When this happens in the show, you'll hear Mike Wolfe say, "I had to have it". Then Frank will chime in with, "The time to buy is when you see it, because you may never see anything like it again."
Well, what you see above is one of those items for me. Much like the 1936 NCR receipt book I purchased earlier this year, I knew I had to have this item (shown above).
First of all, it's intact. There is not one sheet ripped out, and it contains about 50 sheets, with different little store-brand ads interspersed throughout. How does this happen? Did someone love it as much as I did when they acquired it and thought to leave it alone? Or was it a premium when you purchased $10 worth of groceries in 1955 (I'm only guessing at the year, based on the woman's clothes)? Was it a busy summer day when this item was procured, and perhaps shoved in the back of a junk drawer, or has it been sitting in a warehouse somewhere for the past 50-odd years, unearthed when a grocery store was going out of business?
I did a little research about it, and here's what I found, courtesy of my good friend Dave at the AWESOME blog Pleasant Family Shopping:
"1956 was a banner year for Lucky, in which the company entered new geographic markets through the acquisition of three chains – thirty-two Cardinal stores in the Sacramento area, six Food Basket stores in San Diego and ten Jim Dandy stores in L.A., through a merger with Dolly Madison International Foods. Lucky also built nine new stores that year."
So perhaps this little note pad, which I'm now assuming came from the San Diego area (and this would make total sense, since the people from whom I purchased the item live in San Diego), is older than 1955 since they were bought out by Lucky in 1956.
DANG IT! Here's where stuff like this gets tricky! You all know that the gist of this blog is to "take the discarded and make it arted" - it says so right in my banner. But when I get possibly historic or rare stuff like this, I sometimes have a hard time using it. This is a VERY slippery slope because I fear that I'll soon cross into the "collector" category where I'm using white cotton gloves and tweezers to handle my ephemera. Well, I can't let that happen! I already know that a lot of my stuff will go unused, simply because I'm 42 and there is NO WAY I'll be able to use it all in my lifetime (which is why I love doing ephemera giveaways!). I don't want my nieces to have to take a shovel to my studio when I die and use a dumpster to haul all the stuff out because they don't want to sort through it all. No sirs and ma'ams, I'm going to USE MY STUFF.
I need you to be my cheerleaders today! Write me a note of encouragement in the comments and I'll enter you in a drawing for an ephemera pack from me. What the heck? The sun is shining here (FINALLY) and I feel like sharing the love. :D
In the meantime, here are a few pieces where I actually DID put my supermarket ephemera stash to good use:
|"Shopping Day" collage - available for purchase through Etsy|