Saturday, August 27, 2016

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Stars on 45???

Getting the obvious reference out of the way first:

I do realize that there are no actual 45's in this post.  Despite the small size, these are all to be played at 78 or 33 rpm.  Also, none of them have the larger hole in the middle.  Still, in my mind they are the size of 45's, so I can call them 45's.  Technicalities be damned.

So we left off the record haul with this mystery photo:

Whatever might it be?????
This stack actually comprises the bulk of my purchase.  I saw them and I just had to have them.  I have no clue whether or not they'll sell, but they brought me right back to my roots, in a sense.

Whenever I look through a bunch of singles, I try to look for the brightest colored sleaves, cardboard sleeves or booklets.  That will usually lead me to what I most want:  vintage kids' stuff.  In this case, it was an unexpected motherlode. 


It's not really a children's record set until you find some made on bright-colored, unbreakable plastic.

All of these are Southern Baptist recordings, dating from the 70's, or so I would guess from the cover art.  Nothing is dated.  Broadman Records is a branch of Broadman Publications, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Church when I was growing up.  More on that part later.

Like many of you, I had music classes in elementary school where the teacher would drag out the record player and we would sing along to the songs.  Well, they used to do that in Sunday School too.  All of these records are for children five years old or younger.  They were apparently quite popular.  I have worked in a lot of different churches in a lot of different places teaching kids for Sunday School VBS and the like, and I have seen these things everywhere.

Heck, I even found a few of them kicking around in church resource closets as late as the 90's.  They were sitting in dusty stacks, along with a record player, and sometimes, even an autoharp, which for some reason was a standard instrument for Southern Baptist children's departments back in the day.

Side note:  I really want to find an autoharp at a yard sale some day.

What gets me most about these records is how trippy the covers are.  Especially for kids' records.  Extra-especially for kids' religious records.  Seriously.  Take a look.

 This one about the most normal one of the bunch.  It's also my favorite.  Despite the title, Louis Armstrong is nowhere to be found.  Pity.

And now, the trippiness begins.  The girls on front look okay.  The freaky grassy petally stuff could be explained away by perspective.  But....

These dudes on the back are definitely on something!

AIEEEEE!!!!  Flee the terrifying instrument people!  Flee!  FLEE!

If you check out these credits, you'll see that the same people are responsible for these records.  In fact, the same crew did just about everyone I found.  Southern Baptist Sunday School music was a steady gig back in the day, it seems.

Also, most of these recordings were made in New York.  Nothing too odd about that, until you stop and think a minute.  Broadman Publishing is based in Nashville, a city with a recording studio on every corner.

Please don't kiss me, scary North Wind dude.  Please.

All the records I found had a code written on the front, like for a cataloging system.  I thought it might have been a church library (Remember those?), until this fell out of one sleeve.

The Sunday School Board is in charge of, you guessed it, Sunday Schools for the Southern Baptist Churches.  They produce the curriculum and materials that are used in classes.  It makes sense that they would have a library with copies of these records, because the Sunday School lesson books used to call for a certain song to be used with a certain lesson.  The lesson would also include the title of the record the song came from, as well as its ordering number, if the church didn't have them.  Some of these songs were used over and over again for years.

The Sunday School Board is also based in Nashville.  My comic shop is part of a very small chain, which includes a store in Nashville.  For these special sales, sometimes the stores will trade off stock with each other, which is more than likely how these ended up here in my shop.

By the way, these agencies have reorganized and renamed themselves a few times over the years.  I have used the original names here, because:

1.  It's what's printed on the records.
2. Those were the names used when I was growing up.
3. I'm too lazy to look up all the changes.
4. It would take up too much room to explain it all.
5. It's largely irrelevant to this post.
6. It gives me an excuse to make a list.  I like lists.

I have no clue whether anyone will want these.  I definitely let a bit of nostalgia crowd my thoughts.  Still at 25 cents a pop, I'm not out too much if this turns out to be a bad idea.  I had fun going through them all, at any rate.

One final question;

Why is one of  the men in black on the cover of a children's record?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

You Spin Me Right Round

Getting the obvious out of the way...

I've always said that there's an 80's pop song for every blog post.

On Saturday, there was a music sale at the comic shop.  They had a room full of albums, singles, CD's, tapes, music mags and sheet music for 25 cents each.  That's a price too good to resist, so i had to go.

I don't carry a lot of records in my booths.  Most of what I do have is stuff I have found or that has been given to me.  I sell a few from time to time, and they do serve as a draw to get some people into the booth to check them out.  There are three or four serious music vendors in our mall with booths full of records.  I don't have the knowledge base to really compete with them, so I don't even try.  instead, I look out for freebies and bargains. And the weird stuff that fits in with my overall booth vibe.

So I set off Saturday on a quest for the fun stuff.  Here are some highlights.

