Tag Archives: Collectibles

The DrHGuy Alternative Southwest Missouri Tour – Part II

Note: This is the sequel to yesterday’s post, The DrHGuy Alternative Southwest Missouri Tour – Part I. After reading the account by fellow blogger and McHenry County co-inhabitant, Cal Skinner, of his family’s vacation in Southwest Missouri, the region where I spent my childhood and adolescence, I was moved to proffer my observations on some glaring omissions from the Skinner family itinerary. Yesterday’s Heck of a Guy discourse featured historical and spiritual sites – The George Washington Carver Monument and The Spooklight, respectively. Today, however, the focus is on the primo attraction overlooked by Cal’s clan: my Mom’s collection of – well, collectibles.

If She Finds Out, This Will Break My Mother’s Heart

Missing the George Washington Carver Monument and The Spooklight, inexplicable as those omissions may seem, is nonetheless small potatoes compared to Cal’s failure to pay a call on my mother, who lives within an hour of Branson in the real Ozarks. As I’ve previously noted in this blog,

I grew up in, and, more pertinently, my mother still lives in the Ozarks, where the only gated communities are inhabited exclusively by cattle, and upper-class is spelled “d-o-u-b-l-e-w-i-d-e.” In these parts, the citizenry is allied in the conviction that the guy who wants his neighbors to cease using their lawns as sites for burning is at best an uppity snob and may well be a proponent of socialism, communism, or even vegetarianism. That he is seeking to ban the burning of tires, not leaves, cuts no mustard (or, alternatively, makes no nevermind). There is also a consensus that the other political radical, the one who proposes zoning regulations that would, for example, limit clotheslines to a length of 30 feet and restrict them from front yards, should either keep his nose out of others folks’ business or find happiness elsewhere. … And, the scenery … is striking with rugged hills setting off man-made Table Rock Lake. The view in the photo below is from the deck of my mother’s home [in winter].

It is, one supposes, theoretically possible that Cal didn’t realize that instead of fighting the Branson traffic to reach the Hollywood Wax Museum, the Waltzing Waters Theatre, and the numerous miniature golf, go-kart, and bump’em car establishments that are the warp and woof of that municipality’s cultural milieu, he could have jogged south a bit and navigated his way, en route to Mom’s cabin on Turkey Mountain Road, through and past Roaring River Road, Trout Street, Song Bird Drive, Whippoorwill Drive, Dove Lane, and still other byways named after local critters such as Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Quail, and Mockingbird

turkeymtmapblowup

Mom's home on Table Rock Lake

to finally experience the thrill of arriving, less than 1/2 mile from Mom’s, at the corner of Sonny & Cher Avenues.1

sonny&cher

But instead, Cal took his family to see one Righteous Brother and Paul Revere and the Raiders perform with Andy Williams, Ann Margaret and her husband Roger Smith in the audience. I bet someone feels pretty foolish now. 2

The Tour’s Epicenter

It will come as no surprise to those familiar with this blog that the highlight of the DrHGuy Alternative Southwest Missouri Tour is the exhibit described in this excerpt from In My Mother’s House Are Many Tchotchkes:

For you fans of geosociological phenomena, my mother’s home is officially recognized as the site of the nexus of Ozark kitsch and that principle of Newtonian physics that declares “Nature abhors a vacuum.” Every horizontal space and a significant percentage of the vertical planes are packed with multiple layers of magazines, books, toys, food, plants, ceramics, linens, doodads, gadgets, widgets, and on and on – and on and on and on and on … .

One consequence of this accumulating mass is that my parents’ retirement cabin has achieved a profound, astronomical scale density, which, at the current rate of increase, will, sometime in June or July 2019, result in the transformation of the southwest corner of the basement into what is anticipated to be the first documented home-grown specimen of antimatter.

… my mother’s decorating scheme … is variously labeled as The Glass Is 110% Full, More Is More, or Nothing Succeeds Like Excess.

The walls are sufficiently weighted with displays of 35-45 meat grinders (a small portion pictured below), angels, awls, & augers; and so incredibly much more that I suspect they could withstand tornado-force winds. … Nor are the fine arts ignored. Saw-blade paintings (i.e., paintings on saw-blades, not paintings of saw blades) abound.

