Several years back I went through a phase of collecting Coca-Cola memorabilia. Truth be told, at the time I was very much into the color red and I think the Coke stuff just came along for the ride. That had to be the reasoning, because as I have mentioned before I am a Dr. Pepper girl through and through.
I collected various Coca-Cola items both new and vintage, everything from the glass straw dispensers to the old wooden cola crates. The one item that proved to be the Holy Grail during my quest to build my collection was the illusive old time upright Coca-Cola machine.
I had I rough idea of the type machine I was after, the problem was I had never seen any for sale in my neck of the woods. I combed the flea markets and antique shops in my area for over two years with no luck. It seemed like there was every imaginable type of vending machine available, except of course the one I wanted.
One day when I was out and about, traffic was being diverted down some less traveled side roads because of a broken water main. This detour took me through an area that might have been occupied by relatives of Jeff Foxworthy. On one side of the street there were cars on blocks in the middle of front yards that were waist deep in weeds. On the other side there were a pair of fifty something gals clad in tube tops and bikini bottoms sunning themselves in lawn chairs while the sprinkler splashed them intermittently. And let's just say they were wearing Brittany Spears style outfits despite their Mama Cass bodies. But I digress...Okay, so I was still on the detour when I saw what could only be described as a mirage in the distance. Up ahead on the left there was a blinding glare, the kind of glare that comes from direct sunlight hitting metal. I blinked and tried to adjust my eyes. When I did so, row upon row of vintage cola machines came into view. All of these machines were standing at attention in the front yard of a tumbledown clapboard house. I slammed on the brakes and was almost rear ended by another driver on the detour. I barely heard the blaring horn of the person behind me as I pulled over in my hypnotic state, but I was on a mission. I could sense that among the rows of discarded machines, the one I wanted was waiting for me.
I didn't have to go to the door because the seventeen hound dogs that resided in the front yard in the shade of the machines had already sounded the alarm. The commotion served to bring a wiry old fellow out on the porch. With one command of his voice he silenced the barking dogs and then came to greet me. I told him that I noticed all his cola machines as I was passing and I just had to stop. He seemed very proud of his collection and eager to talk about how he had amassed so many...and how his wife wanted to get rid of some. After letting him talk a while, I told him that I had been searching for a machine of my own. I told him some of the features I liked and he said he had one something like that. I followed him down a row and then we zig zagged around until we came to this beauty... It had a rounded top, embossed lettering, and its original paint, in other words almost everything I wanted. By this time the man's wife had joined us in the yard. I'm sure she thought I was crazy for stopping, because after all this was not a shop that was open for business, this was their front yard I was touring and making myself at home in. Her presence had a benefit though, when I asked if this machine was for sale she was the one to respond. She said yes before her husband could even open his mouth! He had a very dejected look on his face when she said that. I saw I had no time to lose, so I asked how much. She said, "You can have it for $100 if you cart it off." Her husband now looked ill in addition to dejected. "I'll take it!" I said.
The only painful part of the transaction was having to call my husband. It was worth it though!
Thank you so much for stopping by today! For a list of all the participants in Show and Tell please visit our darling host Heidi.
Please visit me again, so we can share another Coke and a smile. Happy Day!