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I’d hate to have to dust

I drawed you a picture and everything, but then I decided it wasn’t very good and I threw it away.

So instead, I thought perhaps you’d enjoy seeing a picture of my grandfather in his den. The tow-haired moppet on the chair looks just like me, but isn’t — I was an infant when he died. One of my cousins, I guess.

He had many a weird and wonderful thing in his collection — fossilized dinosaur tracks, a six-shooter that belonged to Jesse James (the grips were all burned away), a shattered and re-melted glass bottle from Hiroshima — it was a proper Victorian cabinet of curiosities. Though gramps was an uneducated country boy, so I won’t swear he didn’t get ripped off for a curiosity or two.

I should like to draw your attention to an object in the upper right corner of the picture. That is a stuffed possum playing a bass fiddle.

Taste and refinement, my people.


Comment from AC
Time: July 28, 2011, 10:56 pm

I would have loved your grandfather.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: July 28, 2011, 11:04 pm

Is that a gun rack in the lower right corner? I’d love to fondle me some of those old rifles and shotguns. Just the smell of old guns should be a cologne. Eau Du Hoppes.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 28, 2011, 11:26 pm

Yes. The guns were stolen from my father’s house.

Most of the rest of this ended up in a museum. I was not happy. Although, as it turns out, it would’ve made this trans-Atlantic move a world of butt-ache.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: July 28, 2011, 11:31 pm

My dad’s guns were stolen also – only an Enfield P-17 (That I now own) and a 1940’s Winchester 1894 30-30 (that a tweaker cousin pawned..grrr) were out of the house at the time. I’d kill to get them back – especially the 30-30 and the Browning A-5. That P-17 started my whole gun collection.

Comment from PatAZ
Time: July 28, 2011, 11:53 pm

I like his spectator shoes. They were a big thing way back when. Very spiffy.

Comment from JeffS
Time: July 29, 2011, 12:05 am

A possum playing a fiddle? Not a weasel?

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: July 29, 2011, 12:14 am

I have to belief that, assuming your grandfather was an admirer of good whiskey, that he and I could have whiled away many a happy hour as he explained how and why he came to possess each of those objects.

I come by my admiration of folks like him honestly. My grandfather was named Augustus, and his siblings were Hamilin, Echo, and Plum.

However, his home did show a little more refinement… the gun rack was carefully built in and hidden behind the piano.

Comment from Allen
Time: July 29, 2011, 12:23 am

Is that a North Carolina Deer Trap I see over there by the deer heads?

For those of you who might have not seen one, a NC Deer Trap is a metal rod with an arrow shaped piece of steel on the end, and has a 6 foot chain with a steel ring attached on the other end.

To use it, one races up behind the deer and jabs it up it’s rear. You then throw the steel ring around a tree stump, and voila!

A friend of mine has one mounted in his outdoors shop. 🙂

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: July 29, 2011, 12:25 am

No banjo?

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: July 29, 2011, 12:49 am

Your granny was an amazingly patient woman. 🙂

But oh, what an interesting fellow he must have been!

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: July 29, 2011, 4:12 am

Stoaty, here’s something right up your alley: http://www.redstate.com/absentee/2011/07/28/photoshop-contest-one-does-not-simply-mock-into-mordor/

Comment from Deborah
Time: July 29, 2011, 5:37 am

A first-rate man cave. My Pop woulda called it his play house. Is that spinning wheel I see?

Comment from MIke C.
Time: July 29, 2011, 9:47 am

I could cover a fair section of wall with carbide lamps, but other than that, a series of moves cut the clutter way back, and living on the road for the last 15-16 years has prevented additional accumulation. Just as well – this is a small house, so the junk resides in storage. Hell, most of the rugs have to stay rolled up in closets and only get rotated out infrequently.

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: July 29, 2011, 11:15 am

A possum playing bass? Why not? This badger can play the Sousaphone.

Comment from Mr. Dave
Time: July 29, 2011, 11:50 am

Gromulin, I have a Win 1894 in 30-30 but I doubt it is yours. Mine has the stock brass-pinned to the receiver and wrapped in goat rawhide to tighten it up. I’m pretty sure my welder cousin took the L.C. Smith double barrel that was supposed to be mine. The Parker hammerless 12 ga. twice-barrel shootgun, I got on my own.

Comment from MikeW
Time: July 29, 2011, 2:12 pm

Awesome pic, Stoatmiester. It reminds me of a scene in “Sarah Palin’s Alaska”, of her science teacher dad’s house. It was quite the Ripley’s Museum as I recall.

PS. I came across a post over on The People’s Cube that I thought would be right up your alley. A Photoshop challenge I’d think you’d find irresistable. There are already a slew of great entries.


Comment from Sporadic Small Arms Fire
Time: July 29, 2011, 2:49 pm

A beautiful picture and I am sure a magic childhood was to be had around a character like your Grampaw.
The Americana like this is a vanishing universe.

I was stuffing my face at http://www.caseyjones.com/ country store buffet (70 mi E of Memphis) last week and could not resist thinking that maybe if I looked carefully there would be Weasel paw patterns/tail sweeps on the floors and walls. The grub was first rate although I missed catfish. How could you not have catfish?! Total damage $10.50 before tip.

Were I lifted by a tornader and tossed Toto-style onto a blightey gannet guano covered island north of France and west of Denmark I would truly feel marooned and shipwrecked. Wistfully brooding for the Stateside soil every waking moment.
And what would I see over yonder?
Bulbous Brit Brian Blessed. Why is this feller famous instead of therapied?

Shin Kicking.
Bog Snorkeling.
Horn Dancing.
Faggot Cutting.
Labour Partay.
The whole rotten place is just a set and props from the Monty Python skit after the Pythons disbanded, but nobody caught on.

I concur with David Gillies that Britishers are not barbarians. (I happen to place higher demands on true barbarism).
They are like anchovy ice-cream: if you were saturated with the taste from the cradle, you don’t mind (and often deride vanilla ice cream). If you acquired the taste later, you may be an anchovy-icecream fancier.

For the emancipated USAians who unburdened themselves of the malodorous stockinged foot of Mad George #3, it is a source of morbid guilty fascination and a warning to stick to principles and 2nd Amendment tackle. I keep asking myself what is it about UK that I could need or want and come up empty.

But a picture like the den is transfixating. That’s what mustelid art is: inducing transfixation by interpretive dance and visual effects.

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: July 29, 2011, 10:34 pm

I see that you come by your “uniqueness” honestly.

One of my favorite things to do is drive mountain backroads, and stop in at family businesses. You just never can tell where the shop ends and the home begins.

This was especially fun in Appalachia. I remember a restauraunt/ funeral parlor/ and antique shop I found once somewhere between Lexington and White Sulfur.

Folks out West here just aren’t that eccentric.

Comment from Snarly Weasel
Time: July 30, 2011, 2:19 am

If I so much as find any of those in the antique collection, you will discover a whole new meaning of snarl:


Comment from Mark Matis
Time: July 30, 2011, 11:48 am

For Bob Mulroy:
You mean you REALLY don’t consider San Francisco to be “that eccentric“?

I can give you OTHER Western examples as well, if you really need them.

Comment from Ric Locke
Time: July 30, 2011, 12:42 pm


San Francisco isn’t “eccentric”. San Francisco is nucking futz. A fine distinction, perhaps, but a valid one nonetheless.

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: August 1, 2011, 7:42 pm

I meant “in the same way.” Frisco is kooky. Appalachians are unique.

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