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Archive for 'Close Encounters'

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October 29, 2014 by , under Close Encounters.

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October 10, 2014 by , under Close Encounters.

What to Consider When Purchasing Trucker Baseball Caps

If you live the majority of your life on the road as a trucker, you know how important good quality trucker baseball caps are. Between the fact these caps significantly help against sun glare without having to wear sunglasses and a high level of comfort, these caps are a part of the daily life of a trucker. When on the road, a trucker needs to keep his or her attention onto the road for their safety and the safety of those around them. This often means that they don’t have time to worry about much else. By purchasing a cap that fits well and is comfortable, it is possible to express your own personality and style while having a cap that is useful.

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There are many ways that you can customize your trucker baseball caps. If you do not want to have a custom logo or your initials embroidered onto your cap, you can select your favorite trucking brand and match it with the color scheme that best fits your personality. With so many options available, it is possible to get the perfect cap for your needs, regardless of whether you are a man or a woman. In order for your cap to last as long as possible, you will want to clean it whenever it begins showing signs of wear and allow your hat to dry properly if exposed to moisture.

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October 10, 2014 by , under Close Encounters.

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Like Abbott & Costello

January 18, 2013 by , under Close Encounters.



The phone rings. I answer:

“FUTURES Antiques.”
“I’m calling from Arizona.”
“I have a bicycle.”
“Underneath it, it says ‘E1374989′”
“What’s it worth?”
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?”
“I don’t know.”
“I saw you had 2 bikes on the computer.”
“Oh yes, my web site. Consignments. I am not a bike specialist.”
“So you don’t know what it’s worth?”
“I don’t.”
“It’s a girl’s bike.”
“I still don’t know.”
“You don’t know?”
“I don’t know.”
“So you can’t help me?”
“No, I can’t.”
“Who can?”
“I don’t know.”
“I’m calling from Arizona…”
“I know, but I still can’t help you.”
“Oh. Well. Thank you.”
“Sure. Good luck.”

I felt like I was in an Abbott & Costello routine.

The voice sounded like that of a good friend of mine who has the “right” attitude to think up this dumb-ass line of questioning (and then call me), and, she seemed to be trying to disguise her voice with an exaggerated accent. Until the very last moment, I wondered if it was her… so I played along giving my own “routine” right back at her (?). Upon hanging up, I thought “Nope, that wasn’t her. It was just a REGULAR dumb call.” SOME calls are so PERFECT in their dumb-assness it’s hard to believe they aren’t scripted.




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Words I Heard

January 15, 2013 by , under Close Encounters.





These are all REAL quotes
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I heard in an hours’ time:

“Our troops are training for war. HE’S the one who kicked in the door. Where you gonna stay…baby’s gone to sleep. Are you EVER gonna learn to knock? How about right now? She SHOULDA put you out! He didn’t speak with her for six months. I DON’T CARE! You won’t believe who she turns to. You need to get connected.”

“Give us one day, and we’ll give you two years. It felt like I was doing it the right way. YOU have better things to do…ask your doctor. I need something FAST. I’ve always talked fast. Both of you are DEAD wrong. I really do believe that THAT is what happened. I hope you’ll search your soul…you outa be ashamed of yourself.”

“He’s a friend, but he’s also CRAZY. We have a warning of our own. Some people ARE crazy. To GET it all, you’ve got to risk it all. Their terror is real. Tiffany thinks clowns are out to kill her. The level of fear in this country has never been higher.”

“I can’t pee in public. It’s a GREAT time to go! You hold onto your “P”. Take a teeny weeny one. Instead of an EXPANDING future, I was looking at a NARROWING one. It sounds incredibly simple. We didn’t say WE were crazy! I was the target of a professional knife-thrower. I had a fear of being alone. I thought this was the greatest thing in the world. My mind began turning in on itself. I heard these weird sounds. I think “Hell” is just NOTHING.”

“I am paralyzed by feet. FEET! A good place to sit, and eat…in buildings filled with snipers. I just worked up the courage to take one step closer to my fears. Grandma’s feet used to be asleep. She used a push-mower. That was a big deal! Touch it with one finger…nothing happened. I can’t believe I’m doing this! Take another baby step. Your imagination runs out of control.”

