When I was a kid, I collected rocks. Just plain old rocks. I used to delight in the acquisition of a rock that was slightly sparkly, or a small stone that had a smooth side or an interesting shape. Heart-shaped rocks and stones were my favorites, as were “worry stones”, of which I owned several. (They were plentiful when I was a kid in the 70s!)

When I grew up, I started collecting two things: menorahs and cobalt blue glass pieces. Menorahs these days are so much more than just the traditional “U” shape: they are available in all shapes, sizes, and themes. I have a New York City skyline menorah (including the World Trade Center), I have a pretty menorah that consists of a little chair for every candle, I have a crystal menorah, and so many more. At one time I had more than twenty-five of them.

The glass was even more plentiful around here. I adore the deep, rich color of cobalt, and for a while was gathering every piece I could until it got out of control and I started running out of space. I used to visit antique stores to find more pieces to add to my collection. Strolling through booths full of things that were–at some point–considered to be someone’s treasures was really fun, and I loved the triumphant feeling I got when I found a gorgeous piece that was within my small budget.

Eventually I made some hard decisions and thinned out my menorah and cobalt blue glass collections. I haven’t set foot inside an antique store in a few years. No need, when you’re trying to minimize the “stuff”.

A funny thing happened recently, though. I once again visited an antique store, with–of all people–D. He enjoys checking out antique shops because his girlfriend really likes old perfume bottles. When he discovers an antique shop, he goes in to see what he can find for her. (Nice guy!)

I forgot how fun it is to rifle through piles of antique advertisements, glassware, toys, and other goodies. I saw some very cool salt and pepper shakers, something I always intended to start collecting (but at this point will not!). One of the booths had boxes and boxes of old Playboy magazines, all carefully wrapped in plastic. There were books, old liquor bottles, candlesticks, and countless other beautifully old items whose history I could only imagine.

I thought we hit the motherlode when we found a booth containing antique records. I love looking at old album covers, truly an extinct art form. Sifting through the boxes, we found records from the 1950s and 1960s, the wholesome groups on the covers smiling back at us with pearly white teeth and perfectly coiffed hair.

And then, as it usually does, reality smacked me in the face.

There, in the boxes of old record albums in that booth in the back of that antique shop, were the 1980’s.

I found Howard Jones, the Fixx, Journey, Paul Young, ABC, Bananarama, and two of my favorites, Adam Ant and Duran Duran.

Antiques? NO. WAY.

Sure, it was fine for bands of the 1970s to appear there: I could accept CCR, the Doobie Brothers, and even early Styx as “antiques”…but the Go-Gos? Absolutely not.

I prefer to refer to them as Vintage.

Of course, I picked up a couple of vintage items for framing. You know, for old time's sake.


  • mari

    It’s so strange to see music from the 80s classified as classic, I agree. Always takes me aback. Sometimes it’s because it just doesn’t seem like enough time has passed to quantify the “classic” label, but other times it’s because the music they picked is just horrible.

  • Heather

    As a baby from the 80s (I’d probably be considered a child of the 90s), and a lover of 80s powerhouse rock & monster ballads, I cannot BELIEVE that these things are considered ANTIQUE. Vintage sounds much better, seriously.

  • Tara R.

    Vintage? Antiques? Tell me no! I’ll stick with Classics.

    You’re right about the cover art. It is a dying art form. I should dig out some of my old LPs.