Monday, April 2, 2012

Jiggs and Stinson Reliant

Spring Break just ended here, and we got away for a few days, staying in an out-of-the-way Inn in the middle of Ohio's Amish country, where we saw all the horses and buggies we might wish, as well as seeing Amish kids playing baseball at the schoolhouse. While we were there in Holmes county, we couldn't stop ourselves (maybe I should say Rose couldn't stop me) from visiting a couple of the local antique malls, where, of course, we found some things we couldn't resist.

The first thing I picked up (and didn't put back down) was this interesting little pencil and watercolor drawing of a Stinson Reliant airplane, probably dating from the middle 1930s.  It was stashed in a box full of old postcards.  Of course, it's painted on the very worst sort of acidic paper, and it already has one corner off and other creases separating. Rose really loves the inscription on the back, identifying who drew it, and who he drew it for.

Later, I ran across an entertaining wooden cut-out and painted figure of Jiggs, from Geo. McManus's long-running comic strip, Bringing Up Father.  Sawn from a wooden plank and painted, Jiggs has a stake for planting him in the ground, though he's only about eighteen inches high. The buttons on his vest are actually decorative round-head nails or tacks, giving it a little three-dimensional effect. And since this guy is right at the boundary between folklore and comics, we literally couldn't turn it down.

Of course, I didn't pick him up when I first saw him, and I dragged Rose twice around the mall trying to find him back--unsuccessfully.  I finally gave him up as sold in the meantime.  But, luckily, when I went back the next day to pick up a couple other items, there he was, and I snapped him up straightaway this time.

Neither of these items, of course, is anything one would associate with the Amish, and for all I know, both were trucked in by antique dealers from elsewhere to stock the mall. But we were there to relax, not to consume Amishness, and I have to say I'm just as happy that this is the kind of shopping I still like to do for enjoyment.

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