Saturday, July 30, 2005

Mr. Dimesteakdinner

Back around the time we first were married, my wife and I used to have a small antiques business operating out of the corner of a primarily vintage clothing store. On Saturday mornings we would get up early and hit garage sales looking for antiques, pop culture collectibles and vintage clothing that we could later resell in our space.
At the time we lived on the West Side, which was a prime location as most of the people were old, their children grown up and moved out, leaving behind a treasure trove of sixties and seveties items. The ethnic make up of the neighborhoods were changing, from predominately Polish to a Latino populace, as the younger residents fled to suburbia and their parents headed for nursing homes.
There were a lot of characters we would run into, pickers for antiques dealers, collectors, and people just looking for a deal. There was Baldy and her husband(so named as her hair was thinning out), Larry (who looked like one of the Three Stooges), and Mr. Pushy.
There was another guy, who always wore a white T-shirt and blue double knit slacks. He had a black trucker cap and large framed glasses. He was always looking to haggle for the best price.
At one sale, when he asked a price on an item, the seller told him it was a dime.
"A dime," he bellowed, "Why, that's like a steak dinner to me!" We took this to mean that a dime was a steep price for something. He was always always buying crap and junk, passing up good items as they were just too high priced. Anyway, we started calling him Mr. Dimesteakdinner when ever we saw him at a sale.
"Oh no, "one of us would say as we pulled up to the sale,"It's Mr. Dimesteakdinner!"

Later, we moved to the other side of town, started spending weekends at my wife's folks place up north and doing our junking up there. But occasionally, we would venture back to the West Side, and there he would be, Mr. Dimesteakdinner.

Ebay has now replaced vintage clothing and antique stores, we're now divorced, and weekends are spent with my kids. And I'm sure that Mr. Dimesteakdinner has gone on to that great flea market in the sky.


Blogger Lily said...

This is my new favorite, and the one with the black teeth of course! Thank you sincerely for sharing the stories behind what you do, your heartfelt descriptions are wonderful and I like your stories. You have this Sendak-like craziness combined with a recycled pop -mockery I love. Thank you for sharing your work and your feelings about them. I use recycled items too, and love to see what other people do with ordinary things (like drawers!) I love when people can transform what we discard into something useful or beautiful again.
The gift you have seems to be for juxtaposition.
PS I am glad that I am not the only one with funny nicknames for people like "Want Ketchup Lady" or "Slick Bastard". Mr Dimesteakdinner- I love it!!!!

10:15 AM  

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