Nearly every August, I find my way to Bouckville for the annual Madison Bouckville Antiques Week. It’s a gathering about 40 miles east of Syracuse that draws thousands to what is usually a sleepy bump in the road on U.S. Route 20.
The folks who put on Antiques Week also organize a much smaller show the first weekend in June. In search of my holy trinity (typewriters, ceramic Christmas trees and aluminum Christmas trees), I decided to check it out.
And the verdict? I mentioned it was small, right? The August extravaganza stretches for at least a mile or two along Route 20. This was probably about a third of that.
Still, there were interesting displays, although I didn’t turn up any of my coveted items. The only typewriters were ordinary black ones and they were too expensive to flip. The only ceramic tree I saw was chipped. Aluminum Christmas trees? Not a one.
I actually had more luck on the trip back home. Barely a block from my house, I saw a cool tension pole light that looked like it had come straight from the set of “Mad Men.” It was actually in a pile of trash at my neighbor’s house. Unlike my usual curbside finds, which are a grab-and-run operation, I asked my neighbor if he was really throwing it out, and, if he was, could I have it.
Turns out that the lamp had belonged to his father-in-law, and, yes, it was bound for the trash. But, wait, there was more, he said. Would I like a classic Coca-Cola tray and a set of apple canisters?
Suddenly, I felt like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” when she realized that she didn’t have to wander so far from home to find what she needed. Or, as she said: "If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with! Is that right?"
Well, my heart's desire might not be in my back yard. But perhaps it's in the neighbor's trash.