Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Game On...Penny Pinball Beginnings

It was 1929...things weren't that great in the country. People were looking for work and wanted entertainment and amusement.
That set the stage for creative entrepreneurs to figure out ways to meet the needs for only a thin hundredth of a dollar...come play "pinball."
So aptly named since the board was a series of pins surrounding holes the balls dropped through. You scored points and tested your skill in shooting or moving the game...(this action will cause "tilt" to come in to play).
The game above is Bally Hoo, named after a popular magazine of the day. It was made in got 7 balls for 1 cent. Later they came out with the same game playing 10 balls for 5 cents. That's where I believe the game's makers have it figured out...during the Great Depression they bumped up the price 4 cents and gave you a measly 3 additional balls to play...wowzers...and then they formed the Bally company.
The popularity of the game was remarkable. And pinball's popularity remains today...whether you like these early games, the wood rails, electro-magnetic, electronic, or digital the allure is all the same...they're cooler than the other side of the pillow.
Enjoy your games and visit us @
Check out some ultra cool new stuff we just posted.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's Game Time...The Coin-op Craze

This time of the year is always a great time to remember and collect some super fun games from the past.
If it takes a coin to operate...I'm a player. I've been bug-nuts about coin-ops since I was a kid playing the jukebox, pinballs, gumballs, trade stimulators, or any other game that took a coin...usually a penny or a nickel in those days. Boy were they fun to play...requiring not only a coin, but usually some skill also. Like the Duck Hunter gumball in the got to shoot the penny right at the ducks. You always got a gumball, but you had some real fun getting it.
Some of my favorites were the "Pitch and Bat" baseball and a buddy could have a lot of fun playing those. Check out the Williams Shortstop Deluxe we have for sale on the website...super cool.
The holiday season always makes me think of the cool games from my youth...boy have things it's not about electro-mechanical, it's all digital. Skill is still required...I just like all the jingle-jangle bells & whistles and things moving & whirring as you played.
You can tell I really like these based on the stuff under Coin-Op/Arcade at still play 'em, fix 'em, and sell 'em.
Enjoy an old time arcade or coin-op game ...and rev up the fun old skool.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shifting Gears...Round Top Fall Show

Wow...I can't believe's time for the semi-annual Antiques Weekend in and around Round Top, TX.
I'm hitting the highway on Thursday headed for the show. I'll be set up at La Bahia which is on FM 237 just off Hwy 290 near Burton, TX. Austinites can slip in the back way or from Houston you can just take US 290 to FM 237 toward Round Top...from Houston, La Bahia is the first venue on your right.
This is my 2nd show at La Bahia as I've traditionally been in Fayetteville, TX. I've gone all in at La Bahia this year and won't be in Fayetteville at all.
At La Bahia, I'm right in front of the dance hall beginning Friday 24 Sep - 2 Oct from 8 am -6 pm daily.
I've got some very cool stuff in a variety of different styles...Victorian, Coin-Op, Advertising, Primitive, Country, Mid-Century, Retro, Architectural, Garden/Patio, and Country Store.
I hope you'll come by and see me and the other great dealers at La Bahia this weekend...or anytime on through Saturday 2 October.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Recycled Furniture: Affordable and Stylish

Lately I've been thinking about how people buy furniture...and, what makes the decision easier when confronted with similar pieces.
When I recently received my "FALL" copy of Atomic Ranch magazine, I was floored as to how much of the furniture decor in the articles was new...not vintage.
Now, I really like Atomic Ranch (they're fixin' to come out with another book which should be outstanding just as the first) but the new stuff just doesn't do it for me.
So, I get to pondering why would someone buy reproduction pieces...and, Boy Howdy, I can list a lot of reasons...ease and speed are just a couple that quickly come to mind. We are a society of instant gratification...I know, when I sell on eBay, if it's a European or Pacific Rim buyer, they'll go for the cheapest shipping which takes the longest time for delivery...but, if it's a US buyer they want it shipped ASAP...just cultural differences, I guess.
Finding just the right authentic vintage or retro piece for your decor can take time and be daunting...easier to head up to IKEA and hope it's still in one piece when you get home.
I trust what we sell at Roadhouse Antiques and Vintage will last...heck, it's already made it through 50 years of use and should easily last another 50 years...quality endures.
The investment value alone should have people leaning toward authentic pieces...prices are another factor.
Pricing MCM furniture against reproduction should have you solidly in the vintage corner as the real deal is usually less costly than the reproduction. I keep an IKEA catalog close at hand to leaf through from time to time just to remind myself of their prices.
But thrifting, going to estate sales, combing through Craigs List takes time. It seems infinitely more gratifying and an effort worth making, but not for all.
We try to make it easy on the buyer by amassing the goods, hauling 'em to a central location (Austin, TX), and posting for sale below market pricing.
The dealers love us when we hit town with a new trailer load...they want to get the top-end merchandise off the open market and into their stores before the end user can find them on our CL postings...I'm constantly asked if all of our MCM furniture is on our website. The quick answer is NO, it isn't because it sells so fast here in town it's almost fruitless to post it at where we have our other listings.
I hope you find what your looking for and always think about contacting us for special requests...our "pickers" in the mid-west will keep an eye open for you.
Hasta Luego from the Roadhouse in Austin...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Antique Furniture: Does It Have A Future?

