Travel is often so much hustle and bustle. We whoosh down freeways with nary a glance left or right. So much is missed — so much is there to be seen. Wandering from town to town enables one to visit quirky stores or discover some long lost treasures.
Just outside of Bethany, Missouri sits a wonderful antique store called the “Enchanted Frog”. We were the first customers of the day and so the entire store was ours for the searching. The store made a strong first impression because it had some real antiques. Believe it or not this is not the norm because the industry has fallen on hard times. Why? Because IKEA type goods are the now the standard for our progeny and others younger than we boomers; and we older folks are not in the market anymore–more downsize than upsizing these days
So many antique stores now look like shabby flea markets that rely on selling either trendy “junqe” or collectibles–items that are “younger” than 100 years old, but older than 50 years. As I look in the mirror clearly I fall into this 50+ range so for me it’s quite fun to see the “treasures” of those innocent times. This makes for some particularly wonderful moments as I peruse a Roy Rodger lunch box, or a Tonka Truck or the real treasure I spotted at the Frog–a Mr. Magoo metal wind-up car:
I loved Mr. Magoo! He was a nearsighted cartoon character created in 1949 and voiced by Jim Bachus. My favorite Mr. Magoo cartoon was his rendition of “The Christmas Carol”. For those who traffice in trivia here is a tidbit — Bachus later played Thurston Howell III the rich tycoon lost on Gilligan’s Island.
Stumbling upon cultural artifacts may result in slight air of melancholy as one ponders the past that seems so long ago while experiencing a present that seems all too fleeting. It is Proust’s “Things of Remembrance Past” that keeps coming to mind. The search for answers about life and ourselves that are set free by the awakening of senses like taste or smell.
As I look at Mr. Magoo, I smile a mischievous smile remembering the time of day I watched the cartoon and with whom; plus other less important details of that time. Later this information begins to filter through the brain and more details are fondly recalled. One becomes astonished by the realization that I loved my childhood.