Sunday, June 15, 2008

Time again for...

The topic for today's Show and Tell is "Favorite Flea Market Find" My item was not purchased at a flea market, but it is definitely my best find. I hope you agree!

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!

19 comments:

Teena said...

Does it work? Can you sabotage it and fill it with Dr Peppers? It's just SOOOOOooo beautiful! I want one!
xx

Couture de Papier said...

Wow!!! what a story I am addicted to Diet Coke of late?! Your description of characters made me laugh..today is Fathers Day..9 yrs ago my father passed..he lived in Austell Georgia, which I had not been to since a little girl..he left long ago in my childhood..I was there for a month and felt like I was on He Haw! I remember seeing similar characters standing in a lake smoking?!..everywhere I went ..biscuits gravy and smoking!!..Oh and Walmart..the cashier moved so slow I was ready to grab the the thingy and check myself out!
I could not find ice coffee anywhere! Or a decent cup of coffee
anyways I drove my Dad nuts..He said "Will you slow down"!! as I rolled him over and over like a rollingpin! almost wiped his face off, and pushed him in his wheelchair like a Boston driver!I said "Dad I am from North remember? We have to move fast to stay warm"!
Thank you for sharing and funny memories today! Denise Hull,Mass.

Kristin said...

Great find...I love the red and white!! That is something I would do too...and my whole family would think I am crazy!! Kristin

Jeanie said...

What a GREAT find! I love it and I love the story behind it!

Counting Your Blessings said...

THAT IS SO COOL!! Imagine it in a red & white kitchen. Of course, anywhere would be perfect. I saw one similar last summer at some garage sales but I'd already spent my stash =) In fact, I think there's a photo in my blog archive (yep, I found it... http://countingyourblessings.blogspot.com/2007/06/neighborhood-sales-61007.html) Blessings...Polly

dede warren said...

Oh my, what a find indeed! I can't believe you got this great old amhine for so little, lucky girl. Hey can't I pop in for a cherry coke sometime?

Jenn said...

Well, you certainly don't see those every day do you? Good for you for going after it.... very cool!

LiLi M. said...

I forgot to look whether my comment is posted or not, sorry!! All I wanted to say is that I like your find very much and I'll come back later to drink that Coke!

Steph said...

What a great story and a wonderful find!

Pink Icing on the Cake said...

High five to another Dr. Pepper girl!!! Loved your story today.

Hugs,
LeAnn:)

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

What a wonderful fun post. I can just picture it all in my mind. I love that machine. Does it still really work?

Thanks so much for sharing!

Hugs,
Stephanie
Angelic Accents

miss gracies house said...

Great story and a *fun* find!
Rene'

m i c h e l l e said...

Seriously...what a GREAT story and what a great score!!!

heidi said...

great story, lucky you! my mom collected all those old signs when i was growing up. thanks for sharing! xo heidi

Elly said...

Great story! Great find too!!

hunnybunny said...

All I could hear in my head was the music from Deliverance as I read your post, and you stopped to shop. LOL That's a wonderful find!!! Where did you put it? In the yard?

tammyCA said...

Now that is a great story! There was a reason for that water main problem.
I have fond memories of stopping at gas stations and getting an icy cold bottle of pop from those machines. You had to pull really hard to get one out. And, then popping off the cap with the built in opener.
There is an antique store in my sister's neck of the woods that has a working one - I always have to buy one - 2 chugs and it's empty 'cuz they are little. :)

ABOUT ME said...

I love the coke machine! And your story is really fun about how you found it. Thanks for sharing. Di

Marian Ballog said...

WOW! You are seriously living my Coca Cola dream... I'm in southern Calif and have craved a machine like that since i was 13... along with a Coca Cola screen door push (which means i would need to buy a squeaky old wooden screen door to go with it...) ooh la la Congratulations! Marian