Here's an important question for the antique community..."Is there a future for antique furniture?"
When I ask this question, I'm referring to the furniture from the early 1900s and back. The pie safes, primitives, step-back cupboards, and ladder-back chairs we all used to sell.
The reason the question is relevant, to me, is because I don't see too many 25-44 year olds buying this era of furniture much anymore. And, that's my target demographic: 25-44 year olds...and, that's why I am almost exclusively selling Mid-Century and Danish Modern furniture today.
About three (3) years ago, I detected a decline in sales of early antiques circa 1850-1940. The more I analyzed it, the more troublesome it appeared. My sales of antiques from that era where to people 60 years old or older. These are people who are now downsizing, not collecting anymore, or selling off their antique collections. That's when I started to pay attention to what my kids & and their friends were collecting and decorating with...Mid-Century and Danish Modern.
I immediately changed the focus of Roadhouse Antiques & Vintage and my clientele instantly became 25-44 year olds. I'm glad I did and, I haven't looked back since.
So again, the question is..."What's the future of antique furniture, if the young folks aren't buying it?" Who will buy it and for how long? What's going to happen with all of the great Victorian era furniture?
Now, don't think I've lost my antique marbles because I do realize this is somewhat of a regional phenomenom. Old Victorian homes of the south demand furniture from that era, old farmstead homes need primitives, early homes of the eastern seaboard will always demand like furnishings...but, there aren't many young collectors out there with those styles in the forefront.
Young dealers and collectors at the shows I frequent are into "Pop Culture." Most of their parents were/are dealers and collectors, so they grew up in the business. But, they deal in what they like, what turns 'em on, what they enjoy, just as we did and still do.
I'd sure like to see some feedback on the question and hope some of you reading this will give me your opinion of where antiques are headed...mostly furniture. The young crowd still loves all my advertising, coin-op, arcade, native-american collection, and other things, but not the old furniture we sold so well for so many years.
Back years ago, young people started with the "Golden Oak" age, progressed to Victorian era as they became more sophisticated buyers/collectors, and then ventured to primitives, or Gothic about as far back as they seem to go is Art Deco.
It's a question I ponder and frequently ruminate on...
I hope to hear from you on this because I don't have a ready answer...Hasta luego.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Woodstock Tribute..."I was the one with long hair in levis"

Woodstock...1969's the same time, only 41 years later.
We were there!
Along with 500,000 of our best least that's the way it worked out...whatever was needed was provided.
Cooler than the otherside of the pillow.
Great experience...and a wonderful summer of '69.
Pete called me and reminded me where we were...we didn't go to Woodstock together, but ran into each other while we were there. Imagine finding a hometown buddy among 1/2 millon people in northern NY???
Salud...Woodstock...1969...I loved it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Beat Goes On: Back in Austin

