Posted in Nostalgia, Vintage Collecting

Seeking and Finding Comfort in Vintage

(Originally written in September 2015 and posted on the Metrolina Restore Blog…)

Vintage items from the midcentury comfort me. I have always appreciated their clean simplistic lines and kitschy fun, but it is not lost on me that many of my collections started happening in full force when my Dad was diagnosed with cancer several years ago.

Dad w 1956 chevy
My Dad with his 1956 Chevy

 

 

My father was born in 1938 and was a man of the midcentury. I grew up with rides in his prized 1956 Chevy, the 1st car he ever owned. My mom still has it. My parents kept everything so even in the 1980’s we lived in a house with my grandma’s 1950’s toaster. Why buy a new one if the old one still worked? I still have that toaster; it’s a chrome thing of beauty. It still works, of course, 60 plus years later.

 chrome toaster
Collection of 1956 plates and chrome items including my Grandma’s General Electric Toaster

My Dad always thought my obsession with vintage items was…interesting. He appreciated that I liked things from his generation but still didn’t quite understand why I wouldn’t just prefer to have everything new.

This room contains a mod wall clock, chair and carpet remnant from the ReStore and the coffee and end tables from my parent’s first apartment in 1964.

For me it was easy. It just made me feel like I understood him a little better. Thinking and learning about the items of the time in which he grew up helped me imagine more vividly the life he had: that one where he had to work very hard for everything he owned and so that’s why he kept it, or fixed it when it was broken. It was what you did back when the world wasn’t so disposable.

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Working chrome beehive blenders from 1940-1960, dotted midcentury bowls from Federal, Hazel Atlas and Fire King.
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Home décor and fashion items from the 1950’s and 1960’s

When my father was in the throes of his battle with cancer, getting lost in a resale store for a bit and marveling at the finds helped take me away from the reality of what my family was facing; it became my favorite brief escape. Now that some time has passed I realize that specifically seeking items that carried with them all of the optimism and hope of the midcentury probably subconsciously reminded me that things do progress and get better.

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Couches were found for $50 at the Restore; chair was found on the side of the road. All have been reupholstered.
 Living room
The bright color scheme in midcentury décor makes me happy!

My Dad has been gone a year and the midcentury items that I’ve collected continue to comfort me- especially my collection of items from 1956, one that started long ago with those rides in my Dad’s Chevy. To this day if I see a mark on an item from 1956, my heart skips a nostalgic beat and I innately want to add it to my collection.

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1956 Nambe sliver platter,  1956 Baum Wizard of Oz, 1956 Napco Flower girl.

It reminds me of my Dad back then, buying his 1st car with all the hope in the world for what was to come…

Dad BW chevy
My Dad with his 1956 Chevy
Dad Mom 1956 Chevy bw
My Mom, original Mod Bettie, as a newlywed with my Dad and the Chevy in the mid 1960’s.

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