The Auction and the Blonde Boat Anchor

This weekend I found myself at an auction that promised some very interesting items from a defunct lodge of the Odd Fellows, a very old fraternal society with mysterious rituals. Since the group’s activities were secretive, their ceremonial items rarely become available to the public. Mixed in with the historical items was some general vintage fare, so it had the makings of an interesting auction.

The sale didn’t turn out to be as amazing as the listing suggested and the bidding was mostly on the high side. These were good signs to make an exit, but I decided to hold out for a few things I had spotted that I hoped wouldn’t bring much. Lucky me, I won the first item on my list—sort of.

A big thanks to the VFW gentleman who spared my mom having to help me load this in the car

A big thanks to the VFW gentleman who spared my mom from having to help me load this in the car

It has become a running joke that, no matter how hard I try to avoid it, I’ll end up buying the biggest, heaviest, most unsellable thing at an auction. When I walked into the sale and saw this old TV, I even joked “I’ll probably end up with this.” Then, as the auctioneer moved his way through the merchandise and approached a small stereo receiver I was waiting to bid on, I looked on in horror as he gestured to the stereo AND the tv indicating they would be sold together. Prophecy fulfilled. Sigh.

TV_ControlsAlthough I could have asked the auctioneer to pull the receiver out, there’s an important reason why I didn’t. If I called attention to what I wanted, it would probably sell for more and I knew nobody would want the other stuff. If you get stuck with things you don’t want, you can usually sell them to pay for the rest of the purchase anyway. It’s not all bad news. The tv is actually pretty cute, plus it came with a blanket that someone in the crowd bought from me only minutes later. Take that, snarky auctioneer. Although I would imagine it is not working, this little late-1950s set is demure and would make a great conversation piece for someone with the extra space. Plus it comes with bunny ears—the cherry on this analog sundae.

Just imagine the polka hits that came blaring out of this baby

It reads Pink Floyd but I suspect it’s more used to Sinatra and Conway Twitty

With all that build up, I wish the stereo I actually wanted to buy was something more spectacular, but it’s still nice. This vintage Realistic stereo has a classic milled aluminum face and real wood cabinets. I love that vintage electronics, especially as you move into the audiophile spectrum, look and feel substantial in their materials and construction. This isn’t a super high-end set-up, but it should still sound pretty good. I haven’t had a chance to test it yet, fingers crossed that it works. The annoying part here is that the speakers didn’t come with the receiver. I had to wait nearly eight hours to get those separately.



Those eight long hours caused me to buy this fan, a decision I have mixed feelings about. Don’t get me wrong, the fan is very cool with it’s chrome body and two-blade propeller, but after waiting hours at a particularly tedious and chaotic auction one doesn’t always make sound decisions. I paid three times what I wanted to for this just because I didn’t want the day to be a total loss.

Fan_BadgeWhen I walk by it every day, hopefully I will focus on its coolness and not the insanity of how it came to be. It does have plenty of coolness to offer. Touted as the “Rolls-Royce of Air Circulators” in advertisements, Fresh’nd-Aire fans were built to commercial standards with heavily chromed bodies, industrial mechanical components and their signature two blade propeller for even air circulation. And with a 1600 rpm motor, this sucker moves air.

Fan_BackAlthough in good shape, after a little elbow grease with the metal polish, this baby is going to shine like a diamond. I always love vintage fans of nearly any age or size and this fan is officially my largest at 17 inches.

Pictures_OverallDespite waiting around for hours and hours, the only actual Odd Fellows items I managed to get were these composite photos. Honestly I like them more as art pieces than fraternal memorabilia, but in either sense they’re cool. These are interesting because they are photos of individual portraits. Usually composite photos are printed from negatives. Why would this be?

The second image from the left in the top row appears to be much older than the others

The second image from the left in the top row appears to be much older than the others

Among closer inspection, the individual photos are from different time periods. Many images appear to be from the 1910s, possibly even the 1920s, whereas others are clearly from the 1880s or earlier.  Although no documentation accompanied them, I would assume that these were important figures in the history of the lodge, possibly those occupying high-level posts. At any rate, they’ll look great among my other composite pictures.

I wonder what this could be?

I wonder what this could be?

Overall, I like everything I bought, but I might stick to garage and tag sales for awhile. I spent my childhood at auctions and they’re in my blood, but the instant gratification of a tag sale is wonderful. For comparison, I stopped by a tag sale shortly before the auction and found this.

SX70_OpenAnother Polaroid SX-70. Different than those I shared with you in this post, this one is a black Sonar model. The whole affair took about 10 minutes, cost $3 and I was on the road again. That’s tough to beat.

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