Sunday, June 14, 2009

Old Stuff

I think I was about 8 or 9 when I swiped my grandparents cassette tape of music from the 1940's.  They asked for it back for years... I'm not sure they ever got it.  I always watched old movies at their house because they had the AMC channel {American Movie Classics}.  When we moved away I remember coming back to their house one weekend and bringing blank video tapes to record any and all old movies playing on AMC that weekend.  I also loved flipping through my grandparents books on WWII as well as their old photo albums.  To this day my favorite non-fiction books usually center around WWII.    

During elementary school and middle school when everyone else was going ga-ga for the New Kids On the Block, I was listening to the oldies station {I called in to the request line so much that the DJ knew me by name--whatsup Art Crenshaw?}.  In high school I graduated to classic rock.  In 7th grade my bestie Amber and I found this vintage-y looking contact paper and lined our lockers in it.  We got asked over and over why we would put up ugly wallpaper in our lockers, and all I remember telling people was because it looked so 60's.  I also remember this outfit at Laura Ashley that I coveted because, as I told my mom, it looked so retro {normally Laura Ashley made me want to wretch}.  What's retro?  my mom asked.  I couldn't really explain.  In middle school I loved the 60's {thus my love for The Wonder Years} in high school it was more about the 70's {Led Zeppelin anyone?}...but my all time favorite decade had to be the 40's.  It wasn't as much about the decade itself but rather an anytime but now mentality.

I can't remember a time when I didn't love old stuff... not medieval old, but like early to mid 20th century old {although who doesn't love a good castle?}.  Music, photos, movies, art, fashion, you name it .  There is something about things that hail from a more simple time that has always called to me.  Not too long ago my friend Heather wrote a blog post about being a romantic--her brand of romance happens to be the type of romance brewed from living in far off countries.  My romantic ideals stem from living in a different era all together.  As I was putting together pictures of our house I wanted to talk about all the great furniture we found at thrift/second-hand/antique stores.  My husband loves the fact that we generally save money that way, I however just love the old stuff.  {Not to mention old furniture--that has been taken care of--is usually well made}.  

To surround myself with things that have a story, some character and charm is somehow rewarding to me.  The dresser, for example, we bought off of Craigslist in NYC.  The guy said he was in the middle of trying to refinish it-that's why half the paint was chipped off.  I think he might have even apologized for a half-way finished dresser... of course I thought it was perfect as is and haven't changed a thing.  I still like to think about who first bought that dresser and when.  Who has owned it over the years and where that dresser has been?  Same with our house...I would love to have some old photographs of the people who first lived here in 1914.  For whatever reason there will always be a part of me that wants to be a 1940's housewife with a garden and chicken coop out back, who won't go out of the house without pearls and red lipstick and who can dance a mean jitterbug while supporting the troops at the local canteen.      

Anyway, I love old stuff.  


  1. Have you ever seen Foyle's War on PBS? It's a series of detective stories set in an English seaside town during World War II, featuring a spunky girl named Sam and her avuncular boss, Detective Foyle. A Netflix must!

  2. Have you seen the BBC series, "The 1940's House"? I watched in on PBS a number of years ago, but I see that it's available at the likes of ( Hmmmm....maybe I should pick up a copy.

    I was completely taken with the show, and found myself equally fascinated and devastated. I strongly encourage you to watch it (perhaps it's at your local library) because I'm sure that you'll just eat it up, too. It's inspiring.

    If you get a chance, I'd be very interested in reading your comments about it.

  3. Ditto, I love old stuff too. I would die for your talent/eye in finding good things and also being able to refinish or rework them. But I could do without the 60's...I've always had some weird hatred of that decade even though I love classic rock.

  4. Elizabeth and KiwiM--

    OK I have to check out both of those series. I'm very intrigued...

    Rin--You hate the 60's? Interesting...