Inside wall of the Brohammasmobile.

 I aspire to one day own a home, or a space, that is both comfortable and interesting.  A place that is more curated than decorated.  On occasion I will peruse import stores with all their exotic statuary or fabrics and I always leave with none of those things.  My wife, tired of accompanying me on such ventures inquired why I never procure any of these treasures. 

 “If I want a Persian rug, I want to have gotten it in Persia, not South Philly.”

One day I may get myself to Persia.  While there I will still not get that rug; I don’t like Persian rugs.  I do hope that while I am there I will obtain some little something that I could only get there, or possibly get something I should only get there.

In travels past I have gotten a beer stien in Germany, an Eifel tower in Paris (a smaller one of course), and a sunburn in Mexico.  This year has been no different.  I made acquisitions of things that would remind me of a time and place, in hopes that one day said articles will have a spot in that place; the one I hope to one day create.

The spoils of war, without all that messy fighting.

 1. Ukule from Haleiwa Hawaii.

2.  Hat from J. Press in New Haven Connecticut.

3. Logo tie from Lionel Smith Ltd. in Aiken South Carolina.

4. Vintage print from the Baseball Hall of Fame.

5. Pennant purchased in the bookstores of every Ivy League school  (can you see which one is missing without using digital assistance?).

6. Across America By Gen. James F. Rusling, printed 1875.  Its take on my native people was, shall we say, “interesting”?

7. Maple box sold to me by a young Amish boy in Nowheresville, upstate New York, while his father peered eerily through the curtains of the house.

8. “All Right!”: The Narrative of Henry Box Brown as a Test Case for the Racial Prescription of Rhetoric and Semiotics, by Marcus Wood.  Purchased at the American Antiquarian Society in Massachusetts.

9. The Wanderer the Last American Slave Ship and the Conspiracy That Set Its Sails, by Erik Calonius, purchased at a thrift store in Wilmington, North Carolina.

10. The American Sporting Scene, written by John Kieran, illustrated by Joseph W. Golinkin, printed 1941.  Purchased in Cambridge Mass.

11. E Pluribus Venom, the art of Shepard Fairey.  Purchased at the Andy Warhol museum in Pittsburgh,

12. Fashion 100 Years of Apparel Ads by Jim Heimann and Alison A. Nieder.  Purchased in Newport, Rhode Island.

13. Sports as reported by the New York Times 1908-1984 (reprints of sports stories from the NYT). Purchased in NYC.

Of course, not everything experienced whilst travelling can be collected.  Some things while collectible, should probably not be collected.  Somehow my collection of craft brewed soda bottles has been sent to the cellar.

Kinda makes me wonder who really is the king of my castle.


Aiken is Horse Country?

Sometimes when travelling you run across things surprising and unexpected.  Aiken, SC was one of those.  It was not on my map, I was in the middle of no where, and suddenly I was on a well kept and attractive Main Street.

I pulled over, got out of the car and nosed around.  The first thing I noticed was a predominance of women wearing riding boots and tights.  This wasn’t particularly telling given the popularity of that look this year, but as I stepped into galleries and shops, I knew this wasn’t just some random town.

Matching your clothing to your dishes is in-deed a new thing to me.
Not the same store, but a familiar theme.

So, I must be in horse country.  The street, shops, and people were all unusually well-kept, and all were leisurely whiling away a sunny Saturday.

I have never been one to pass up a preppy clothier and Aiken had a fine one.

They will happily sell you a tie as well as explain what English regiment it represents.

As I browsed the store I began ticking off the University pennants along the ceiling.  An observant sales rep noticed what I was doing and helpfully asked, “which school did you attend?”  I told him with a smirk, expecting to be dissapointed.  He simply said, “Ahh, yes.  Right over here sir.”

I was pleased to find BYU was not on the wall. Sorry Cougs.

It was explained to me that all the pennants were brought in by alumni of the schools represented.  The salesman told me Aiken has a thriving nuclear research facility and that the University of Utah is in fact quite well represented in the town.

Who knew?