the 5 oldest bookstores in the country! Is your mind blown? Yeah, mine too. It's a super cool old place, the folks that work there are smart, kind and helpful, so do yourself a favor and check it out. A great time to go would be when Williamsport is celebrating a First Friday. Their Uptown Music Collective will give you CHILLS they're so good! Anywho....back to my adventurin'....Grace and her husband Jeff are the coolest couple around. They're funny, their house is adorable, and they cook great food when I visit them. It was amazing! I had the best sleep ever in the most charming guest room I'd ever seen, and was ready by 7am to hit the road with them. After a McDonalds breakfast, we were on our way to New Berlin, Grace's hometown, to celebrate New Berlin Day

This old little town is so cute it belongs on postcards and in romantic comedies. SERIOUSLY cute! The town is full of old brick houses with large windows, tall wooden doors, beautiful trim and shutters, and unique little details everywhere you look. I especially love to visit for New Berlin Day. Several streets are closed to traffic and are lined with booths of antiques and vintage finds ranging from whimsical costume jewelry to dishes, military items to household goods, framed art and a multitude of crafts. The first booth I really sank my teeth into was probably the coolest of them all. The man collected face jugs and had several on display. After noting the price tags on them I did a lot of pointing and questioning, and he thoroughly enjoyed telling the stories behind them. The first jug we chatted about was white and blue. He had commissioned an artist he knew, who reluctantly obliged. He requested that it be based on Queequeg, the harpooner from Moby Dick. I thought it was interesting that he would choose that specific character of all the possibilities in the world. He was more concerned with the fact that Queequeg was smiling on the jug, to which the artist explained he was a happy harpooner and the man just had to deal with it. The other notable jug was a double sided monkey face with blues and greens in the glaze. I'd rather look at Queequeg, the other jug is just a wee bit too intense for me. 

The very same booth that boasted face jugs also had a beautiful collection of wooden circus people and animals on display. They had cording inside to allow the joints to move, they were hand painted, and I loved them. The price tags had me pointing a bit more and touching a lot less. 

These gorgeous tigers instantly made me think of Henri Rousseau's "Surprised!". My 1st graders would LOVE these little wooden tigers! I loved these little wooden tigers! I did not love the price tags....But! Here is a cool link to a video I show kids when we talk about Rousseau's painting in art class that other kids are sure to love!

Another neato booth had a collection of hats that would have the wearer the envy of the room, the talk of the town, the most stylish person get the idea. They were unique and stunning!

This colorful feathery number really caught my eye! Isn't it just gorgeous?! Grace didn't think so, our tastes are very different, and that's okay with me. That just means fewer people to elbow for stuff I like looking at. Right? Right. 

My favorite kind of rooster is a quiet rooster. This one was both quiet AND handsome! A cool papier mache find...

These made me think of our Floridian family and our seafood feasts! The color, the whimsy, it was love at first sight!

It doesn't get much more old timey adorable than this! Music from this beautiful little hand cranked machine could be heard from every booth and it was delightful

Wind from the east....I loved the green top of the town museum (it's my favorite color), and that it made me think of Mary Poppins....Like her, New Berlin is practically perfect in every way.

My eyes feasted on several lovely things that day but I only brought a few little treasures home from my adventure. My daughter loves puppies, and this little cast iron dog now stands guard from her dresser. My son enjoys learning about WWII, and was thrilled with this hat from 1941. It's not about how much you spend or how much you bring home, it's about the company you keep while you're searching for great finds and the stories behind them that make adventurin' so much fun! I'm already looking forward to next year Grace!

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