The Great One and I have found that picking for others is not quite the same as picking for ourselves.  It seems our eclectic taste is a bit rare.  And his idea and my idea of what others will like are pretty comparable to the difference in day and night. 

Staging and pricing find us at opposite ends of the spectrum, as well.  But one thing we do agree on -  we need to spend more time hitting auctions, church sales, estate sales and yard sales.  Even when we come home empty-handed (which rarely happens) we’ve had a great time.

It didn’t take me long to learn that the Great One needs to be kept on a very short leash at Roumillat’s or Carriage House auctions.  He has been known to come away with items that I never would have approved, if I had been paying attention (also known as stifling his urge to splurge) instead of running my mouth. 

And then he has a habit of scanning the receipt when settling up only to find days later that his initial scanning was lacking in attention to detail and thus, we paid for an item left behind that we don’t even remember bidding on.  Fortunately, Roumillat’s held onto the item for us.  There it was, his number big as day scrawled in chalk.  He’s trying to blame it on me, however, he keeps such a death grip on the bid number, there is no way I could pry it out of his hands without causing a major scene that would be difficult to forget.

We’re getting a little better at looking at what an item can be instead of what it is.  And he has learned that his old standby, the Force Theory, isn’t always the best option when trying to repair or refurbish.

When we first started going to auctions, we came ill-prepared.  We had cash but lacked snacks and drinks.  After 3 hours at our first Carriage House auction, even though it was still going strong, hunger and thirst won out. 

It also took us a few times before the light bulb went off and we thought about bringing a bin and bubble-wrap.  Unfortunately, the bulb must have been a very dim nightlight.  We forgot that the bin “can’t take feet and walk” (one of Miss Edna’s favorite sayings).  All those breakables and no way to protect them because the bin of bubble-wrap was left sitting at home on the front porch. 

So what has been our best auction buy to date?  Would believe you a refrigerator for $27.50.  I don't mean a little dorm fridge.  I'm talking a full-sized Whirlpool refrigerator/freezer.  It took a lot of elbow grease and various cleaning concoctions, but it works and makes a great garage fridge! 


Charleston, South Carolina is famous for its antique stores, particularly those located downtown, but the Great One and I do not have an ample budget for high-dollar antiquing.  So on our recent visit to Charleston, we started small with some of the antique/vintage shops located West Ashley and on Mt Pleasant.  We got a later start than we had intended so we’ll have to save James Island and Johns Island for another trip.

We started with Roumillat’s on Savannah Highway and wouldn’t you know it, he found yet another type of dime bank.  I’m afraid we have only scratched the surface when it comes to bank collecting.  The bank collector groups are even divided into still banks and mechanical banks and I’m guessing further subdivided into other categories, as well. 

I think he should start The Great Randini’s Society of Keyless Banks Collectors.  He could have a No Keys Allowed logo and maybe a secret password to gain entry through a door that no one can find.  A keyless key ring could be ceremoniously bestowed upon members as they are inducted at an annual convention.  Perhaps they could help each other understand the allure of these inaccessible receptacles.  I am sure there is some deep-seated reason why he is drawn to these forlorn and forgotten banks.

After stopping at the Antique Mall of Charleston and a few more shops in the West Ashley area, we headed to Mt Pleasant.  We both remember passing by Page’s Thieves Market growing up when going to and from the beach and as neither of us had ever stopped, we decided to put it on our list for this trip.  Unfortunately it was a cold, damp day in Charleston and not the most conducive weather for browsing at Page’s.  I’m thinking our next visit there will be in the springtime.  They have plenty of interesting items to see and the cutest little dogs in matching pink sweaters guarding the store.  

On our way to Page’s we had passed by Six Mile Antique Mall on Coleman Blvd so on the way back, we pulled in.  Are we ever glad we did.  It is a really comfortable shop, well laid out and easy to move around between booths.  The owners, Dan and Harriet Blackburn, are lifelong collectors, who are thoroughly enjoying their “retirement” even though they are most assuredly working harder than ever.  They are full of information and we really enjoyed hearing their story.  After looking at everything downstairs we headed upstairs and somewhere along the way, I found a “Made in Occupied Japan” vase.  Six Mile Antique Mall will definitely be our first stop on future visits to the Charleston area. 

It looks like I’ll have plenty of time for researching my vase this weekend.  Supposedly, we are in for a good bit of snow (at least for us) tonight and with temperatures below freezing through the weekend, we probably won’t be going anywhere this weekend.