Did you have a sled when you were a kid? Before we moved to Pennsylvania, we would take our kids to the snow in the mountains in Southern California. They loved to play in the snow.
Our son Nivek was seven years old when he found out we were moving to PA. That was 1972 and Sears, Roebuck and Company still put out a catalog. Without my knowing it, he got my catalog and ordered a sled for himself. When I saw the Sears delivery truck stop outside and the deliveryman start up our side walk to the house, I wondered what the heck was going on. Nivek sped by me to reach the door first. He knew exactly how much he needed to pay to collect his COD delivery, and he had that exact amount in his little hand. The kid was smart.
If you live where it snows you might remember snowy evenings as a kid. Several inches of snow would fall through the night and you couldn't wait to get up the next morning figuring that school was going to be canceled and you would be able to play in the snow, and go sledding.
On Saturday, Niks and I went a few miles up the river to a town named Duncannon. It's the home of The Old Sled Works. The place was first called Standard Novelty Works and opened in 1904. They made the famous Lightning Guider sleds from 1904-1990. Before 1904 when the Flexible Flyer was invented, sleds didn't steer. "The sled that steers," ushered in the modern sledding age, and finally enabled kids to control their downhill destiny. The Old Sled Works has a small museum of old sleds and the equipment used to make them.
We actually have two old sleds hanging in our garage: the one that was Nivek's and one that was my husband Niks' when he was a boy. When we moved here we discovered Niks' old sled in his mother's garage. Of course no one uses the old wood and steel sleds anymore.
The Old Sled Works now mainly is home to antique and craft vendors. It's a trip back in time for sure. I love looking at the antiques. I have almost no interest in buying antiques, but I have fun looking at them. A lot of it is pure junk of course, white elephants and off-white elephants in my judgment. I got a kick out of an early dentist chair. It looks like some kinda old torture device. Who would buy a medal dentist chair? No padding of any kind, anywhere on it. It's comparatively tiny too. In fact, looking at a lot of this stuff points out how much smaller folks used to be.
The old factory building now has a working old-time penny arcade and a soda fountain. Jimmy's Old-Fashioned Soda Fountain is an authentic 1950's fountain that once operated as a drugstore counter in Harrisburg. At Jimmy's you can get a real phosphate soda, and the best milkshakes and floats, made using vintage equipment. You get to watch The Three Stooges on old Philco Predicta TV there too. Columbia Pictures rented several items from Jimmy as props for Girl Interrupted.
I bought two souvenir spoons there. I collect souvenir spoons. Not on purpose. I had a coupla spoons that my mother-in-law gave me. You can't get rid of something your MIL gave you, right? So anyway, one day two or three years ago, my friend Chris shows up, just as pleased as punch with herself. She had scored a coup with a yard sale purchase of vintage, still-in-their-boxes souvenir spoons. Musta been 20 or more. She had seen the two spoons that I had and decided that I collect them. Sooooo, of course, I had to smile, say thanks, and keep them forever. Just recently, I met her for coffee -- remember the don't-answer-the-door-for-Owen caper?
That Chris. That day. Anyway, she had gone to an auction. The woman has too much time on her hands.
Maybe too much money too, 'cause she had bought me more spoons. This batch included a Dennis the Menace spoon. Never knew they made sterling silver Dennis the Menace spoons. OooKKKaayy. Now I officially collect souvenir spoons. Question is, do I hafta display them?
Maybe a better question is, do I ever tell Chris that I didn't really collect these darn spoons?