I’ve been wandering the Kansas City area and beyond for more than 30 years.  I started when I was a teenager and tagged along to garage sales & flea markets with my Mom.  She loved antique jewelry – Gold, Silver, Platinum, Bakelite, Art Deco, Victorian – she bought it all.  She knew a bit about precious gems too.  Along the way, I picked up quite a bit of knowledge about antiques…  good old brand names and worthless ones, what to look for and what to avoid.  I still have lots to learn and things change, but one thing that has remained constant is that most people just don’t care what they have.  They say everything has a price.  And with family heirlooms, that price is often very small

She couldn’t possibly part with Grandma’s Steiff Teddy Bear, which mistakenly made its way into the 50-cent pile with the pink giraffe from K-Mart until I flashed a $50 bill in front of them.  Grandma, who

Three kids are left with the house and all its contents after the last parent passes.  They open up the house for a garage sale and price everything at $5 per bag to empty the house as fast as possible.  The big money is the house itself, right?  Well, there goes thousands of dollars of Mom’s gold jewelry out the door for $5.  (Don?t worry, I paid them more).

The box of photos and other trinkets that held a special place in Uncle Bill’s heart are found in his bedroom closet when he passes.  The family doesn’t recognize anyone, or even bother to look, so it’s tossed in the trash, given to goodwill or ends up selling at auction with the rest of the things it took him a lifetime to accumulate.  Inside the box are someone’s wedding photos

I’m proud that I’ve spent a lifetime rescuing these artifacts and giving them good homes.  It pains me, however, to think that a generation or two down the road, my photo will be in that box in a closet.  And some future family member won’t know my name either.