Saturday was a long, exhausting day.
It started as usual, for me, at 4:30 a.m. After dragging Ella out of bed, we hit the road at 6:15 for our nearly four-hour road trip to look at a Western memorabilia collection that was for sale near Chattanooga, TN. It was a pleasant enough drive, mostly overcast, and only raining intermittently. Ella had researched a few yard sales near the collection, but the rain, or threat thereof, apparently put the kibosh on sales in the area, which, as it turns out, was a good thing. Why? Because our truck ended up being full, with barely enough room for Ella.
Russ, the owner of the collection, met us at the door when we finally arrived, introduced his wife, Kathy, and then took us to his Western Man Cave. Yes, that’s what he called it. I should have taken a picture, but didn’t think about it, but suffice to say it was decorated to the hilt. The walls even had Western Scene Setters, thin plastic printed backdrops. Needless to say, I was impressed, but I think Ella, who is actually the Western buff, was speechless.
The room held every conceivable type of Western item, from movies (DVDs and VHS, probably close to 1000); books; comic books; John Wayne memorabilia (knives, life-size cardboard stand-up, clocks, etc.); CDs; knick knacks; lots and lots of pictures (some signed); six Montana Silversmith sculptures (none of which I can find on the website, so I think that they must be retired); and even an authentic pair of chaps. Russ then took us to his garage, where he had more pictures on the wall, and in boxes.
My favorite item was a framed Lone Ranger Creed, signed by the masked man himself, Clayton Moore.
Speaking of the Lone Ranger, has anyone seen the new movie? Ella and I saw it on Thursday, and while it had many flaws, it wasn’t as bad as many people are making it out to be. And as my brother said, the last 30 minutes redeems it.
Anyway, after settling on a price, we proceeded to box everything up, and load my truck. Once again, every nook and cranny was filled with something. Unfortunately, not everything could fit, so we have to go back and get the rest.
The heavy rain started just minutes after we got everything loaded in the truck, and continued much of the way home, making driving very slow and dangerous. For once, southbound traffic through Atlanta was smooth; northbound into Atlanta, however, was backed up for miles.
The one bright spot on the drive back was stopping at Popcorn Haven, which boasts 250 flavors of popcorn. I had selected Hot Cheddar as my flavor, and the clerk, with a concerned look on her face, asked me if I was sure.
“I thought I was,” I said hesitantly. She then gave me a sample. It was hot, but not too bad. I eventually decided on half Hot Cheddar and half Southwest Jalapeno. Ella picked Snickers-flavored popcorn.
I unloaded the truck once we got home, and once again our house looked like a disaster area. OK, more of a disaster area than normal. Ella and I spent Sunday sorting, organizing, taking pictures, and listing. We still have several boxes of DVDs taking up space in our kitchen.
It’s going to take time to get back to our version of normal.
We now have a good foundation for our planned vendor booth at next year’s western film festival, and we can spend the next 11 months refining our wares, and worrying more about display than inventory. I will have to keep an eye on Ella, though, to make sure she doesn’t claim any more of the Western stuff.
As usual, it’s going to be a busy week.