Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Trailer Trad Grooming: True Bay Rum

Barbershop Aftershave – Superior 70 Bay Rum
I first found out about bay rum aftershave in college when I hung out with some really traditional boarding school preps. Wire-rim eye glasses, pre-sellout Brooks Brothers oxford cloth buttondowns, thin J Press club and rep ties knotted at their waists and used as belts, and bay rum aftershave. Bay rum aftershave? -That sure didn't smell like Polo. I don’t remember the brand but I remember that it wasn’t expensive or dispensed from an expensive decanter. It came in what looked like a rubbing alcohol bottle and barely had a scent. It smelled like an old-time barbershop. That was cool to me. And the girls that clung to the kid who wore this stuff (my roomate) sure seemed to like it.

That kind of low-key traditional grooming product is great but is that stuff even available anymore and where do you look to find a natural bay rum without spending a fortune? Seriously, who would know more about rum than a Puerto Rican rum manufacturer? Then why go any further when looking for bay rum aftershave than Puerto Rico? Superior 70 Alcolado (it's labeled as ‘Alcolado’ on one side of the bottle and ‘Bay Rum’ on the other side) is basically bay rum aftershave masquerading as a rubbing alcohol. Given, it is very mild. But a more honest bay rum like you remember from your old high school barbershop you will not find.

Superior 70 Alcolado is perfect for sterilizing your tweezers and shaving razor or for splashing on after a shower. It is also ridiculously cheap. If they could make it a bit more concentrated, it would be ideal but I have no idea how to contact the company to tell them that. Just recently, a local Walgreens added a Latino section where I can now go and pick it up. Otherwise, the easiest way to get it is to go to Walgreen’s web site and order it on line. Go ahead and order a number of bottles and give them away to friends. -It is that cheap.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Seaside Collecting (reshown)

These aren’t your father’s nautical antiques like old ship’s lanterns, fishing nets or ships-in-a-bottle. I call these ‘seaside’ collectibles because they recall long ago times at the beach or that great old seafood dive, not tall ships and scrimshaw (although those things are great too).

Even though my home in Raleigh is just an hour and a half from the beach, I like reminders. Even if it’s of that cedar shake cottage that I never actually lived in or that mahogany Chris Craft run-about that I’ve never actually owned (but will one day!). Some examples include; weathered oars, outboard boating collectibles like oil cans, old yachting trophies or just things with nautical motifs like old drinking glasses with sailboats on them. Such items are scarce and highly coveted these days.

This beautiful stone lithograph poster was produced in the 1930s for Kinney’s Shoes. I bought it from a lady who sold shoes there for many decades and had it kept rolled up in the attic.

This Duplex outboard motor oil can from the 1930s is one of my favorite finds because I pulled it straight out of an ancient gas station in Washington DC. The gas station was legendary in the Glen Echo area and the owner was a big power boater on the Potomac for decades. –Oh, the cool stuff that was in that gas station!

I love this enameled steel thermometer from the 1940s. I found it in an antique store but it was completed coated in white house paint. I bought it, took it home and applied paint stripper to it. The paint came completely off revealing this awesome yachting finish advertising. –Only pull this trick on enameled steel (‘porcelain’) signs and try it on a small area first!

One of our most prized possessions is a watercolor of the New Hampshire coast painted by one of my Wife’s relatives in the 1940s. His name is Richard Epply and he was a lesser-known commercial artist in New England. Check out the great details like the woodie wagon and the weathered boathouse.

Ice Cream You Scream: Vintage Ice Cream Wrappers

Here in Raleigh, it has been very hot. Since the Dog Days appear to be here already, I thought I'd cool off everyone with some vintage ice cream wrappers. -Ring, Ring. Do I hear the icecream man up the street?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Trailer Trad Happy Father's Day!

In honor of Father's Day, I thought I'd show off La Petite Madamoiselle Legume. -Not bad, huh?She gets her looks from her Mother.

Flash forward many years to a recent evening. After a long hard day for Dad, Lil' Bean began hitting me lightly in the shoulder. Over and over. And over. "What are you trying to accomplish!" I asked in desperation. She retreived her white board and drew a quick illustration. Kind of like that long-haired guy in the UPS commercials. The following is her interpretation of what she was trying to accomplish.She gets her sense of humor from her Dad. Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Trailer Trad Grooming: The Right Toothbrush

The Right Toothbrush

What’s happened to toothbrushes? While I realize the benefits of motorized toothbrushes, I have working wrists and am more than capable of generating the action needed to cleanse my big yap. However, where are the plain ol’ toothbrushes that can fight plaque and, if needed, clean the grime from M-1 rifle barrels?

What I don’t need is a five dollar toothbrush that looks like something that you hop on and fly around on at Hogworts Academy. And then, after a week, the bristles bow outward or get stuck in your teeth. A plain, well-made plastic toothbrush at a good price was no where to be found. Until now.

Reach by Johnson & Johnson puts out an economy pack of plain acrylic sturdy toothbrushes in cool colors like emerald green and cobalt blue. Four for $6.00 at Target works for me.

Blog entry update – As with most traditional products that are good, solid values, the Reach toothbrush four packs were removed from my Target much to my chagrin. They have been replaced by more of the flimsy, flashy jobs. So, as it is with most traditional products that are good, solid values these days, I rooted around on the internet to find what I want. At Walgreens, the manager found some in the back for $1 a toothbrush and I bought every one.-Score!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Trailer Trad Collecting: May Picking

It's Springtime in Raleigh and the yard sales are in bloom. As always, it's tough to find cool stuff but hopefully some of this will strike your fancy...
These chairs probably came out of a doctor's office and are straight 50's. Great yellow color and Mid-Century streamlined design. They are built like tanks and weigh a ton.
These drafting tables originally came from a architecture design department and are made of oak. They have a great industrial look and can be used as a kitchen island or dining table in addition to meeting your drafting needs!
I bought these antique Japanese samurai woodblock prints at a yard sale in downtown Raleigh. The lady holding the sale said that her Granddad was stationed in China and brought them back with him. They are well executed and could have done in 1930....or 1730.
I really can't tell since I can't read Japanese. She was nearly sixty so I'm guessing that they were brought back Home in the 1930s.
This 1915 basketball team photo was picked up at the fleamarket. The team is from 'EHS' (Episcopal High School?) and the studio that took the photo was from New York. Cool image even though the matt was chewed up.
Industrial look, anyone? These steel stools are from the 1950s and are quite popular right now. The Steel Case model above is really nice considering the great condition of the upholstery and paint.
This bench was actually a better find than it looks. I bought this bench from the same lady that I got the Japanese prints from. It's a fairly old country bench with a few 'cut' nails and original 'pumpkin' color paint. Among country painted-furniture fans, pumpkin ranks alongside robins egg blue as the most desirable furniture color.

What is this? It's a quilt made out of old silk labels strips from a textile mill. A mill worker probably gathered these, took them home and made a quilt out of the scraps. Some of the old labels are pretty cool.