My mother also owns beaucoup boxes of buttons; coping saws, two-man saws, & see-saws; bolts of material with the John Deere logo (three versions); cabinets full of miniature oil lamps; more cabinets filled with shaving gear, including a display of straight razors; and … well, you get the idea.

It’s one of those “you have to see it to believe it” sort of things.

And, thank goodness, one can see – and believe. Photos of some of the items Mom has mounted on her walls can be viewed at Mom’s Collectibles – Index & Description Page

I’ve included some examples here to give a flavor of the entire collection.

Wall filled with tools and implements

Closeup of wall shown in preceding graphic

Razors (click on graphic to view larger image)

Bee Smokers

Carved Swans (click on graphic to view larger image)


And even within special collections there are very special items – such as My Mother’s Incredibly Christian Clock.
clock
Excerpt:

As pictured above, the piece consists of a round clock face, perhaps three inches in diameter, flanked by kneeling prepubescent figures: a girl on the right and a boy on the left, each with hands clasped in fervent prayer, and each wearing pastel blue facsimiles of school uniforms, a pinafore for the young lady and shirt & short pants for the young gentleman.

... The outstanding feature of this item, however, is its audio capacity. My introduction to this treasured appliance, in fact, was its annunciation, launched without provocation or prior warning at precisely 6 PM, Thanksgiving Day, of “Our Father, which art in heaven, … ” or, more accurately, “OUR FATHER WHICH ART IN HEAVEN, … ,” and then going on to recite the entire Lord’s Prayer3 in the resonant, fortissimo voice of an stupefyingly strident, incessantly insistent, and perpetually perky teenage girl.

As we were to discover, in fact, The Clock declaims the Pater Noster at exactly 6 & 7 AM and again at 6 &7 PM – every damn blessed day. Curious about the rationale underlying the unusual 6 AM – 7 AM – 6 PM – 7 PM schedule, I queried the curator (AKA Mom). Displaying incredulity that the news hadn’t already reached the Greater Chicagoland Area, she informed me that this model was advertised to commence the familiar prayer only at 6 AM and 6 PM, but, she went on to explain with evident pride and gratitude, the specimen that found its way to her living room also holds forth at 7 AM and 7 PM as well – a happenstance that she clearly accounts a bonus and that she implies falls only a step below raising the dead and healing the sick in the hierarchy of miracles.

Internet Endorsement Of Mom’s Stuff

While the wonder of Mom’s collectibles seems unmistakably obvious to me, it is, in theory, not impossible that my judgment is swayed by a maternally-directed bias. That friends, neighbors, and other family members have all reacted in the same manner to Mom’s wall mounted displays is supportive but ultimately anecdotal evidence.

Happily, I can offer a statistical indicator. As I originally noted in Maternal Tchotchke Inventory Hits The Charts, on a single day in October of last year, 2,000 folks tuned in just to see what Mom had wrought.

Viewers might note the blip in number of visits on October 18, 2007 – especially since I’ve circled it in red and labeled it with the date. The graph shows that each day of the period from September 20 to October 20, 2007, the Heck of a Guy blog received just under 1,000 visits4 with the exception of October 18th, when the site registered over 3,000 visits.5

A few investigative clicks deeper into Google Analytics revealed that this past Thursday about 2,000 different folks6 dropped by 1heckofaguy.com to take a look at the Gallery Of My Mother’s Inventory.

It was not a coincidence that those 2,000 visitors happened onto the photos of Mom’s rustic tchotchkes on the same day with another 500 stragglers showing up to gawk the next day. Again delving into Google Analytics, I discovered that, while at least 16 sites accounted for the referrals to Gallery Of My Mother’s Inventory, the original and primary source was StumbleUpon, a web site recommendation system based on social networking and peer review.7

In oversimplified form, folks belonging to StumbleUpon rate and recommend web pages that their fellow members may enjoy. One finds potentially interesting sites by looking in StumbleUpon categories such as “collecting” or by finding members with tastes similar to ones own and checking the web pages they rank highly.8

… I also checked the comments from the viewers, albeit with some trepidation. Although StumbleUpon is, in my experience, less given to harsh, scathing critiques than, say, Digg or Technorati,9 traffic of this sort can nonetheless be generated by a site being described, in effect, as “so incredibly, unbelievably, excessively screwed-up that you must see it.” Happily, the comments on the half-dozen or so sites I sampled were overwhelmingly complimentary with the most derogatory notation simply referring to a certain tendency toward pack-rattedness my mother exhibits, which neither she or I would bother to deny.

