I might have mentioned once or twice that Joe is one of the planning team members for a photography club here in Kansas City called Digital Dimensions. In addition to their monthly meeting,s where they get together and share tips, critique each others work and generally hang out with other photo nerd types while swapping stories about lenses and what not, they also plan some creative fun field trips out and about in town, and on the road. I tag along now and then, like the Garment District Tour last year and then last month, when they headed over to Weird Stuff Antiques and basically swarmed the place like a infestation of very cheerful locusts, wearing at least one camera, if not two, per person.
I swarmed with them, wearing the requisite camera around the neck (Joe's back-up D50) and once the very accommodating staff of the place had settled down, and Joe and I fled upstairs to escape the crowd, we had a grand old time taking pictures of some of the most random items ever collected in one location. Though I had a brief moment of regret when we first walked in and I saw that every nook and cranny of this place was full of weird stuff and photographers clamoring for better angles. It was overwhelming. And tight. And a little suffocating. Every conceivable corner and direction seemed full. Joe saw the panic spread across my face and said, hey, let's go upstairs. So we did, and it was nearly empty of people. Perfect.
An enormous room upstairs filled with rows and rows of chairs, bizarre old paintings that your grandma bought back in the 1960's, and a random saddle. Because why not add a saddle to the mix. This big open space was a delightful sea of strange, used and slightly damaged.
This set of chairs was a perfect set from the 1950's with a matching table, but sadly the vinyl was splitting and the stuffing was escaping on one chair.
Gorgeous stained glass windows that if I had a larger house I would have taken home with me.
Ever had the need for a enormous toothbrush, boxing glove, Sketcher tennis shoe or crayon? I can tell you where to rent that. Rental only though, dang it.
This pretty lady is very well protected if you opt to take her for a motorcycle ride. Though clearly she's had some kind of previous accident that caused a little nose damage.
Joe tried to make me pose for a bunch of pictures, but I wasn't cooperative. I told him to focus on the inanimate weird stuff and leave the living weird stuff alone.
Do you know of an artist whom I could hire to create a duplicate of this masterpiece on the hood of my CRV?
After taking pictures of all the bizarre goodies upstairs, we crossed our fingers that the downstairs had cleared out a bit, so we wandered down. The space was cleared out a bit by now, so we split up and went on a quest for the goofy, the irreverent, the charming and the eclectic. Deer heads and beer signs and santas and gorilla suits and pinball machines next to bicycles and stacks of 45's.
Yes, Joe is wearing two cameras. He is cooler than you, or me.
Lots of nude mannequins. They are very tempting with their oddly smooth rears just waiting to be goosed.
We bought a big S for Sands. It's now on the photo wall. Just in case we forget how to spell our last name.
Vintage dirty bikes look so cool. Rows and rows and rows of them. Waiting to head off on adventures, or to the farmer's market or to the sock hop, whatever.
Like stepping into Sun Studios. Holding one of these mics I kept expecting Jerry Lee Lewis or Johnny Cash to walk in and start singing.
I wanted those yellow boots. Bad. Joe stopped me since they were a size 7 and I wear an 11. They might not have felt so good on the feets.
Wear 8 tracks go to die.
Loved so hard she lost her hair.
I almost bought this chalk figurine of Charlie McCarthy that was a carnival prize from the 1950's. He looked so sad and beat up and yet still sparkly and dapper. Joe was not as in love with this little treasure as I was, plus he was a little expensive for a whim, so he stayed here with the other Weird stuff. But isn't their something sweetly forlorn in his expression?
This sign was the perfect description of the tip-toeing and brushing up against strangers that is required when shopping in the crowded little treasure trove. It's crowded even without fellow shoppers.
I loved this book of records, with each 45 lovingly transcribed in the front. Someone loved their jazz and had very nice penmanship. And to think they've stopped teaching cursive in schools. This is too pretty to stop teaching.
So we spent a couple of hours in this haven to the past, to the beloved and discarded, the goofy, the old, the damaged and the salvaged. Wandering through the history and the amusement and the detritus of other people's lives. It was wonderful. I think we all need a little more weird in our lives. I know I do. I look forward to going again very soon. And I really hope Charlie McCarthy is still there, because I think I have the perfect spot just waiting for him at home.
All photos are either mine or Joe's, it's about 1/2 and 1/2. If you really want to know I could tell you who's is who's, but it's late and I'm tired and they all fit so nicely together I don't want to bother with labels right now. Have a wonderfully weird night! And talk to you tomorrow!