“Come on! Let’s go see ‘em! Check HIM out! That’s what it’s all about. It’s time to go! You’re a cheer leader, right? Right. I ran out of my position, and fell in somebody’s driveway…meeting the famous “Grandma Clown”. We’re gonna take you to the next level. There ya go…ya got it! Go ahead. Ya got it! Yes!!”


No, really. I heard all these things in one hour.


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Time to close up shop

October 25, 2012 by , under Close Encounters.



Quick “customer” stories from last year:


#1:   A man walks in with his hands behind his back. I greet him. He glances (for maybe 10 seconds) over the thousands of antiques in FUTURES, and then asks:   “Is this all there is?”

I looked up in surprise and said, “Yeh… that’s ALL there is!…” ………… and I began laughing and shaking my head.


#2:   A man walked in and in a loud voice said “Hey man, how you been?!”
I said, “Oh, alright.”
He said, “You don’ remember me, do ya?”
I said, “No.”
He walked up to my desk and asked “How much is this worth?” … and pulled out a bottle of Coca Cola. NOT an old bottle of Coca Cola. Just a bottle of Coca Cola.
I said, “I have no idea. I don’t deal in Coca Cola.”
He said, “Oh!  Well, KEEP ME IN MIND!”

Yeh.  Sure will.  For what?  I didn’t know the guy and he knew I didn’t know him.


#3:   A man and woman walk in. They look around awhile. The wife calls her husband over to a showcase, they talk quietly, and then ask the price of two pieces of “Roseville” pottery. I get up, go over, look at the price cards sitting there with the vases, and recite what they themselves read. The husband tells me he HAS some Roseville, and tries describing it.

I know where they’re headed now… (do you?)… they want a free appraisal, sight unseen, of WHATEVER it is they have or think they have.

And he says, “So… whadya think it’s worth?”
“I couldn’t tell you,” I say.
“Well, how do YOU know what to charge?”
“BOOKS.   I READ.  Study.  Do my homework…” I say.
“Do you have books HERE?” they ask.
“Yes,” I say. (And I have the next answer ready for their next question…)
“Can we look at your books?”
“No, but I can tell you where I bought mine…”


Surprise!  They didn’t want to know where they could buy books !!


It’s time for me to go home and read…







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Staring at a Car Wreck with Saucer Sized Eyes

October 14, 2012 by , under Close Encounters.

I recently acquired a gloriously awful collection of wonderfully depressing, scary, weird “Big Eyed” pictures.  They are now in my “Good and Bad Memories” gallery on the “Shop” page here on the web site.

From your own experiences, you may remember a few of them, and you may even know the name of the couple who made them a [shudder] “household word”:


The KeANeS


(Their marital life-story is a tacky horror in itself – and I may get to that later – IF I have the stamina – but don’t count on it.)

The “Fabulous Fifties” had come to a close.  Thank god.  Ask the soldiers returning from World War II and Korea how fabulous the 50’s were for them as they tried to adjust.  Ask the minorities who were still told where they could [and could not] go.  Ask all those who were black-balled during the Commie Hunts.  Ask all the children required to practice Atomic Bomb “Duck-n-Cover” Attack drills in their schools.  Okay, you get my radioactive drift… and it took too long for those daze came to a close… sort of.

The “Swinging Sixties” arrived as the OPENLY VIOLENT version of the 50’s.  Viet Nam began in earnest, leaders were being assassinated as fast as they could gain a following, the Anti-war and Equal Rights movements poured into the streets, Atomic war was literally mere hours from starting 90 miles off our shore, drug use was being romanticized and promoted… Yeh.  Swinging.  Baby.

And there, in the midst of the end of the 50’s and the start of the 60’s, Big Eyed Children (and Adults, Animals, etc.) ran silently onto the stage and stared out at us sitting there in the dark of those times.  Had they not “hit a chord”, they would have died a quick, deserved death but… they took over like Pod People.  WHY?  WHY????  Pictures of creepy, ill-proportioned, abandoned, starving, fearful, alienated, humanoidish creatures were everywhere – and the buying Middle Class couldn’t get enough of them.  (And THIS was WAAAAY before “E.T.”)  So… I asked WHY???!!!

