Friday, August 10, 2012

Eastward Ho!

Yesterday, Janet and I loaded up the car with all things pen and pencil and made our annual pilgrimage to the "DC Supershow" in Washington, DC. Normally I’d just do a show report when we got back, but since getting there really is half the fun for us, here’s the fun we had . . .

Our first stop is a great 1950s-style Denny’s diner just on the other side of Zanesville:

After straying a bit from our diet, we’re back on Route 70 and on our way to our second traditional stop, the Barnesville Antique Mall.

More than twenty years ago, when I was avidly collecting antique bottles, a bottle buddy of mine turned me onto this place, which is right on Route 800 in downtown Barnesville, a little town perched high up in the hills of eastern Ohio and about 5 miles of spectacular driving south of Route 70. Although I don’t normally find many pencils there, we always end up spending a hundred bucks or so, because there’s always neat stuff to look at there! This year, no pencils except for a few unsharpened wooden pencils (but I don’t collect those, right?), a 1992 Fuente Fuente Opus X cigar box (complete with two of the cigars!), an old box from the Styron Beggs Company of Newark, Ohio, an Eversharp-Shick razor (a neat add-on for any Eversharp collector), and for Janet, a Fenton glass basket in blue and white slag.

After our rummaging, we’re back on Route 70, crossing over into West Virginia through Wheeling. Yeah, we know 470 is usually faster, but there’s just nothing like crossing the river and passing right through the heart of the city and the Wheeling tunnel.

Besides, what trip is complete without passing this?

In Washington, PA, there’s a great antique mall, located inside a real mall. There’s plenty to look at in there, but since I never find a pen or pencil in there to bring home, I’m not real wild about it and we took a pass on it this year. Just past Washington, we take Route 79 south to Morgantown. We saw a sign for "Antiques Walk Seneca Center" in Morgantown and decided to see what it was about, which made for a neat stop. Turns out it’s an antique store named "Antiques Walk," located in an old renovated glassworks (I think it was the Seneca Glassworks) along with several other trendy shops. A bracelet for Janet, but no pencils except for a Salz Sta-Sharp with box and some pretty tattered paperwork, not to mention a hefty $100 price tag (even after being assured there was a storewide 25 percent discount, the price scared me off).

Just before you leave West Virginia on Route 68 there’s a little antique mall I like to stop in at the Bruceton Mills exit:

Janet’s not crazy about this one – she says it has the same stuff every time we go there, and she’s right – but for years, one of the dealers has had this great store display:

It’s a Parker display, complete with Parker 51 display trays in it. Years ago it was stocked with lots of interesting pens and pencils, but the guy has never restocked it and all the worthwhile ones were cleaned out long ago. Every year I hope this will be the time he’ll sell the whole display for a reasonable figure, but this year it turns out this was the last time I’ll get to see it. The owner told me it sold for $2,000.00 to a guy that has motorcycle memorabilia he wants to display in his garage, and he thought this would be perfect!

Back on Route 68, the ride through the mountains was beautiful:

As in previous years, by the time we pick up Route 70 again in Hancock, Maryland, it’s past business hours so we’ve missed the Hancock Antique Mall; glad we were able to finally hit that one on the way home from the Baltimore Show last March!

The rain started just past Hancock, and it poured buckets from there all the way to within five miles of the hotel.  We finally pulled in around 9:00 in the evening:

At least the truck's clean now, right?  We were tired from the long road trip – not too tired, though, to spend a few hours into the early morning catching up with old friends!

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