The Best of the Rest

Southwest Missouri, in fact, is home to an overwhelming number of attractions, including CYOKAMO, the church camp I attended every summer and the source of the best Christian Camp Song ever written by a nine-fingered gospel preacher, Missouri Southern College, the alma mater of DrHGuy and Dennis Weaver,10 and the Springfield, Missouri home of Julie’s11 mother, who is a wonderful person although she doesn’t have a single meat grinder or two-man saw mounted on her walls.

So there you have it. This ends DrHGuy’s Southwest Missouri Tour and Travel Tips. I hope it’s been entertaining and even a tad – aargh – informative.

Y’all come back real soon.


  1. Careful observers will note that on the Google generated map shown, Sonny and Cher Avenues do not intersect. I can, however, personally vouch that there is, indeed, a point at which those two roads do cross. The only possible reason that said point is not displayed on Google Maps is that this is yet another Dick Cheney hideout that Google is mandated to pixelate into obscurity. []
  2. To be fair, the Branson music shows, such as the one Cal and his family attended, may well be, dollar for dollar, the most value-enhanced entertainments routinely available to folks who insist on wearing clothes. Julie (See footnote #11) and I, however, attended a show only 15-18 years ago so I don’t plan on returning to that scene until the Leonard Cohen and Anjani Buckskin Boys Polka Hoedown and Luau joins the current lineup which features the likes of the Baldknobbers Jamboree Show, Yakov Smirnoff, Mickey Gilley, the Sunday Gospel Jubilee, Roy Rogers Jr. & The High Riders, Tony Roi’s Elvis Experience, the John Denver Tribute, and the Circle B Chuckwagon Dinner Show. []
  3. I believe the clock’s allocution adds several phrases and sentiments not found in the original versions set forth in Matthew and Luke. Or perhaps the clock’s performance includes a number of repetitions of the Lord’s Prayer in various languages. Or, I may have lost consciousness at some point. In any case, it does seem to go on for approximately all eternity []
  4. In this case, 93.5% of those visitors were unique visitors for the thirty day period shown; i.e., only 6.5% of those daily visits were from computers repeatedly visiting the site. (Bots, spiders, and my own visits are excluded.) For the 30 day period shown, about 29,200 different people/computers visited at least one Heck of a Guy web page. []
  5. OK, there were also a few stragglers who didn’t reach this destination until the 19th; it’s simpler to report and read the story as a one-day phenomenon. []
  6. And by “different folks,” Google Analytics means, of course, “different computers, not counting bots and spiders and the site’s owner’s visits” []
  7. StumbleUpon has similarities to services such as Digg, Slashdot, Reddit, Fark, and del.icio.us. []
  8. In the spirit of full disclosure, I should let readers know that am a member of StumbleUpon although I am embarrassingly lax about contributing or even checking on other sites. []
  9. Technorati is technically a search engine, but it supports ratings and comments much like the recommendation services []
  10. Star of McCloud, creator of the Chester character on Gunsmoke, and purveyor of the surprisingly useful all purpose phrase, “There you go.” []
  11. Julie Showalter was the fiercely intelligent, wickedly sexy, and loving woman and prize-winning author, with whom I had a outrageously wonderful 20 year marriage that ended with her death in late 1999 from cancer diagnosed the week of our wedding nearly 20 years earlier. Many posts on this blog are about her, our unlikely romance, and our life together, and still others consist of her writings. Information can be found at Julie Showalter FAQ. []

The DrHGuy Alternative Southwest Missouri Tour – Part I

Livin’ ain’t easy, Bloggin’s twice as tough1

The Vulnerable Soul Of The Blogger

One can blog ones little heart out to bring what Matthew Arnold called “sweetness and light” to the public, asking for no other gratification than occasionally imbuing the reader with a bit of wisdom to enhance that individual’s life, only to have that vision shattered by those near and dear to him.

And, no, I’m not referring to the tragedy of discovering last month that my closest friends did not know, despite the multiple Heck of a Guy posts broadcasting the fact, that Leonard Cohen wrote “Hallelujah.” That episode is past; I have found that one can indeed love the sinner while hating the sin.