First of all, we were Paranoid.  Paranoia thrived in the fear of Commie infiltration.  And, IF we WERE being infiltrated, it was because the Enemy LOOKED LIKE US and we couldn’t identify them.  All they had to do was DRESS LIKE US and we were vulnerable!!!  (If they had an ACCENT, we could at least LISTEN for those and report them to the CIA.)

The 50’s ended on the terrible day of November 22, 1963 with the murder of President John F. Kennedy.  Yet, by that time, Big Eyed Creeps were well on their way to overtaking our world.  It was the Commie Scare that gave birth to these Things… other events just added more fuel to the dark fire.  One of my favorite creepy movies of that era is the subversively threatening movie “Village of the Damned” – about what ? but weird British children who TOOK OVER.  It’s a great, moody movie expressing the fears of that era’s world.  Another of the genre is “The Day the Earth Stood Still”.  (Don’t be an Unfortunate.  See it!)  It does not present itself with the stark reality of “Failsafe” or “The Manchurian Candidate”, or the snide dark humor of “Dr. Strangelove”, but they all belong to the world of Big Eyed Creatures of the late 50’s and early 60’s.

Please DON’T be confused by the later kute-kiddies of the mid-60’s to mid-70’s.  THOSE large-craniumed kids were born in the capitalist market riding the coattails of the counter culture / flower power / peace and love era, expressing (in a pathetically mediocre, sappy way) the hope for an end to the Viet Nam War and Peace in the World for All Humankind.  But yet, they too SOLD.  Big. 

No one said Americans have refined taste or commercial savvy.

None the less, these images show who we were… painful as that may be.  And, they’re just plain stupid fun.  They ARE a “Guilty Pleasure”.

PS:  Okay okay !!  I’ll take a deep breath… and talk about Walter and Margaret Keane.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Walter was once quoted as saying “My paintings ask the eternal question ‘Why?‘”  WOW.  THAT man was deep – I mean DEEP!  In 1947, he quit California real estate and journeyed for – where else ? but Paris.  Gay Paree.  A strolling Shomp Shaylie Shay cliche, he wore a beret and just-messy-enough hair.  He drove a white convertible.  He dragged around four white toy poodles named after actual famous artists.  Walter considered himself a “bon vivant”.  (It HURTS to read this, doesn’t it?!)

He claimed the waifs wandering war-torn Europe were his inspiration for his Arte.  Once back in California (loaded with La Inspiracione), he met Margaret at one of them klassie outdoor art shows… and GUESS WHAT??  She TOO was painting Big Eyed Waifs!!  Their immediate attraction to one another was soon followed by a closed-eyes marriage. 

Over the years, their styles Merged to One.  How Romantic.  With no real success in the Art World, they opened their own gallery.  That’ll solve THAT!  They advertised in the free, local “Penny Saver” news-stand paper.  (You’re familiar with it:  the neighborhood paper you pick up at the grocery store.  That’s how Rembrandt was discovered, by the way… in the Amsterdam “Guilder Saver”.)

Believe it or not, this tactic worked ! and when they opened another gallery in New York City, the show sold out.  (Way to go, you worldly New Yawkuhs!).  In fact, Jerry Lewis – well known for his subtle taste and acting style – paid Margaret $10,000 (the price of a modest house in those days) to paint his, his wife, kids, dogs, and cats portrait – yes, ALL with Big Eyes AND ALL wearing clown costumes.              A patronage made in Hell.          Joan Crawford commissioned Walt to paint a life size portrait of her, which she hung where ? but over her sofa.  (She was sofa-sized.)  On his tee-vee show, Jack Paar showed a Keane painting to America and said it was “the greatest painting I have ever seen in my life!”  Jack, Jack, Jack… you need to get out of your basement more often and read a book!  Writer Earl Wilson called the Keanes “the find of the twentieth century”.  For a nice slice of the sleazy pie maybe I woulda warbled too.

Then, like a house of spam, it all came splatting down.

In 1965, the Keanes divorced.  Five years later, Margie was on talk radio claiming SHE was the only one who did the paintings, and Walt threatened to kill her if she let the ugly, big-eyed Kitty outa the bag.  She challenged Walt to a painting shoot-out at high noon in a court of law.  Walt walked away.  You decide why.

What?  You think this story is over?  You really DON’T understand the power of tastelessness, do you???


Fourteen years LATER, Walt told USA Today (the Two-Penny Saver) Margie took credit because she thought he was DEAD and therefore couldn’t fight back.  Margie sued Walt for slander.