Well, after a brief hiatus from the blog because of traveling...I'm back in Austin. Back at home in "The Live Music Capital of the World" and glad to be here.
It's good to be back even if it's over 100 degrees these is the dog days of summer.
I arrived back in Austin in mid-July with another trailer load of Mid-Century Modern furniture scored up in Lima, OH. My "picker" had it all ready to go and I got some way cool stuff...including the vintage 1972 Stella guitar in the photo. This load had 6 instruments...the best was the circa 1900 German-made Conservatory violin by Miller. I had it "shopped" by Stephen Schock Violins in Bloomington, Indiana before returning to Austin.
Probably the coolest piece I got sold immediately to a MCM shop here in was a Bassett room divider...2 piece with 9 open cubby holes on the top and credenza-like base in a rich walnut. I always tell my customers not to wait to check out the new merchandise...'cause Austin's dealers don't wait. I really think alot of the reason why the dealers hit my loads so fast upon returning to Austin is not only because it's great stuff at good wholesale prices, but also because it takes it off the market except in their store, i.e. I no longer am a competitor after they buy my stuff. One dealer got all my money-makers, but gave me a fair price we both agreed on.
Anyway, it was a lot of work in the heat as we had to unload the trailer, then load the trailer for a show on the weekend.
Yesterday I had some clients come by to get the 1960s sofa/daybed and I had to pull it out by helper and I had stacked it on some chairs and put a Walter Baermann couch on top of it...whoa, hard to do alone, but they bought two pieces which I'm delivering up in North Austin off MoPac.
Sorry about the delay in posting here...after arriving on a Sunday evening, I got together with some friends and went tubing the Guadalupe River at Canyon Lake on Monday, then we did the unload/load followed by City Wide Garage Sale...Austin's Antique and Vintage Market, then on Monday following the weekend show we unloaded the trailer reloaded again and headed to Fayetteville to get more merchandise on site in preparation for Round Top.
This fall's Antiques Weekend show in Round Top, TX you will find me at La Bahia on Highway 237...I will NOT be at Fayetteville as usual...I'm all in at La Bahia. You can find me there in a tent facing the building beginning 24 Sep - 2 October...hope to see you there.

Monday, June 28, 2010

KFC...Kevin's Fat Cat

Well Scamp is headed back on the road...we're cuttin' and runnin' on Thursday for another Mid-Century Modern, MCM, furniture load out of Indiana & Ohio...KFC is going along as usual.
KFC was a nick name he got from my neighbors...I'm like, what's that all about?
Answer...KFC is short for Kevin's Fat Cat...geez, he's big, he's not obese, but he is one large feline weighing in at about 22 lbs.
Anyway, he's the traveling cat of the antique show we put on the road.
We're headed all the way up to Lima, OH about 60 miles south of the Toledo and the lake for this pickup...I never know what's going to be on the load, just that we have a load waiting.
Kinda like Christmas or your's always a surprise...that's because my picker is not real computer savvy...enough said.
Scamp, the "travelin' cat" is headed out on this buying trip as usual...he loves to antique and likes hangin' out at the farm, which is where we hub from.
We're going to bring back a trailer load of Mid-Century and Danish Modern furniture to the Austin market...and Scamp/KFC will be along for the entire ride...yippie-ki-yo-ki-yea...meow.
Check out our way cool stuff @
Hasta luego...we'll be back in Austin on July 11 selling and yelling...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Rusty Franklin Boots...San Angelo, Texas

