Grant McGee: Small town holds wondrous discoveries

Grant McGee

Haven’t you found things around your town and wondered how they got here?

For instance The Lady of the House and I were watching a movie we picked up at a yard sale.

“NOT FOR SALE OR RENTAL. FOR AWARD CONSIDERATION PURPOSES ONLY.”

These words popped up occasionally along the bottom of the screen throughout the flick.

“Now how’d that get here?” I wondered aloud. “Do you suppose someone around here judges films?” I suppose I’ll never know.

Then there was the man who wanted a part for a bicycle he was fixing for his granddaughter. The part had the name “Styria” stamped on it. I’d never heard of such a bike. With a quick look on the Internet I found out Styria bicycles are made in Austria. How did a bicycle from Austria end up in eastern New Mexico?

“My son lives in Albuquerque,” said the man. “He bought it at a yard sale at Kirtland Air Force Base.” I imagined an airman picked up the bike in Europe and brought it back to the states.

And then there was the Hildegarde album I bought for 33 cents at a garage sale over in Bailey County, Texas. It was just hanging out with Johnny Paycheck and George Jones records. You just don’t find Hildegarde albums lying around.

Hildegarde was a singer popular in the 1930s and 1940s. Revlon even named a lipstick after her long ago. My parents knew Hildegarde because of my dad’s work; he managed hotels. When she came to town to sing she’d stay at my dad’s hotel.

I’d expect to find this album in some musty, dusty ol’ record shop in Greenwich Village in New York City but here on the High Plains in a barn? I was surprised.

Discoveries like these just seem to emphasize that we really do live in a global village.