This new feature will be fun and informative for the community. Send typed details and pictures of an antique or rare item you wish to have appraised to the Editor, and Patrick will approximate its value and relate some history about one of the pieces in each edition! This first installment tells a bit about Patrick and the beginnings of his love for, and knowledge of, antiques.
As collectors, we all have our origins, our first loves, the items or ideas that made us who we are. I grew up near the railroad tracks that ran through Tunkhannock, and Swale Brook Creek was also nearby. One spring day while walking the tracks, I picked up an old tree bark fossil in a piece of coal or slate. I was just the discoverer, but it was large and impressive to a 9-year-old boy. I was hooked.
A mere hundred yards from me was an entire treasure trove. After months of finding things on the ground, I knew there had to be more underground. My neighbor told me that the area I was digging in used to be the town dump. With persistence, lots of shoveling, and screening, came my reward: coins, some silver, local bottles from Tunkhannock, just one item after another. I felt a true sense of accomplishment by listening to, learning from, and working with neighbors, friends, and mentors in my community. Most of all, my family supported me, even though at times I was welcoming strangers into the house to buy and sell.
My favorite trading spot was the indoor flea market a few blocks from my house. I was now experiencing the art of the deal, moving into the wider world of buying and selling. Continuing to learn by trial and error, I may have been being ripped off and taken advantage of at times, but I was also watching what others were doing. In the front of the flea market building was an antique shop. There I learned about other local dealers, and met people who shared my passion for antiques and rarities.
The Circle Drive-in in Scranton opened even more of the world to me, seeing hundreds of people wheeling and dealing. I bought a Whitey Ford rookie card in a stack of 1950s baseball cards for $25. It is now worth over $1,000 and I still have it!
Good or bad, all those experiences were unforgettable and shaped who I am today. What about your experiences? What do you collect?
For appraisals and the history of one of your treasures, send details and pictures to me here at the paper through the Editor. To add to your collection or for more detailed appraisals, feel free to stop by the Kitson & Co. Gallery in downtown Tunkhannock. We are open Tuesday thru Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. or by appointment, and during Fourth Friday. We also offer great collectibles online at www.hotgavel.com.
Until next month, I wish you many great finds.