No, this desecration of the dream came to light this past weekend as I was catching up on the past month’s missed reading of the blogs I follow. In this process, I noticed that fellow McHenry County inhabitant and blogger, Cal Skinner of McHenryCountyBlog, had posted a description of his family’s vacation in and around my old stomping ground,2 southwest Missouri.

Given that I’ve written volumes about the wonders of this area, I was eager to read the Skinner family’s take on those sights.

I’ve excerpted the pertinent portions of Cal’s entry, Back From Vacation, below:

If you have noticed a dearth of local, breaking news since Independence Day, it was because our family was in Missouri on vacation. … We stayed at Joplin’s Hotel Desmond, much more than a bread and breakfast, because my gracious little sister and my brother-in-law run it.

We were treated to a Grand Lake, Oklahoma, 4th of July Saturday. … The rest of the day was spent in an undeveloped cove of this 66 mile long man-made lake. … My son was enchanted by the Undercliff Bar and Grill south of Joplin. We went twice. It had a toy scoop money grabber that guaranteed a prize, even if it was a piece of penny candy. He eventually got the bracelet he wanted. … We went to the Dickerson Zoo in Springfield, up I-44 from Joplin. The highlight (pun intended) was seeing folks feed the giraffes from a raised platform. The same day we visited the Fantastic Caverns. The latter were fantastic because one does not have to walk. We guys … went to see Big Brutus in southeast Kansas coal strip mine country.


Big Brutus is the second largest drag line in the country. It has been preserved and folks can climb to the cab. … we went together to the Precious Moments Chapel. I have to admit not wanting to go the first time around back in the early 1990’s. I thought the Precious Moments statuettes were “terminally cute.” The figurines still are, but the Chapel is worth the trip. … Next, the two sisters decided it was time to visit Branson, which is about as far south in Missouri as Joplin, but without a direct west-east connection. … Sunday we ate at Andy Williams’ Moon River Cafe. He was out playing golf, the bartender told us as he was serving our meal at the almost empty restaurant. That night, I enjoyed the joint show of Paul Revere and the Raiders, plus Bill Medley, the remaining and deep-voiced Righteous Brother. … And, who was in the audience? Andy Williams, Ann Margaret and her husband Roger Smith. They were sitting way up top, but I didn’t bring my camera. …

The Response

Heck of a Guy readers are no doubt appalled by this account – and not just because, in defiance of his own advice, Cal didn’t have his camera handy and thus forfeited his chance to play paparazzo to the Branson jet set.

No, the true horror arises from the realization of opportunities lost.

While I do not criticize those sites the Skinner family did visit,3 I cannot but lament that the most important local attractions4 were missing from their itinerary.

Let’s start with the absence of …

The Obligatory Parent-initiated Vacation Forced March To An Historically Or Culturally Significant Location (OPVFMTAHOCSL)

As it turns out, one can’t swing any sort of cat – deceased, live, or suspended in status Schrodinger – in the vicinity of southwest Missouri without hitting a Historically Or Culturally Significant Location (HOCSLs): a live feline, for example, placed in the prescribed centrifugal, arms length orbit could be clawing at civil war battlefields, archaeological digs, museums, mineral displays,5 or all manner of civic festivals. Heck, the whirling cat himself could well become the nidus of a festival.

But, of course, the obvious choice from this category would have been Diamond, Missouri (AKA The Gem City of the Ozarks), less than a 30 minute drive from Joplin and the birthplace of George Washington Carver, who was featured in six Heck of a Guy posts,6 and DrHGuy. There is, in fact, already a national monument located at the farm where George was born.

George Washington Carver National Monument near Diamond, Missouri

DrHGuy’s earliest home is, alas, not available for viewing because of its current role as – and I kid you not – a shed.

DrHGuy is far too modest to point out that the Skinner clan could, without leaving the city limits of Joplin, have made the pilgrimage to the McDonald’s where a young DrHGuy learned the ways of commerce, starting as a humble and lovable bun boy, then moving up to condiment dispenser, and finally rising to the position of shift floor manager. It was, in fact, that selfsame DrHGuy, who compiled, with his own hands (carefully washed as per the McDonald’s instructional video) two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun into the first Big Mac sold in Joplin.

Dramatization of first Big Mac sold in Joplin, Missouri. DrHGuy, creator

Not that DrHGuy’s feeling are hurt or anything.

