Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Too Much Time Spent Relearning Old Tricks.

I have my space at Second Hand Rose in Buffalo, Minnesota all set up for the June sale. I have a different area from the one from last month. So anything I learned about the peculiarities of last month's space is just history. At Rose's each dealer is responsible for the set up of their own area. Your stuff fills your space in a way the you decide. This is different from the process used at my other shop, Gypsy Lea's. There the dealers each bring in their materials and then work on a crew to mix it all together and then spread it through the entire shop. Kris' cupboard may hold Gypsy's dishes while sitting next to my table. Each model has its merits, but relearning the personal responsibility of Rose's model has been an eye opening experience for me.

I spent way too much time getting my space together this time. I was at Rose's on Sunday and then again for many hours on Monday. I was sure wishing the the crew would just sweep my stuff up with everything else and put me out of my agony.

The June sale at Rose's starts on Thursday, and my space is set. This will be my last appearance at Rose's for awhile as I only signed on for a two month stint. I think that the space looks appropriately hard and metaly without the softness of the shabbies. It also is properly filled to maximize wall space and real estate.

I put etched mirrors behind the crystal chandeliers incorporated in my warehouse stairs. I hung a small crystal chandelier under the platform of the stairs.

I used Ford Model A V-8 hubcaps to fill spaces above and next to a doorway.

I really like the Folk Art map of Minnesota divided into counties that I used to fill the space above the 2nd doorway in my place.

The space on top of my stainless steel counter remained remarkably decluttered, unlike any flat space in my home or office.

I added these 1925ish Munsing Wear underwear advertising placards to the 3rd lobe of my space to soften the stainless a little. More etched mirror panels are visible behind the display.

It has been a learning experience in dressing my own space. Maybe they'll invite me back to Second Hand Rose for a second guest stint sometime in the future. I just hope sales go well and I won't have to move all that iron. I will be more appreciative and supportive of Gypsy Lea's because the crew makes my thinking a lot easier.

Mr. Flannery

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day is a Remembrance Holiday

Memorial Day is a holiday of remembrance. Its a holiday of celebration, but not in the exploding firecrackers 4th of July way. We are celebrating the lives of all those soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who died in war to keep us free. The holiday was originally established almost 150 years ago to honor the dead of the Civil War. It was called Decoration Day (when we decorated the graves of the honored dead). Its purpose was expanded, along with the country, to honor the war dead of all American wars.

Last year I posted a blog about my dad and his best friend, Kenny Miller. I just reread it to get the information needed to post Kenny's name on the Memorial Wall of Facebook. The reread brought tears to my eyes, so I decided to repost this year old posting in honor and celebration of all of America's war heroes.

Kenny Miller Ordinary Guy - War Hero

My dad and Kenny Miller had been friends forever. The Millers always lived near my dad and his family. Kenny had 3 brothers and so did my dad. They were all children of the Great Depression. Neither my dad or Kenny graduated from high school. And according to my Uncle, in a story related to me at my dad's funeral, Kenny and my dad had more than a few scrapes with trouble and the law. They grew up poor and abandoned by their fathers. They grew up knowing that they had to rely on themselves to survive. They were tough kids, in a tough part of town, during very tough times.

My dad and Kenny Miller were together on the afternoon of December 7, 1941. They heard the news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor together. And they decided to enlist in the Army the next morning when the recruiting station opened. These were kids who had been abandoned by America, but they were outraged that someone would attack Her. They were poor, seldom-do-wells who demanded that She be protected, even with their lives.

December 8, 1941 Kenny was in line in front of my dad. They each signed up, enlisted in the American Army to defend Her with their lives. They were split up. My dad ended up as an engineer building airfields in India, then Burma and ultimately in China. Kenny ended up as a waist gunner on a B-24 serving in the 8th Air Force (389th BGr, 566th BSq) in England. Two American boys from St. Paul, Minnesota shuffled by the winds of chance to the far corners of the world.

Kenny was killed in 1944 when his B-24 was shot down over Holland. His body was buried with dignity by the local Dutch people in their cemetery. (And after the War moved to an American Military Cemetery). He was honored then and is still honored by the Dutch as one of thousands of Americans who died setting them free.

My dad, his brothers and Kenny's brothers all served in WWII and all made it home. They went on to have families and birthdays and good jobs and some bad jobs and good marriages and some bad marriages and grand kids and almost new Chevrolets and all the things that were part of the American dream. They worked hard and made America a better place than the one that they grew up in. Kenny never came home. He remained the small kid (probably from poor diet as a child) who went off to war to protect his America.

My dad never told me this (in fact this is one of many tidbits of my dad's humanity that my mother revealed long after dad died), but each year around Memorial Day he would go to the National Cemetery at Fort Snelling and lay some flowers at the monument. The flowers were in Memory of his best friend Kenny, who died because he was in line in front of my dad at the recruiting station on December 8, 1941. My dad wasn't that morbid or responsible, but he was well aware of the randomness of life and of death.

