Thursday, June 30, 2005

Life's Rich Abundance

Garage sales are my gambling. The currency is time, inconvenience, early rising, preparation and knowledge. Money is part of equation, in that you are not always precisely sure what you are getting until you have batteries, an electrical outlet or are able to ascertain if the other 3 hubcaps at home are exactly the same. Sometimes, the item is a fake, a repro or broken. That is a financial risk, though many items I purchase brand new are unsatisfying and let me down.

I have wanted a Braun travel alarm clock since I was in junior high and pictured myself living a euro lifestyle surrounded by sleek black plastic electronics. The 1980s nadir of American style meant everything should say Made in West Germany. Over the years, I have passed over any number of these Braun alarm clocks. Maybe it cost more than a dollar or the battery compartment was corroded. Maybe I forgot that I wanted one and was not really seeing them.

The score is more intoxicating than money. I can't remember my age or phone number, but I have at least 1000 items that have a story of acquisition down to the every detail. I can picture where a 1000 items lay when I found them. I didn't know I wanted a Jaegar Watch Company 8-Day WWII Civil Date Long Range Bomber Chronograph. And it is worth more and less than the ebay value. Worth less, because I would never pay ebay prices for an 8 Day Clock. Now that I have it, I would not consider selling it. It is a paper weight without parallel and the tick-tick is very relaxing, but I have never really had a problem with papers flying around, so I will install it in my Model A to be sure I am not getting cheated by the SCTA timing tower.