How cruel is it that the pattern on your argyles will always clash with the plaid of your tartan?

I have a CD of JP II praying the Rosary set to electronic beats.  He was one happening Pope.

Would you let this man repair your marriage?  I think the cover would be much cooler if he was holding a roll of duct tape.

I want to draw your attention to this line on the cover:

 I'm torn between searching for a Polka Toddlers album and the fear that it might have a tag line on it that says "Formerly the Polka Infants." 

Speaking of show biz families.

My husband had a HUGE crush on David Cassidy when he was younger.

From Popes to Presidents.  It was a well-rounded day.

We close with sweaty mice.  And whatever Goofy is.

 This one actually still has the booklet with it.  Yay!

I got a few other things, but this is the cream of the crop.  Boxed record sets--opera, classical, Christmas, and country--do sell well for me, so I scoop them up whenever I can.  I also got some Christmas albums.

But wait!

There's more!

Tune in tomorrow.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday Rambles


Yesterday the high here was 80.  Yes. 80!  I did some alley exploring for junk for the first time in ages.  So nice.  Temps this week are not supposed to get above 90 here.  I believe Fall may be on the way.  Woo hoo!

To celebrate, I put up a fall wreath in my booth.  It's my only fall decor item right now, but I'm rooting around looking for the hay bales and gourds.

The wreath itself was a freebie find from in the neighborhood.  I had a little trouble getting it off the front door it was nailed to,  but a good determined yank finally brought it right off.

Okay, I'm kidding with that little bit.  It actually came out of a renovation dumpster a couple doors down.  I saw workers filling up a new one last week, when I was on the way to the bus stop, but I was running late.  I checked it later that evening, and the wreath was all I could get out because they had piled a mound of icky old mattresses on top of everything else.  The wreath came out in great shape, though.  Sometimes, you gotta take what you can get and be happy.

The guy who took down our water heater closet told me that all the reno in the area is due to one guy, who is buying up all the old shotguns, gutting them, rehabbing them, and flipping them.  If that's the case, there will be dumpsters for a while yet.  There are a lot of shotguns in this neighborhood.


I didn't get sales emails for the first three days last week, so I was freaking out.  No gravy!  No potatoes!  No plate!  ACK!

Turned out to be a glitch in the system.  Last week was a pretty strong one, all week long.  Still not all the way where I want it, but the gravy ladle is coming out more and more.  The weekend was especially good. Best one in a while in fact.  I was afraid the nice weather might pull people away, but I did pretty good both days.  It was the first weekend of the state fair to boot!

I'm planning a complete booth overhaul and massive restock that will probably take me two weeks or so to complete.  I'm ready for a new look and I want to connect most of my spaces into one long continuous booth.  I'm still working on the ideas, but I intend to start next week.  I have treatment tomorrow, so this is my rest week.


I had a really bad case of the "I don't give a's" last week.  It got progressively worse too.  I started out not giving a shit, and then went downhill from there.  I didn't leave the house.  I didn't blog.  I didn't do nothing.

Then the cat started bringing me mice.  The first two were still alive.  The third one was dead.  At that point, I decided that I'd rather face the world than the building carnage at home.

My sweet little boy is a killer.  (I think he was getting tired of me hanging out at home and bitching.)


Like I said yesterday, there was a music sale at the comic shop yesterday.  Everything was a quarter.  I went looking for oddball and fun and I found it.  More on that tomorrow.  But, for today, a little preview.

I give you Cesar Romero. In all his glory.  Complete with the mustache he refused to shave off to play the Joker on Batman. In TRUE HIGH FIDELITY!

I picked up several albums, but only one CD, which was actually for me.

This is the only Anonymous 4 CD I didn't have. (Except for the newest one.) Well, I used to have it, but it was tossed when our much missed and beloved Himalayan Brianna peed on it.  She expressed her displeasure with the management that way.  This particular bout of ire aimed at me cost me the CD and three comics, one of which I still have to replace.  Believe it or not, she was a total sweetheart, except for this one issue.


Since the topic of Batman just came up, I have to share the most wonderful news!  There's going to be an animated feature based on the show, with Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar reprising their roles.  Do I even have to tell you that I am pumped for this?

Here's the trailer:

Adam West sounds a little rough, but I don't care.  It's still gotta be him.


It's a special day here at the Ramble.  I'm combining the regular music for Monday with the DVD of the Week. 

I spent some time Saturday night watching several Atomic Betty DVD's I picked up at the Peddlers Mall.  From time to time I like to try and make up for my misspent adulthood of employment and responsibilities by catching up on more recent cartoons that I had to miss the first time around, like Betty.

Quite frankly, it was a lot of fun.  Pop culture always seems to be lacking in heroes for younger girls, and Atomic Betty fits the bill nicely.  The first few episodes are a little rushed and don't quite work, but it evens out over time.  Betty is an every day school girl, who is secretly a Galactic Guardian, protecting the universe from all kind of menaces.  Quite enjoyable.  And kick-ass.  Very kick-ass.

