One of my all time favorite quotations was written in 2001, by my then Boardman High School senior grandson, Michael W. Krieger. He wrote in a theme paper that "My Grandpa Loves To Talk." I found out that he was on target. The many garage sales that I attend seem to generate the talking spark. I get many ideas for my columns from these visits. Talking gives me the opportunity to obtain something that I seek.
My main collecting focus is old fountain pens, which are becoming scarce as hens teeth. Over the years they have been tossed into the garbage can. I recall an incident where a senior citizen said to me, "I recently threw a bunch of pens into my trash can. Let's go dig them out." As luck would have it, there was nothing there.
Old age can play memory recall tricks on many of us. Two interesting conversations recall incidents that occurred when I met two grandmas who are now 64 years old who had lived on my Vindicator newspaper Route 302 on Youngstown's East Side. They were significant because I remembered their maiden names and that they were both born in 1940, since I was their newspaper carrier at the time. Talking brought back wonderful memories.
Foot in mouth
Once in a while, I will put my 111/2 size foot in my mouth, like the time I lost out on several World War II photos that I was interested in buying. The deal was closed, money changed hands, but the young lady reneged. I had talked just a few minutes too long, just enough time to change her mind.
Most garage salers greet me with a big smile and hello, but a few are "grumpy." I start my talking spiel only with the pleasant ones.
On another memorable occasion, I inquired about jewelry and the person brought some out for me to look at. After a few minutes a guy about half my age barged into the jewelry box. I told him to wait his turn, and he made a derogatory "old man" remark to me. The owner and another elderly garage saler overheard it. The owner ordered the rude guy off of her property; the elderly lady then said to me, "I am proud of you for sticking up for your rights." Wearing my World War II, U.S. Navy baseball cap helped.
X Michael J. Lacivita is a Youngstown retiree who recently published a collection of his columns in a book, "Rag Man, Rag Man," by Pig Iron Press.