I'm not going to go to Fort Snelling today. But I am going to set some flowers aside in Memory of Kenny Miller and all the other kids who died to keep America free. Those who died because, no matter what hand they had been dealt, they knew they had to protect Her.

Mr. Flannery

P.S. - I found this note posted on another blog and it brought a tear to my eye:

I received an e-mail today from Mrs. Irma Haex of Holland. She and her teenage son, Wesley, have adopted the graves of four Americans buried in the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten.

Irma writes...

We do this out of respect for the men who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, it is 65 years ago that the war ended, but most of the Dutch people won’t forget.

I thought people here might enjoy knowing that there people like Irma and Wesley Haex, tending the graves of our fallen overseas

P.P.S. -- Kenny was the only member of the crew killed that day. Everyone else escaped the plane and eventually was captured by the Germans. They all lived to be liberated from POW camps by American soldiers near the end of the War. The official account states:

"Miller was killed at his waist gunner’s station during the fighter attack. The Germans originally buried his body in the village cemetery at Henrick-Ido-Ambacht, South Holland, Netherlands."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Its an Industrial Theme

I started the in shop set up at Second Hand Rose in Buffalo today. I took out most of the antiques and other woody type stuff from last month and decided to go with a much harder, metalic industrial theme for June. I have steel; rusted, tubular, stainless and galvanized.

This movable stairway is going to make a fantastic display piece. The green porcelain medical grade scale on the right is from a clinic.

My center space is an industrial threefur. A great oak top industrial cart with a single pedestal restaurant table topped by a stainless steel topped work bench.

The 3rd wall needs more work. Its a stainless steel topped counter with a galvanized steel parts bin mounted above.

This is my favorite piece. A three wheel steel cart with a great rust and shellac surface.

I have more to do, this setting up my own space with my own stuff is so different from the way we do things are Gypsy Lea's that I am relearning some old skills.

Mr. Flannery

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Getting Ready for the June Sales

The weather has been great, mostly, and Babe and I have been getting a lot of stuff ready for the June sales at Gypsy Lea's and Second Hand Rose.

Babe is surveying the wreck that was our yard.

A warehouse cart in shellac and ready to haul to the shop tomorrow.

A wonderful steel topped cart.

And a garden cart with bicycle style wheels.

A carpenter's tool chest in process.

Part of an old piece of farm equipment.

Springy metal 1950's lawn chairs. Very chippy in their 5-6 coats of paint.

The pickup is full of the smalls from the Gibbon Ballroom auction last Saturday.

The fancy door from a fancy cast iron stove.

A piece from old farm equipment, New Idea brand.

The metal parts bin, above and the medical lamps, below, will be at Second Hand Rose in Buffalo next week.

Its been a good week and the sales should be great.

Mr. Flannery

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

On Days Like Today - I Have the Best Workshop in the World

Its a beautiful day here on the tundra. The temp is about 73* and there is a light breeze from the south. I have been working on 5-6 different projects on the driveway today. I have the 2 carts, 2 carpenter's trunks, a dry sink and a cedar chest. So Babe and I went to work with the pressure washer, garden trailer and orbital sander.

This is why I say I have the best workshop today. That is the million dollar view.

Of course Babe is always ready.

I worked on this three wheel steel cart yesterday. I cut down the tongue and reset the front wheel. I pressure washed it today. I am going to sand it tomorrow and then shellac it.

This is a wood carpenter's chest that is drying out from the wash.

A larger carpenter's chest ready for sanding and shellac. I think that I am going to patch the holes in the floor with some old fancy printed tin can pieces.

A steel and wood garden cart with bicycle style wheels. Again sanded and shellacked then off to the shop.

The dry sink and cedar chest will be sanded and shellac tomorrow.

Mr. Flannery

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May is Fabulous at Gypsy Lea's

Its time for the May occasional sale at Gypsy Lea's in Sauk Rapids. The place looks great and there are a lot of outside and garden pieces for Spring on the tundra. The shop is open Thursday through Sunday. It a great destination for shopping while the guys are participating in the fishing opener.

A wonderful 1951 Pontiac dealer's banner.

Nice manufacturer's hand truck.

Garden cart, newly made from vintage parts.

Lots of trunks and cases.

Lots of signs.

I love the metal chicken incubator.

My wonderful antique workbench.

Crystals, sparkles and other bangles.

Ronald and the Sock monkey take a ride in the vintage pedal car shell.

Real vintage cast iron garden furniture. A three piece suite is available.

Farmall tractor red paint.

Lots of garden stuff now that we are staying above freezing.

Large antique round oak table with 5 leaves.

Antique buggy whip stand.

Its SPRING!!!!

A pink and black reception desk. Looks fresh out of that 1950's beauty shop.

Wicker dresser

Small oak buffet. Would make a great bathroom vanity conversion.

More vintage tin reused.

Mr. Flannery