Sunday, March 10, 2013

Another Small Treasure

I used to have a TON of these things in the way-back:

Note the imperfections and scouring on/in the glass.  That's the original netting.

It's hard to get a good photo without overwhelming flash.  This is an outtake but I like the way it looks.
That would be a glass Japanese fishing net float, and this particular example was scrounged off of a Japanese beach near Wakkanai, Japan, where literally thousands of these things would wash up on the deserted beaches near the air station.  That was back in the day, of course, said day bein' between 1968 and 1970; this is the sole survivor from those days.  Once upon a time I had about 50 of these floats, many of which looked like this:

The largest float in my collection was at least as large as the one pictured above, and I had about three or four of 'em.  I also gifted my father with a few floats and he kept them out on his patio back in the day.

There's a story behind how I acquired my floats, albeit a short one.  My buds and I would take our mo'sickles to the beach while another friend drove his pick-up behind us.  Once we got about five or ten miles away from the air station we'd park the truck and then take off up the beach on the bikes, which we could ride... unimpeded by anything other than sand dunes... for 20 or more miles.  We'd go on our foraging expeditions at low tide and make a day out of it.  Those were great good days, Gentle Reader... yes, they were. 

Many were the times when we'd return to base with the bed of that pick-up filled with glass floats, and I mean FILLED.  The Deity At Hand only knows how many floats we left lying on the beach... we'd reject "bare" floats (without netting) and the ones we considered undersized.  In case you're wonderin' how we managed to get that many floats back to the truck... we jury-rigged travois-like things on the back of the bikes made from bamboo poles and canvas.  You could haul quite a few balls in those things, but once you were loaded up you had to go kinda slow.  But Hey!  Necessity-invention.

We're gonna run out o' subject matter like this pretty rapidly, coz the artifacts in my personal museum are few and far between.  There was that beer opener I featured back in January; here's another small treasure I posted in the near way-back:
And finally... a remark about our ashtray.  This chromium beauty is an antique of sorts, what with having sat on our father's nightstand since my very earliest memory, which goes back to 1949 or so.  She's a beauty:

This is one of my treasured possessions, albeit one that shows the ravages of time.  The chrome isn't as bright as it used to be and there are pockmarks in the plating.  All that just adds to its beauty though, as far as I'm concerned.  I'm thinking the Ol' Man would appreciate the use this artifact is still getting today.
Yup, small treasures.  We has a few.


  1. The fishing float is pretty cool. But the ashtray that sat on your Dad's night stand is really awesome.

    And to tell you the truth Buck, as time goes by none of us have chrome as bright as it used to be!

    1. Yeah, MY chrome is rusting and pitting... as we speak.

  2. DAMN! My Grandmother (Mom's Mom) had her entire patio decorated with those things. Seriously! I didn't know they were fishing floats...didn't really know at all what they were until now.

    She must have had 40 of them hanging from the rafters in the netting...about a dozen over the Bamboo Bar in the corner.

    Good memories.

    Don't know what happened to them (that's the DAMN part...if they're worth that much), but I remember she took them down in about 1985 when she broke up housekeeping, and sold the house to my Sister & BIL. I am MORE than certain they would have been the REAL thing (if she could find THE REAL THING), because Granny didn't skimp on decorations...or anything else, really.

    And, what Sarge said about the ashtray. Memories...

    1. (that's the DAMN part...if they're worth that much)

      I was shocked when I went googling for these things. I owned an equivalent of a lifetime's supply o' beer and cigars at today's prices (and today's life expectancy), so I echo your "DAMN!" bit. I wonder if The First Mrs. Pennington still has those things? She might...

    2. Well, if she does, and if she's got a mind to...she can turn that trash in to cash, and smoke stogies to her heart's content!

    3. ... and smoke stogies to her heart's content!

      Heh. The last time I shared her company I offered her a cigar as we got ready to kick off Happy Hour. She responded with a comment in Spanish, for which which I declined to seek translation. The curl o' her lip told me all I needed to know. ;-)

  3. When I was in HS we'd find them on the beaches south of Half Moon Bay almost every time we went.
    We we'd get home someone's parents would requisition them.

    1. I had friends in Orygun that told me much the same thing, back in the '70s.

  4. Damn is right. My mother had a few of those float things and I have no idea where she got them. And since I don't speak to her anymore...ah well. I think I may have mentioned to you once Buck that your ashtray has a starring role of sorts in the Mad Men series. Sits on the desk of the lead character - Don Draper played by Jon Hamm.

    1. The First Mrs. Pennington had custody of all o' mine and since I don't speak to her any longer... ;-)

      Then again, I will be seein' the Old Bat later on this month. Perhaps I'll bring this up.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.