Here's the long version of the theme.  Try getting this out of your head today.

Even better, try this mash-up with Betty and Sailor Moon.  Fun!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Rusties, Crusties, and Dusties! Oh My!

Since I'm on low to no buying right now, there's still no Mazda shot.  I did go to a music sale at the comic shop yesterday, but the oddball goodness I found there would not have made a very interesting shot.  You'll see it later in the week.

In the meantime, here's something for you to marvel at:

I just borrowed the shelf for staging.

Even if I'm not really on the hunt right now, there are still a few booths at the Peddlers Mall that I simply have to check out every time I'm in.  A few of them belong to friends, and I just like to see what treasures they've found lately.  A couple are good sources of good stuff from time to time, usually at great prices.  These goodies came from one of my regular spots.  The whole stash cost less than fifteen bucks!

From top to bottom:  metal gas can, tin picnic basket, rusty metal card drawer, rusty plant older, seriously heavy old handmade wooden tool box.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Retro Y'all!

Julie Andrews is so often praised for her lovely voice, which is much in evidence here.  However, I think this clip also shows off her comedic talents as well.  Watch her facial expressions.  I love the effects in this clip to pieces.  I honestly get bored with the endless onslaught of CGI effects in films and long for the days when something actually had to be physically created to make things happen.  Also, I could use a little of that snap! action around here.  For sure.

PS Dig that awesome doll house!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Please Pass the Gravy!

Booth sales are still in summer slump mode, but it's starting to pick up a bit.  I'm only running 1/3 to 1/2 less than what my daily totals should be, as opposed to last month's 1/2 to 2/3 less.  I'm trying to hang in there right now and not give anything up.  I really don't want to drop a space with fall right around the corner.  I don't think that slump times you know are going to be slump times are the time to make decisions like that.

Truth is my sales are almost exactly what they were this time last year.  I just have two more spaces, which makes a difference.  I had a huge growth spurt in March and April, so I'm expecting that to some back when fall hits into the holidays.

Right now, though, the mix just isn't right.

I look at my sales kind of like a plate of mashed potatoes and gravy.  You want to have the right amount of both so you can have a tasty meal.  I've always made most of my sales from small, lower-priced items, like five bucks and under.  It's the kind of thing that people come to a flea market to find.  Those are my potatoes, if you will.  I need a good-sized mound of them, white and fluffy.

Furniture and other large or higher-priced items are the gravy--that little extra treat on top that makes everything extra special.  You can have your taters without gravy and they'll be okay, but with it, they're fabulous.  You definitely want the tasty gravy.

Now, it's not hard and fast, but you need the right mix of the potatoes and gravy to have the right kind of sales totals--a nice mound of those small dollar sales, topped off with a bit of gravy.  On the really good days, I can look at my report and see the big items and the small ones complimenting each other to create a nice total.  Potatoes and gravy.  Mmmm!

On the off days, I can usually sum up the problem as not enough of one or the other.  It's treat to sell a 50 dollar piece of furniture, but if there are only a few smaller dollar items, then the total is going to be less than what it should be.  A huge ladle of gravy on a tiny dab of potatoes is still edible, but it just doesn't seem right.

On the other hand, a day with good small sales and little to no large action, can still fall short.  A big mound of potatoes with just a little dab of gravy is out of whack.  But on those days when you have super-strong small item sales, topped off with four or five good large items, you've hit the taters and gravy train!

Now, this is not to say that you can't go all the way to one extreme or the other.  I've definitely had some really high dollar sales days where the most expensive thing I sold was five bucks.  I just sold a ton of them.  It's a plate of just potatoes, but I'll take it.  You can take one look at me and pretty much tell that I've never passed up a plate of potatoes in my life.

I've not really had this sort of day, but it is totally possible to have a high dollar day of only high dollar items--a plate of gravy, as it were.  I'd certainly take it.  When I was growing up, my mother and my grandmother both would leave the gravy bowl on the table until all the other dishes were done.  They knew that someone (me) would be coming along to finish off the leftover gravy.  To this day, I love a bowl of cold, leftover gravy.  I know.  I'm weird.

For my experience, however, small items will sell every day.  You just have to get the right amount of them.  The big stuff sells in dribs and drabs.  That's why it's the gravy.  It's extra.  It's special.  There are a lot of vendors who primarily deal in furniture that I outsell all the time with nothing but smalls.

Obviously, this is my own model and thoughts, grown out of my own experiences.  Yours may very well vary.  They probably do.  Switch from a flea market mall to an antique mall, for instance, and the customer expectations change, so the experience and the mix changes.

The trick, which is always hard to pin down, is to figure out how to consistently get that mix right.  Right now, I'm eating enough taters, but way too little gravy.