The Spiritual Venue

The Skinners did visit the Precious Moments Chapel, which technically qualifies as a spiritual site although its only mention in a Heck of a Guy post was as part of a threat in an extortion scheme.7

Regardless, The primal preternatural locus of the area is clearly the Spooklight, the apparition described in this excerpt from Spooklight Story?

The Spooklight has appeared here since the 1860s, typically taking the form of a bright light (sometimes described as a “ball of fire”) of a yellow-orange color, ranging in size from what one might guess would be a large flashlight to something the size of a bushel basket or larger, that seems to be at the top of the next rise. The light routinely moves to the left and right. Less often, it’s said to split into smaller balls of light or take on different colors (red, blue, and green). Those walking toward the light find that it disappears until, if they continue forward, it reappears behind them.

The Spooklight offers, in short, the consummate religious experience:
the opportunity to scare the bejesus out of all involved8

The Spooklight, near Hornet, Missouri

And, this reliably occurring miracle was certainly close by.

Spooklight Road is eleven miles southwest of Joplin, Missouri, just past the village of Hornet, in the area where Missouri borders Oklahoma and Kansas. The light is most commonly described as being visible from inside the Oklahoma border looking to the west.

Yet (cue ominous music) no Spooklight expedition was mounted by the Skinner Party.

end3

Tomorrow:

Part II of The DrHGuy Alternative Southwest Missouri Tour
AKA, If She Finds Out, This Will Break My Mother’s Heart

  1. My apologies to Bobby Vee who performed and Martha Sharp who wrote Come Back When You Grow Up with the line “Livin’ ain’t easy, lovin’s twice as tough” []
  2. OK, “stomping ground” does not convey an accurate sense of how I spent my childhood and adolescence in that area, but “stepping-gingerly ground” seems a non-starter as a colloquialism []
  3. I am, in fact, impressed by Big Brutus, and the Bread & Breakfast looks positively bucolic. []
  4. As judged by the 2006 Revised Standard Heck of a Guy Blog Signification, Pith, and Primacy criteria []
  5. If one gets off on defunct lead mines – and who doesn’t – southwest Missouri is the place to be []
  6. See

    []

  7. Excerpted from Wedding Protection:

    Indeed, my argument is not that these folks, suckered in by the diamond, flower, and chapel cartels to sign up for a formal marriage ceremony, don’t deserve compensatory gifts, but that others – oh, let’s say me, for example – also deserve some of the loot. Moreover, you will be happy to learn that not only have I developed a means of leveling the playing field, but I’ve also given the procedure my own special spin, creating in the process, a win-win situation.

    Have I got a deal for you.

    I admit that I’m perfectly content as and prefer to remain a member of the unmarried, but I will also point out that I certainly have the potential for getting married. Heck, if one takes a look at my first marriage, it’s clear that I am capable of marrying the wrong spouse at the wrong time for the wrong reason in the face of all kinds of warnings and signals. I am the proverbial loose cannon. And I figure that’s gotta be worth something.

    The bargain I’m offering to strike is a simple one: friends, family, and anyone else that I might find a reasonable premise to invite to my wedding, reception, showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, etc (and I can be pretty darn clever when it comes to such rationalizations; if your name can be approximated with the English alphabet, you are in jeopardy) can either make a modest contribution (calculated at approximately half the value of an appropriate wedding present) in commemoration of my unwed status OR those same individuals can risk the pains, inconvenience, and fiscal cost of involvement in my matrimonial bliss. Now, I’m not saying I will definitely get married if you all don’t pay off. Maybe I’m just bluffing; maybe I’m not. But before you decide whether to call that bluff, consider the following.

    Those in receipt of this announcement should be aware that, if I have to make good on the threatened exchange of nuptial vows, this will not be one of those simple, quiet ceremonies with only a few family members present one is always hearing about. No, I’m thinking of a ceremony more along the lines of Papal Election meets Fear Factor – tentatively to be held at the either
    (1) The Dugout Bar of Mickey Mantle’s Holiday Inn (AAA Approved) in Joplin, Missouri (besides lending his name to the place, The Mick also authored the slogan used to push the fried chicken served in the hotel restaurant: “To get a better piece of chicken, you’d have to be a rooster;” I couldn’t make this stuff up) or, if I’m feeling more precious,
    (2) The Precious Moments Chapel in nearby Carthage Missouri, which has generously offered me a cut of the profits from the sale of figurines (the perfect souvenir!) to my mother and, should she overlook any, to the other guests.

