Hunting in My Hometown

Just got back from a five-day trip to Western New York to visit my dad and other relatives. It’s always a bittersweet visit. So many family members (including my beloved mom) are now resting in cemeteries, many haunts from my youth are gone and the houses I once lived in others now call home. Still there was laughter, good food, good conversation (a special shout out to cousins Carol, Barb and Shirley), and I am happy to report, good hunting!

This trip included two thrift stores, one small antique mall, one estate sale and two visits to my cousin-in-law’s curio store (Kurt’s Coins and Collectibles on Main Street, behind what used to be Jay’s Drugs for those in the neighborhood). My one criteria–items had to fit in my check-through luggage or be able to be carried on board in my leather tote.

I’ll say upfront the thrift stores were total busts…but such is the nature of thrift store shopping. But as I was out cruising my hometown (courtesy of my sweet step-mom who loaned me her car) I spotted an estate sale sign and did an abrupt course correction. The modest house on Cherry Street was a little light on the goods particularly as this was the first day of the sale, but I did find a few things.

Like these two vintage gingham aprons with cross-stitch embellishments. These appear unused and are sweet as can be. Not worth much, but I couldn’t resist. I already have a red gingham apron and may sell these as a lot.


And, excuse me, but a 1974 amateur ceramic vase with a great shape and cool, drippy glaze…yes, please.


But best of all at the estate sale was this antique scrapbook filled with 1913/1914 postcards. Eighty to be exact. Sadly (for me) they had taken out all the Halloween postcards which are the most valuable, but there are some cute cards in this book, though most are postally used and not in mint condition. Some of these I’ll sell singly and others in lots.




Oh boy, this postcard is so sexist!





In the antique store I spotted this little folk art quill chair made out of a soda can and thought it was too cute and resourceful! Sometimes these are marketed as prison or tramp art.


As I was finishing up my tour of the store I spotted a shelf with some old banks. This cast iron one with a bear stealing a pig particularly intrigued me and looked promising. The finish had appropriate wear and it had a single-slot screw. I decided to buy it.


Later I started doing some research and discovered that if it was truly old and not a repro, it was worth some $$. I brought it in show my cousin-in-law who is knowledgeable about many things, old banks being one of them, and in his opinion it’s the real deal and quite rare. He knows somebody who bought this bank for $800. He said a little wistfully, “Wish I’d found this,” which is one of the best compliments a fellow picker can give another. So I’m hoping to do alright with it, though I’ve learned not to count my chickens before they’re hatched!

I also bought jewelry on this trip, but I’ll save that for another post. 🙂

As always, happy hunting,


  1. Hello Karen, I hope your health is improving. Sound like you had some good fun, despite the sad moments (I relate to your feelings about things gone and beloved ones no longer with us – have the same feeling right now and had for some time). Sorry that your dear Mother is no longer with you.
    That old bank is really cute!!! I also have an old one but more traditional than yours. Just got a box with my latest hunt – hope there’ll be something interesting in it..
    All the best x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gabriella. Thanks to the meds my blood pressure is mostly normal now…which is a relief. For a while there I felt like I was in stroke and heart attack territory…yikes!

      It was hard not to be a little sad on my visit home, but I was glad I went. I should go more often as my dad is 87. (So sorry to hear about your grief.)

      The bank was a bit of random luck as I know zilch about banks, but I plan on learning more. I just thought it was cool.

      Ahhh…did you get a mystery box? How fun!

      Yours, Karen

      Liked by 1 person

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