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October 22, 2020:

THE WILD AND WOOLY DAYS OF EBAY

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, this week is flying by, like a gazelle trying to remember its first eBay purchase.  That was such a fascinating thing yesterday, remembering my first eBay purchase, which led me to remembering my second eBay purchase – five rare Pez machines.  It was originally said that eBay was a Pez-only site, but it later transpired that that story was a load of hooey.  I met the seller at a coffee shop in Culver City and yes, I still have the five Pez machines somewhere, probably where the Buddah is.  Looking at the eBay timeline, I would have bought my first thing at the end of 1996.  It was wild and wooly at that time, especially for those of us who didn’t have a computer – I used my Web TV to make my purchases until I finally got a laptop. There were no real snipe bid programs then, so I you wanted to bid at the last minute you had to be there and hope the Internet speed didn’t screw you up.  I spent many late nights sniping.  I would basically buy anything I saw that looked amusing.  I still have this junk, either in storage or in boxes here.  I would buy anything with the name Kimmel on it – like that wire recording I showed the other day.  I have a tray for Kimmel Valley View Ice Cream, a snow globe/date thing that says Kimmel, a pen that says Kimmel and several other things.  And, of course, I bought my first painting on eBay, which I still have and which I still love – my faux Leyendecker – someone painted in a Leyendecker signature.  Why, who knows?  I thought I’d gotten an amazing deal until I took a photo of it to Illustration House in New York and they set me straight and showed me real Leyendecker paintings – they had six or seven, one of which I bought.  But they were very impressed with the painting and thought the style of it could be one of several well-known illustration artists.  I think it was probably done for a calendar or something.  I also bought the very model Webcor tape recorder that I had as a teen.  I also bought one of those record players that recorded as well as played records.  I never tried to use it, but it’s in mint condition and works and I bought a supply of discs to record on, should I ever be so inspired.  I bought the two rare transistor radios on eBay when it was affordable to get them, the same with an old Bakelite radio, which I still have somewhere.  It used to be in my bathroom on Shadyglade but now it’s somewhere in a box.

I bought Helms Bakery stuff, ash trays and menus from my childhood haunts, a Geiger counter – and just a lot of little cheap things that amused me for whatever reasons.  In those early days, it was nothing like it is now.  It was not “dealers” doing it for a living and trying to charge outrageous prices.  It was just folks putting up whatever junk they had.  You could get great deals on books in those days – not anymore of course.  Anyway, like most things, it was fun when it began and then got too big for its britches and it’s anything but fun now.

Yesterday was a crazy catch-up day because I slept until one – ten hours of sleep, but I had so much to do I really didn’t catch up on everything until just before writing these here notes.  First, I had to forward orders that had come in and that took a while.  Then I heard from friend Dave Strohmaier, who found more master tapes for a film score to a film I’d never heard of, so I made arrangements to get the tapes in the evening.  It’s so interesting I may just put the thing out.

Then I went to the mail place and picked up the package from the day before, then came home.  I ordered a Chinese chicken salad for food, then spent thirty minutes going over the last of the tracks I’d been sent, making adjustments and doing fixes.  The food arrived and was excellent, and whilst eating it I worked on project one, futzing and finessing and trying to get past the bit that’s been taking so much time, which I finally did.  Then I moved forward and got some good work done.

Then I had to go to Dave’s motel and get the tapes.  We chatted for a bit, then I did a quick Gelson’s run and got four little crab claws for a snack, since they basically have almost no calories.  I came home, at the crab claws, which were good, probably not even two ounces of crab all in, and then I did more work on project one and progressed quite well.  Again, I’m not sure how long project one will end up being, so I have no idea how far along I actually am.  Then I finally listened to music and relaxed.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, hopefully there will be more orders, as I’ve extended the sale for one day so overseas buyers have a chance to have the extra day, too, I’ll work on project one, I’ll set the Zoom rehearsals for this weekend, I’ll eat something amusing, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages and mail, and then at some point I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

The rest of the weekend will be working on project one, getting ready for the Zoom rehearsals, doing the Zoom rehearsals, and then also getting some ME time in there somewhere.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up when I’m up, do whatever needs doing, hopefully have more orders, work on project one, set the Zoom rehearsals, eat, hopefully pick up packages and mail, and then watch, listen, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: Easy – what were your first eBay purchases and when, and what are your most treasured purchases you’ve made?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, always happy to remember the wild and wooly days of eBay.

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