Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Fair Day for Yard Sales

It was sunny and breezy, though a bit warmer than earlier in the week, when I woke up for this week's American Top 40 re-run. We jumped ahead two years to late September 1986. I would have been 7 then. While the rest of the US listened to hard rock, R&B, dance songs, and ballads, I tried to deal with my first month of second grade. Hits that early fall included "Friends and Lovers" by Gloria Loring and Carl Anderson, "Typical Male" by Tina Turner, "Throwing It All Away" by Genesis, "Words Get In the Way" by the Miami Sound Machine, "Two of Hearts" by Stacy Q, "When I Think of You" by Janet Jackson, "Dreamtime" by a solo Daryl Hall, "Don't Forget Me" by Glass Tiger, "Dancing On the Ceiling" by Lionel Richie, the remake of "Walk This Way" by Run-D.M.C, and "Take My Breath Away" by Berlin from that summer's blockbuster movie, the action drama Top Gun.

One of my favorite bands of the 80s, Huey Lewis and the News, hit the #1 spot for their second of three weeks with "Stuck On You."

As I did last week, I spent most of the morning and afternoon roaming around, checking out all the fall events. I started out with a couple of yard sales. Didn't find anything in Oaklyn or on Belmont Avenue in Haddon Township, but I did make a score a few blocks away on Mansion. Two girls were selling various odds and ends. Laying in an old coffee can were three American Girl doll dresses. Two were Felicity outfits I already had. One belonged to Kirsten, the retired Swedish pioneer character; it was her summer outfit. I don't collect Kirsten's things, but I thought the Summer Dress was simple enough to work as a sundress for my modern dolls as well, and it was only a dollar.

The fall harvest was out in force at the Collingswood Farm Market. I saw the first chestnuts and large pumpkins of the year today. I dodged people buying food for fall festivals and parties and a man in lederhosen playing polka tunes near the Treehouse Cafe's booth. Picked up broccoli, apples, mushrooms, spinach, and this year's decorative squash and pumpkin. (I don't carve my pumpkin - I'd probably end up carving me! I use it for a fall decorations through Thanksgiving or until it goes bad, whichever goes first.)

I roamed around Collingswood and Westmont for the next two hours, but I didn't really have much luck. I saw the same group of AG dolls that were being sold at the Barrington Antique Store last week...for the same $100-125 dollars. I still say you could buy a doll new for that. (And by the way, Mia, Elizabeth, and Nellie are not Pleasant Company dolls. They were made years after Pleasant Company was sold to Mattel.) Found a cute pumpkin-shaped pan at a sale on Linden further along in Collingswood.

There was nothing interesting at a sale in Westmont. I did better at one in the neighborhood behind the Haddon Township Library and Haddon Township High School. I picked up a nice, really heavy plastic set of teaspoons (I bought the ones I've used for years came from a dollar store) and two records:

Herman's Hermits - On Tour

The original Broadway cast of The Boy Friend with Julie Andrews

Haddon Township had its Block Party on West Park today near the pool and recreational area. I hadn't been able to get over there in four years. I enjoyed it so much the last time I went, I thought I'd give it another try. It was twice the size it was in 2010, with far more food and craft booths, two musical groups, at least six bounce houses, a mini-Ferris Wheel and tilt-a-whirl for the kids, lots of local businesses doing advertising, and a "beer garden" in the rec area's pavilions. I had chicken tacos with tomatoes and cheese and a Black Cherry Bordeaux water ice from Primo's booth.

I rode down Park and into Collingswood, then across Newton Lake Park to the neighborhood on the other side of the lake from CVS. There were supposed to be yard sales down there, but I couldn't find them. By that point, it was past 2 PM. I was tired, sun burnt, and my knees hurt. I finally just headed home.

There was a large package waiting for me when I got in. I took advantage of a free shipping promotion to buy some smaller things I wanted for my American Girl dolls. I mainly bought Samantha's Hairstyling Set for the adorable flower-trimmed straw hat. (The silly little brush included is next to useless - barely gets through Sam's hair.) I bought the current modern Ballet Outfit set for my dancers Whitney and Molly to share because I thought it was a good price ($30) for everything it came with - a cute pink leotard with a skirt, a tutu, a pair of legwarmers, a pair of ballet slippers, two pink scrunchies and a pair of tights. I'm not a big fan of the leotard (that skirt just seems silly to me); otherwise, I really like this set. Whitney looks really cute in it. I also got myself an AG kid-sized coin purse that's been on the clearance pages for months.

Since I changed Whitney, I decided I'd change most of the other dolls into outfits appropriate for late summer - early fall. (Josefina is waiting on two outfits from eBay.) Sam wears her new Bicycling Outfit with the black boots from Rebecca's School Outfit and the Hairstyling Set straw hat. Jessa went 70s in a hand-made blue and purple paisley-print blouse Lauren sent me for Christmas, the embroidered bell-bottom jeans from the 2004 Ready for Fun "Meet" Outfit, and the black mules from Josefina's Dress and Vest. Felicity wears her original Rose Garden Gown that she came in. Molly wears her own navy blue "Meet" skirt, a hand-made blouse with lace trim that originally came with a 50s costume I bought on eBay, Samantha's new Mary-Janes, and the knee socks from Kit's School Outfit.

I listened to The Boy Friend LP while I changed the dolls. Julie Andrews fits in nicely as Polly, a wealthy young lady who hopes to find a "boy friend" at a fancy ball. She falls for a handsome messenger and invites him as her guest, but when he's accused of theft, she's worried he won't show. I'm very fond of this adorable spoof of fluffy 20s shows like No No Nanette, and this is far closer to the original smash London hit than the 1971 movie with Twiggy. "I Could Be Happy With You" is especially charming.

I ran another East Side Kids melodrama while I put the rest of my finds away and settled down. Bowery Blitzerkeg is the first of three East Side Kids movies to pit Mugs (Leo Gorcey) against Danny (Bobby Jordan). It's also the first to feature Huntz Hall as Mugs' goofy buddy Glimpy, and the only time in those three movies that Mugs gets the good-guy role. When Danny falls in with a young crook, the police turn to Mugs to be their representative in the local amateur boxing championship. Mugs feels bad about causing trouble with Danny...until Danny gets hurt and Mugs is the only one who can help.

I spent another fruitless hour after that trying to get through to UPS and the post office about that missing Warner Archives package. It STILL hasn't shown up! And the American Girl package not only got here just fine, but ahead of schedule! I tried to put in a lost package claim online, but both UPS and the post office insist that my tracking number isn't eligible for online file claiming! I can't do anything tomorrow, but I may try to call both again on Monday.

I put on Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation to cheer myself up as I made spiced chicken cutlets with pasta and broccoli for dinner. The second Care Bears film of the 80s is a personal favorite of mine. When three kids get into trouble with an evil, shape-changing demon at a summer camp, original Care Bear and Care Bear Cousin True Heart Bear and Noble Heart Horse try to come to their rescue. They do help twins Dawn and John, but their friend Christy falls into the clutches of nasty Dark Heart, who wants to eliminate the entire Caring clan.

Like the first movie, this is surprisingly dark for an 80s girl-oriented cartoon, almost an animated Faust. Dark Heart may be the most interesting villain ever in the Care Bears series, and probably the only one to show any kind of character development. Little kids may enjoy the animals' antics, but some mild violence and Dark Heart's transformations will require hand-holding and explanations. This is on DVD, but the copy isn't far above the one I dubbed from my parents' 30-year-old video. You maybe better off looking for this one on YouTube or elsewhere online.

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