A Honolulu trial in 1986 (are you keeping track of the YEARS here??) had Margie claiming SHE made ALL that Big Eyed kiddie-poo, and, the inspiration WASN’T horrifying waifs of Europe but her horrifying marriage to Walt.  Gasp!

That ain’t all.

Walt was in that courtroom.  He and everyone in the Hallowed Halls of Justice watched Marge stand up, whip out a brush, and begin painting big eyes right there in front of God and All.  In an hour she had created one of HIS famous Big Eyed kids.  (THERE’S somethin’ to brag about!)  Well, the Judge asked Walt to stand up and PERFORM the same painting.  (Can you say “Jerry Springer holds art class”?)  What do you think happened?

NO, Walt didn’t murder Margie.  No, Walt didn’t even sock her.  And no, Walt didn’t do a painting!  Walt said his shoulder hurt and he couldn’t paint right then… Ow.  That hurts.

Margaret was awarded four million dollars.

Walt said he couldn’t come up with the dough.  He said he was broke…









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Ammadis glass?

September 16, 2012 by , under Close Encounters.


(Back in the day:)


A guy walks into the store.  When he pulled up to the curb, I noticed he was driving an old Cadillac and couldn’t seem to find the curb with it.  In FUTURES, he looked around for a couple of minutes, and then asked:

“Do you have any black Ammadis glass?”

“Amethyst glass?”

“Yeh, Ammadis glass.”

“No, I don’t have one piece of purple-black glass,” I answered.


“Is that glass really made out of stone?”  he asked.

I looked at him. I didn’t have the mood on me right then to take the question and run with it… so I replied:  “Nah. It’s just regular glass…”


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Advice for the Briliant

September 12, 2012 by , under Close Encounters.


(A retro writing from back in the day:)


With a headache, I decided that my latest Gregorian Chant cd would be a better choice today in FUTURES… at least for me. I sat in here alone until deciding to take advantage of the quirky, balmy weather blowing through today – and instead I sat outside. That, of course, immediately created multiple customers. Funny how that works. I also just cleaned my windshield… so now it’s clouding over to rain.

One of the very solid generalizations I can make to you today - as I watch it in action at this very moment, is: If two or more people

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are in the store, and at least one is male, it is the male who will behave as though he knows everything and must lead the others – the dependent, ignorant female(s) or most passive male – to their education. And yet… I’ve NEVER heard a single one of the lucky recipients say “Thank you!”

That’s gratitude for ya…

Or it could be that the brilliant male is so often wrong it’s not requested or welcomed? In fact, the MORE verballer the person, the more often they are wronger? They not be

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as smart as they think they are?

LESSON: “To look smart, ecspecially if you ain’t, KEEP YOUR PIE HOLE SHUT!”

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Rhinestone Rambo

August 30, 2012 by , under Close Encounters.


A Sample Observation from my years of running FUTURES Antiques in a retail environment:


I have a Rhinestone Rambo in the shop at the moment.

You know him: camouflage pants with lots of empty pockets and neatly ironed creases, factory faded jean jacket, clean bandanna tied around his head, topped off with an Eddie Bauer Australian “bush” hat. Lives in the city. Probably drives a Ford Explorer but wishes it was a Rover with headlight and grill guards. Chromed. A Hummer is out of the question.

REAL Urban Camo would be much different. It wouldn’t look like the WOODS! Most of the outfit would be patterned with realistic red brick & mortar… maybe an area with spray paint simulating some stupid tagger’s mark. The lower pant legs would also have a couple random pictures of a discarded beer bottle in a brown paper bag, and a few wadded Lotto ticket stubs. Maybe a few applique cigarette butts hot-glued on the shoes… shoes made of a canvas resembling old cement. You wouldn’t wear a hat. You’d wear a helmet, of course, with a rear view mirror off the side. Duh. WHAT you had painted or applied TO the helmet is a matter of style, as long as it still helped camouflage your noggin. Maybe a couple of stuffed pigeons. Your pockets would NOT be empty. Cell phone, Swiss army knife, small frame pistol, hidden ammo/money belt, mace,

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compass, Northstar G.P.S. unit, local maps, goggles, waterproof matches, and a trained rat.


NOW you’re set.



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