    []

  8. Which was exactly what happened to my colleagues and me in Spooklight Story. Further, while I cannot speak for the others, I can testify that I have remained bejesus-free since that episode. []

Family Home Photo Safari: Items From Other Rooms

Items From Other Rooms Now On-line
Churns, China, Figurines, Miniature Bottles

Photos of another group of those doodads, antiques, gadgets, widgets, junk, tchotchkes, collectibles, oddities, curios, odds, ends, and much, much more that fill my mother’s home are now available for viewing.

A more accurate but also more awkward title for this category would be “Items From Areas Of Mom’s Home Other Than The Rooms Listed In The Other Family Home Photo Safari Posts.” These are items located in the hallways, stairwells, bathrooms, the guest bedroom, etc of Mom’s home.

I’m especially fond of the glass jar butter churns, one of the few nostalgic collectibles I distinctly remember being employed in my childhood home. I have no memory, for example, of oil lamps, two man saws, ice tongs, or even the dash butter churns being used.1

One photo, I see now, requires further explanation. While many items are, obviously, displayed as parts of a collection, some pieces aren’t formally displayed but have been accumulated in quantities far beyond the level that would be routinely needed for utility’s sake. To provide a sense of this phenomenon, I have included a photo of the blankets and quilts Mom keeps stacked in the guest bedroom – other than the covers already on the bed. Ostensibly, these are made available in case the temperature drops precipitously during the night. Given that I have visited my parents’ home as an adult many, many times during the winter without needing that extra dozen quilts, I think it fair to consider these quilts one of her “hidden collections.”

Mom’s Collectibles – Index & Description Page

The full story of my mother’s houseful of collectibles and its metaphysical implications and links to all published photos of items from her home can be found at Mom’s Collectibles – Index & Description Page

The Photos

All of the Family Home Photo Safari pictures were taken by me during our Thanksgiving 2007 trip to Mom’s home. The vistas on the title panels of the photo displays depict Table Rock Lake as seen from the cabin’s deck during the same Thanksgiving 2007 visit.

I hope you enjoy viewing these photos as much as I enjoyed photographing my parents’ collectibles and as much as my mother and father enjoyed finding and displaying them.

The photos of the items found in hallways, stairways, and transitional areas are available at Mom’s Other Room.

Coming Attractions: Photos of the final room of Mom’s collectibles, those from the Living Room, should be posted later this week.


  1. The home in which my family lived for the first ten years of my life, however, was heated by a wood burning stove that was re-installed each winter and removed each spring. []

Family Home Photo Safari: Basement Items Part II



Basement Items, Part II Now On-line
Oil Lamps, Chinese Spoons, Stuffed Animals, Promotionals

Photos of another group of those doodads, antiques, gadgets, widgets, junk, tchotchkes, collectibles, oddities, curios, odds, ends, and much, much more that fill my mother’s home are now available for viewing.

This is the second half of the items found in Mom's basement. Most of the photos show some of the 250-350 (my estimate) oil lamps of all sizes, colors, conditions on display in the house. One group of these is shown in the graphic atop this post.

In The Family Home Photo Safari: Basement Items Part I, I noted that the basement has the most hidden treasures, almost none of which were captured in last year’s photo expedition. To give a flavor of items that have been in sealed boxes for the past several years, I chose a couple of boxes (based on ease of access) and photographed the contents. Those shots are part of today’s set.

Some of the photos are annotated to explain the difficulties I encountered in photographing certain areas and how I tried to address these problems.

Mom's Collectibles – Index & Description Page

The full story of my mother’s houseful of collectibles and its metaphysical implications and links to all published photos of items from her home can be found at Mom's Collectibles – Index & Description Page

The Photos

All of the Family Home Photo Safari pictures were taken by me during our Thanksgiving 2007 trip to Mom’s home. The vistas on the title panels of the photo displays depict Table Rock Lake as seen from the cabin’s deck during the same Thanksgiving 2007 visit.

I hope you enjoy viewing these photos as much as I enjoyed photographing my parents’ collectibles and as much as my mother and father enjoyed finding and displaying them.

The photos of the basement items are available at Mom's Basement – Part 2


Family Home Photo Safari: Basement Items Part I

Basement Items Now On-line: Cider Press, Churns, Wrenches, Saws, Bee Smokers, Block & Tackles, Ironware

Photos of another group of those doodads, antiques, gadgets, widgets, junk, tchotchkes, collectibles, oddities, curios, odds, ends, and much, much more that fill my mother’s home are now available for viewing.

