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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Danger, Will Robinson, Warning!

By Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for racing stripes.

If you ever watched the 60’s TV show “Lost in Space” you will recognize the little robot calling out “Warning! Will Robinson, Warning!” whenever danger was near.  I wish I had one of those.  At least it wouldn’t be a highway patrol saying “ Warning! Mrs. Worsham, Warning” and waving a piece of paper at me.

I have been called Lead Foot, Jody Andretti, Rocket Mama and a few others.  I have been known to drive unslow.  I blame it on the car designers and modern technology. It’s true.

Back when I started driving, cars did not have air conditioning.  You drove with the windows down in the summer which was the only time I had access to a car.  You judged your speed by the position of your pony tail.  If it was straight out behind your head, better slow down.  Or you judged speed by the sound of the wind noise.  Cars had those little triangle windows that opened a crack and served no purpose other than to create wind noise to alert you to your speed.  When the decibels reached 7 or just short of a train, it was time to hit the brakes.

In the late 60’s early 70’s Chevrolet thought it would be helpful to install a dial whereby you could set the needle on the speedometer to go off when you reached so many miles per hour.  The intent was for you to set it at the legal speed.  The trouble was I got tired of hearing its buzzer go off every ten seconds, so I set it on 95.  Now when that buzzed, I slowed down.

Today we have Cruise Control.  You tap a button, set the speed, and prop your feet up on the dash.  Foot free driving.  Some cars automatically adjust your speed if you approach another car or a herd of deer cross the road which is more likely in my area.  But there is nothing that says “Warning, Jody Worsham, Danger” to avoid a speeding ticket.  Yes, you can buy one of those radar detectors but that’s like admitting you sometimes speed and plan on doing it whenever you think you won’t get caught.   Lead Foot, yes, knowingly disobedient, never. 

The seven-year-old gave me my very own speed reminder.  It is low cost, easy to install, and highly visible.

Today pony tails are worn low on the neck if you have one at all and the air conditioning eliminates wind noise warnings.  Triangular windows have been replaced by huge expanses of glass.  Cruise control only works if you remember to set it. You only know if you are speeding if you can quickly decipher which of the twenty-seven dials and electronic read-outs on the driver’s console and steering column is for speed.   Well, that, and those flashing red and blue lights in your rear view mirror.

“Warning! Mrs. Andretti! Warning!”    At least this time it was just a “warning” ticket.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Inventory or Junk? Part Duh

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for Auction Anonymous

It depends on the person you ask.  Our auction/bargain hunting days have now spanned forty-eight years.  During that time what he buys is still inventory and what I buy, he claims is junk.  I fail to see the difference.

But to be fair all of the chest of drawers from the auction 48 years ago are gone except for two I have in my sewing room.  The birch became tables, workbenches, cabinets, and chairs.  Most of the remaining bedframes, after supplying six children with multiple beds and a few trips to the salvage yard when funds were low, were made into fence posts to fence our thirty-five acres of land.  It was a little strange to see, but it kept the horses and cows off the road.  The few remaining bedframes are in a small pile in the back pasture.

It turned out the band uniforms were not a bad investment.  Each uniform had sixty-four silver knob buttons, six yards of woven nylon cording that formed the citation cords, and a hat with a plume.  I offered band uniforms to every theatre department that was even thinking about performing “Music Man”.  The Nacogdoches Historical society bought some to use as the basis for Santa Anna’s officers for a re-enactment.  A couple of choirs bought some to use as costumes for toy soldiers.  My students strung and hung silver buttons on stage to create a perfect starry night and we have used the nylon cording to tie up just about everything.

But I am a little worried today.  Sutherland’s has been going out of business since Christmas and Dr. Hubby has been adding to his “Never-know-when-you-might-need-it inventory” since before Christmas.  I now have a weather thermometer in every bedroom, bathroom, and closet in the house just because they were a good price.  Today is the final, final, really final last day public auction.

With his first call he announced “I got you some shelving.  I don’t know what you can do with it, but it was a good buy.”  That had me a little worried.  Why would there be any question about what you would do with shelving unless…I won’t go there…yet.

His second call said “I got you some yard sticks.  Think you can find a use for them?”  By now I was getting a little leery.

“How many?”

“A  case…or two….”

“Ok, well that’s not bad.  The school can probably use some yard sticks I….you said a case or two…how many cases?   Exact number.”


“And how many yard sticks in a case?”  I was learning.


“You bought 4,000 yard sticks?  What are we going to do with 4,000 yardsticks?”

“Make tables?  Use them to make Santa Anna-Music Man-Toy Soldier Scarecrows?”

The third time the phone rang I almost didn’t pick it up for fear of what he had bought next.  However, imagining what he had bought was worse than knowing.

“What did you buy this time?”

“Uh, now it only has 50,000 miles on it.  It was a real good price. “

“I hope you are talking about a dolly.”

“It’s a truck.  Well, I had to have some way to haul my inventory home.”

Our town has a growing number of storage facilities.  If I read in the newspaper about a storage unit auction, I’m chaining him to his recliner and going myself.  There might be some good junk there that I can turn into inventory.  At least I won’t come home with 4,000 yardsticks!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Going Once...Going Twice...

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for Storage Wars

 In Texas, state universities can only sell state owned property through a silent auction announced to the public.   Until my husband became a professor at Stephen F. Austin State University, I had never heard of a state auction much less attended one.

 It was early in our marriage so we were still childless and thus had an extra bit of cash.

“Let’s stop by the silent auction and see if there is anything interesting,” said Dr. Hubby.

“Ok” never suspecting what I was in for.

We had only the bare necessities as far as furniture was concerned so Lots  3,4, and 5 held promise with the chest of drawers that were displayed. Lots 10 had two bedframes, and lot 45 had a storage closet displayed.   SFAU was demolishing some of the units; those one story Motel 6 look alike dorms where two units shared a bathroom.  Dr. Hubby had stayed there as a student in the late 50’s.  Each shared unit had four steel twin bedframes, two wardrobe closets, and two chests of drawers and there were 300 units.  Lot 35 interested me as a theatre student.  I saw potential in the West Point style black SFA band uniform as a costume for a butler or maybe a train conductor.

“Now do not make an even bid and do not make it for just dollars” instructed Dr. Hubby.  “I’m going to bid on Lots 3, 4, 5, 10, and 45.  Maybe I’ll get one,” and he was off.

I placed my bid of $19.21 for the band uniform in a sealed envelope and left it with the person in charge along with my name and phone number and waited for hubby.

The next day we got a call.   “Hey, honey, I was high bid on all the lots.”

“That’s great.  So we have three chest of drawers, two twin bedframes and a closet.”

“The displayed items were just samples.  I actually bought thirty-five chests of drawers, eighteen wardrobe closets all solid ¾ inch birch, and uh six hundred bedframes.” 

“WHAT????  Ok, this is a college town I can see having a garage sale and getting rid of some of the chest of drawers and making our money back and the birch will be good for building all kinds of things, but what are we going to do with three hundred bedframes? 

“I’ll think of something.”

 That was what I was afraid of.

 “Oh, and you got your band uniform or should I say band uniforms….there’s two hundred of them.  What are you going to do with two hundred band uniforms?”

“Oh, I don’t know.  Hang them on bedframes and make two hundred scarecrows?”