Bric A Brac I – The Zamboni

As a recovering pack rat I know I shouldn’t be buying more junque. There is enough useless stuff in my house. But from time to time logic needs to go out the window.

On my desk and shelves, in my home office and in my office on Parliament Hill are some objects that have a certain amount of significance in my life but which are otherwise useless. It is not like I need more ornamentation or decorations after all. Each one though has a story attached to it, a memory and/or a person of significance. With your permission I would like to glance over my desk for the next few days and tell you some stories about what you can see there.

The Zamboni

It’s an odd souvenir. A toy Zamboni with the logo of the Portland Pirates hockey team, a team I have never seen play.

I think it was the summer of 2010, though it may have been the previous year. We were on vacation in Maine and I had promised I would take my father to shop for antiques. I had avoided such expeditions for years, but his buddies that he used to go with had all died, and he couldn’t drive himself. He had a light fixture he wanted to take to an antique lighting shop. He was always interested in picking up something new for himself, so we planned to stop at several antiques emporiums along U.S. Route 1.

I grew up in a house filled with antiques (basically a man-made artifact more than a century old). My father liked old things, and in the early 1960s prices could be quite reasonable if you knew what you were looking for and could find it in out of the way places. When we vacationed in Maine every year he would roam the state looking for deals while the rest of the family was at the beach. He reveled in the hunt as much as in getting something he was looking for.

The Zamboni I picked up in 2010 is definitely not an antique. From time to time on our drive we would stop in to various flea market locations to see if there was anything of interest (true antique shops stopped having deals about 25 years ago, maybe a bit longer). It was in one of those I found the Zamboni.IMG_20160307_083455

It was an impulse purchase. We had been out all day, and bought nothing. I had marveled at the prices of items that were definitely not antique. I had been tempted by an old gas pump (where would I put that!!!???) and a vintage telephone, but I do have some restraint.

Restraint wasn’t necessary when I saw the unused Boston Red Sox World Series tickets from 2004. The asking price? $400. I think that’s more than they cost if you were actually going to the game. I doubt anyone ponied up the cash for those, but you never know. The Red Sox are a religion in New England.

But I felt I should by something, and the Zamboni was, if I remember correctly four dollars. I thought it would make a nice souvenir.

And it does. I don’t have my father’s love for old things, despite a fair number of inherited antiques in our house. As a child I hated being dragged out on antique hunting expeditions. It was so nice when I was old enough to stay home alone. I didn’t understand that it was the journey that was important, not the destination.

That was the last time my father went on that sort of expedition. I don’t know if he thought it was a successful trip (he didn’t buy anything), but I’m glad I made the time and gave up the day on the beach. It was his last trip to Maine; I won’t get another chance.


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