If the living room contains my mother’s most impressive collections,1 the basement has the most hidden treasures, almost none of which were captured in last year’s photo expedition. And, as the “Part I” of today’s title indicates, the number of collectibles in this area warrant another group of photos that will be posted at a later date.

Further, much of the material in the basement is stashed in boxes which I had neither the time or energy to open. I did empty one or two randomly chosen containers and will include photos of the contents in “Basement, The Sequel” to give a flavor of what awaits a more aggressive explorer in the still unexplored territory of my Motherland.

Tools, churns, and ironware predominate in this group, which contains the item that is my personal favorite of all those in the house – the handsome bee smoker featured atop this post.

Mom’s Collectibles – Index & Description Page

The full story of my mother’s houseful of collectibles and its metaphysical implications and links to all published photos of items from her home can be found at Mom’s Collectibles – Index & Description Page

The Photos

All of the Family Home Photo Safari pictures were taken by me during our Thanksgiving 2007 trip to Mom’s home. The vistas on the title panels of the photo displays depict Table Rock Lake as seen from the cabin’s deck during the same Thanksgiving 2007 visit.

I hope you enjoy viewing these photos as much as I enjoyed photographing my parents’ collectibles and as much as my mother and father enjoyed finding and displaying them.

The photos of the basement items are available at Mom’s Basement – Part I

  1. The living room items will be featured in an upcoming post []

Family Home Photo Safari: Loft Items

Loft Items Now On-line – Colanders, Buttons, Scrub Boards, and Sewing Supplies

Photos of another group of those doodads, antiques, gadgets, widgets, junk, tchotchkes, collectibles, oddities, curios, odds, ends, and much, much more that line the walls and reside in the geological layers of miscellanea that arise from nearly every table and shelf as well as much of the floor space in my mother’s home in the the Ozarks are now available for viewing .

The loft of my mother’s home is filled with sewing and crafts supplies as well as collectibles. Because of her arthritis and other medical problems, climbing the stairs to the loft is an arduous task and not one often undertaken. Consequently, this area is almost always in disarray and so I have only a few images of the contents of the loft although there are piles, boxes, and sacks of material,1 sequins, zippers, craft kits and supplies, clothing patterns, books, scissors, skeins of yarn, crochet and knitting needles, and, as always, more.

The photos of my mother’s loft can be found at Now On-line Loft

New Display Format, New Index Page

I’ve changed the methodology used to display the photos. The above link for the photos of the loft items, for example, directs one to a HTML template produced by Google Picasa software which loads faster, is easier to view, and is more aesthetically pleasing than the styles previously used. The new format is available for the photos referenced in today’s post, and I have also converted the previously published photos of the items from the bedroom and deck to this format.

I’ve also established a central index page for these photos of my mother’s collectibles at Mom’s Collectibles – Index & Description Page. This page contains the narrative about my parents’ accumulation of miscellany excerpted from previous posts and links to all the published groups of photos.

Because more than 90% of visitors to the Heck of a Guy site in any 30-day period are first-timers, I try to include enough information such that someone who, for example, happens onto today’s posting in his or her initial visit is oriented and has access to the back story. At the same time, I dislike bloating each post with core information that returning readers have already seen (repeatedly).

One tactic I’ve used to overcome this problem are boilerplate footnotes that explain the roles played by certain recurrent characters such as Julie2 and recurrent references such as my AlignMap site.3 Similarly, this Mom’s Collectibles – Index & Description Page should provide the necessary information for newcomers without burdening ongoing readers with redundant content. It should also be a convenient reference for finding these photos in the future.

  1. One of the Prodigal’s prize finds in his annual investigations of the treasures of the loft was blanketing material featuring the John Deere logo – in three styles. His grandmother fashioned blankets for him from this material that he used for years as a teenager []
  2. Julie Showalter was my much-beloved, fiercely smart, wickedly sexy wife and prize-winning writer, who died in 1999 from cancer diagnosed the week of our wedding nearly 20 years earlier. There are many other posts about her and her writing in this blog. For information, see Julie Showalter FAQ []
  3. AlignMap is my professional web site and blog that focus on patient compliance, also known as adherence to treatment []