My Very Own Needful Things

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Debbie913

Well-Known Member
May 27, 2011
6,529
18,039
Colorado
#41
I used to have one. Not a store, just an old house (with accompanying garage and shed) packed wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling with the best of 20th century American pop culture relics--mainly, blessed comics! The house was owned by a weird looking old duck named Karl Melton. He looked a little like Cain from DC's The House of Mystery; bushy, pointed eyebrows, Van Dyke beard, childlike twinkle in his otherwise ancient eyes. He wore loud Hawaiian shirts and lots of rhinestone jewelry. A real character, ya understand, who had obviously never married, for he hoarded books, comics, toys, records, cars...you name it. I guess he used to work for a magazine distribution company for years, and always kept two copies of every comic he ever moved--thus, the incredible collection.

He had everything. Since the time I was 13 (or so) till my early 30s, I often swung by his house (he always had a 'garage sale' sign on his lawn) to plunge into his piles of comics and purchase some treasures. Man, he had boxes upon boxes of the stuff--you had to dig and dig though walls and seas of long boxes, flipping through so many stacks yer head would swim. You'd come out of his garage reeking of aged newsprint (is there a better smell on earth? No.) with a handful of awesome books--Tomb of Dracula, House of Mystery, Creepy, The Witching Hour, Brother Voodoo, Thongor of Lost Lemuria, Turok, Son of Stone, Satanna, Red Sonja, etc., lots of great late sixties, early seventies stuff like that, two fer a buck. Inside the house proper you'd find pre-code horror (a bit more expensive), original hard-back Burroughs Mars books, dozens of sleazy 50s Ace paperbacks, original Elvis Sun Records 45s...just too many awesome things to mention. And if I couldn't afford the more expensive stuff, why, ol Karl had no problem lending certain items out (to me, at least).

American Pickers woulda had a field day with this place.

Alas, Karl is no longer with us. The house still stands, but that mammoth treasure trove has long since been sold off. It's a shame, because you just don't find places like that anymore. I'm currently writing a nostalgic horror novel based on old Karl and his 'house of mystery', and plan on dedicating it to him. I miss the old goat.
I would love to read your book. Sounds great. :)
 

Nomik

Carry on
Jun 19, 2016
3,597
18,084
41
Derry, NH
#42
That friend does sound like a real character! Reminds me of my son's doctor's dad, in a vague sense.
In a more real sense, the folks who have those garage sales do exist.
There are places like that still around here, I'm thinking of a couple I knew in Surprise, The Masons. Yes, that's the name of the town. Met them through an f.o.a.f (friend of a friend). Shocked to find out that Kathy was from -DING DING- Derry- and her husband, no real surprise here, Salem Ma. I could listen the stories forever, just to hear them talk. Kath's words had the quick, clipped quality of a Derry girl: "oh my god, I gotta wirk wicked Layt" ... He was cheerful all the time, throwing in colloquialisms like "holy mackerel" for me, followed by a true but inevitably bizarre story about how in the wee hours of the morning, a viscous javelina chased him for like the equivalent of four houses down. The image of this guy hightailin it for dear life to escape this javelina! :rofl: The friendship was one of those that you lose when you relocate, decide its best to move on. He had a garage filled with junk, ya needed something, they had it. garage sale every weekend and he would often build bikes fir the local kids. Thanks for sharing Muskie.
 

danie

I am whatever you say I am.
Feb 26, 2008
9,761
60,588
54
Kentucky
#43
I used to have one. Not a store, just an old house (with accompanying garage and shed) packed wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling with the best of 20th century American pop culture relics--mainly, blessed comics! The house was owned by a weird looking old duck named Karl Melton. He looked a little like Cain from DC's The House of Mystery; bushy, pointed eyebrows, Van Dyke beard, childlike twinkle in his otherwise ancient eyes. He wore loud Hawaiian shirts and lots of rhinestone jewelry. A real character, ya understand, who had obviously never married, for he hoarded books, comics, toys, records, cars...you name it. I guess he used to work for a magazine distribution company for years, and always kept two copies of every comic he ever moved--thus, the incredible collection.

He had everything. Since the time I was 13 (or so) till my early 30s, I often swung by his house (he always had a 'garage sale' sign on his lawn) to plunge into his piles of comics and purchase some treasures. Man, he had boxes upon boxes of the stuff--you had to dig and dig though walls and seas of long boxes, flipping through so many stacks yer head would swim. You'd come out of his garage reeking of aged newsprint (is there a better smell on earth? No.) with a handful of awesome books--Tomb of Dracula, House of Mystery, Creepy, The Witching Hour, Brother Voodoo, Thongor of Lost Lemuria, Turok, Son of Stone, Satanna, Red Sonja, etc., lots of great late sixties, early seventies stuff like that, two fer a buck. Inside the house proper you'd find pre-code horror (a bit more expensive), original hard-back Burroughs Mars books, dozens of sleazy 50s Ace paperbacks, original Elvis Sun Records 45s...just too many awesome things to mention. And if I couldn't afford the more expensive stuff, why, ol Karl had no problem lending certain items out (to me, at least).

American Pickers woulda had a field day with this place.

Alas, Karl is no longer with us. The house still stands, but that mammoth treasure trove has long since been sold off. It's a shame, because you just don't find places like that anymore. I'm currently writing a nostalgic horror novel based on old Karl and his 'house of mystery', and plan on dedicating it to him. I miss the old goat.
I'd like to read this book too.
You have such a unique voice when you write. Others may try to copy it, but there's only one Muskrat. :)
 

Alexandra M

Well-Known Member
Mar 12, 2015
3,100
16,934
Kelowna, B. C., Canada
#45
That will be a cool book. Do share.

I'm looking for a gift at the thrift store today. I'll say the magic words before I go in. I'll report back here to let you know if it works. Am looking for candle snuffers.
Hope you have some luck finding them (and other goodies). Always used to go to thrift stores and straight to the book
section and then leave. Then I smartened up and started to look around. Have founds some great stuff in those stores.
Always looking for candle containers to fill. Found some nice ones the last time I was there, they just needed a good
washing out and they were ready to fill. Haven't been to a thrift store in a long time, it is on my 'I want to' list. There
are so many in this city just waiting for me .... :wink:
 
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