Here are my boots made by Rusty Franklin from San Angelo, Texas...Rusty's retired now, but my boots aren't.
These are some of the best wearin' boots I've ever had on my feet. Rusty and his cousin Rod were the best to work with ever, along with Rusty's shop foreman Eugene Lopez. When Rusty retired he sold his lasts and paperwork to Robert Brest of Brest Boot and Saddle Shop in San Angelo.
You can find out more about Rusty Franklin Boots on pages 68-69 of Tyler Beard's & Jim Arndt's The Cowboy Boot Book.
Rusty's mom was Joyce Leddy, M. L. Leddy's daughter and Rusty grew up in the Leddy boot shop in San Angelo. That's why his boots resemble Leddy boots so much, right down to the "cookie stitch." That's the short little stitch along the inside of the vamp next to the piping, which you'll only find on Leddy and Franklin boots. The throat of the boot, the toe, the counter, and even the "toe bug" look a lot like Leddy boots.
This proved to be very true one day over in Bryan, TX when I was waiting in line to do some banking. A cowboy up in front of me just kept looking at my feet...finally he up a says, "hey, are those boots from San Angelo." I told him, "made by Rusty Franklin, San Angelo, Texas." He said he could tell by the toe.
Now the wider square toe is very popular today...but I'll stay with the 1" hog-nose. This a similar toe to my Stewart Boots I posted a while back and right on the Stewart-Romero boots from their shop in LA back in the 50s.
Rod Franklin and I put these boots together with colors I wanted...the first pair Rusty made were the green tops, followed by the yellow tops, and finally the black tops. The black tops have a 8-stitch pattern with colorful varigated thread...which came out pretty good.
The vamps are all kangaroo hide and soft as butter...and, they're all custom, so they fit me like a glove.
There are still some quality boot makers in San Angelo...Leddy moved their shop downtown with glass windows separating the showroom from the boot shop, very cool. Of course Robert Brest is there, and Mercer has a downtown shop too, and there's at least one more small boot shop.
Anyway, more later and until then keep on the hunt for cool vintage and retro stuff...and shop our site @
Always tell me what's hot and what you're looking for...we're headed out on another buying trip the first 2 weeks of July...all the way up to Lima, OH with stops along the way...hasta luego and happy trails.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Stewart Boots - Romero Boots...Then Stewart-Romeros of the1950s you've got the individual boots of the Stewart Boot Company of Tucson, AZ on the left and the Romero Boot Company from Mexico on the right.
If you look critically, you'll see the components of each of their designers, artists, and makers in the Butterfly Boots in the prior blog.
Check out the collar of the both boots...very similar and in the Stewart-Romeros they just made the collective style a cut-out overlay with the same general pattern.
The throat of both boots is almost identical...that's the part in front going up from the vamp connecting to the upper part of the boot. When they made Stewart-Romeros, they really didn't change it because both companies did it the same...and that is a true "artist mark" for most boot makers.
Fancy boots were popularized by the movie cowboys of the 1930s through 1950s. When Stewart and Romero teamed up to open a boot shop in Los Angeles in the was paramount. Tom Mix had boots with a heel so pointed it just covered a quarter. Gene and Roy had boots desired by kids of the time.
With the success of these western movies, singing cowboys, and cowboy heroes everyone wanted to be part of the action...and, Stewart-Romero did some outstanding work.
The toes of Stewart-Romeros were a slight compromise between the two boot companies, and were a "hog nose" square which was a 1" undercut. The wingtip overlays were pure Romero as was the counter of the boot...I've never seen Stewart do anything as fancy.
It was a great joint venture which produced some very cool boots...still found today.
Keep an eye out for Stewart Boots, Romero Boots, and Stewart-Romero Boots.
I've recently found some very cool examples at second-hand shops, eBay, and other can still be done.
Happy hunting and keep searching for cool stuff, like you'll find at ...hasta luego.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Vintage Butterfly Boots...Cool Look and Style

Wow...Butterfly Boots. How much cooler can it get? I love the famous, infamous, and notoriously beautiful art of Butterfly Boots.
These are some of the boots I've scrounged over the years...all are Stewart-Romero made boots.
Stewart-Romeros were a combination of Stewart boots of Tucson, AZ and Romero boots from Mexico...and I got really excited about these because I'd worn Stewarts when I was a drugstore cowboy back in Tucson in the 1970s. Once I discovered Romero boots, I did a little research and found out the two boot makers combined efforts in the 1950s in Los Angeles for Stewart-Romero Boots. They made some outrageously beautiful boots represented in the picture above...Butterfly Boots were one of their trademark styles.
I have some of my old Stewarts still and I have one pair of Romero boots I found here in Austin. The Stewart-Romeros I have I rustled from a few different locations.
One time I asked my boot maker, Rusty Franklin, to replicate the Stewart stitching on a pair of boots he was making for me...his response was, "can't do it without loosing part of pattern." The reason was, I'd shortened the top so much he couldn't get it all on there...I stuck with the shorter top and Rusty's stock top stitch.
I'll get y'all some pics of Rusty's boots too...he's retired, but he was an excellent bootmaker from San Angelo, Texas..."hat's off to ya' Rusty."
I'll show y'all a pair or two of my Stewarts and the Romero boots I have...Stewart may have been the only maker to use horsehide rather than cowhide for their boots. They had the great "Texas toe" and wear like a champ and they're still in business.
Until then, yippie-ki-yo-ki-yea and keep an eye peeled for way cool Butterfly Boots...hasta luego and good hunting.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rockabilly Jackets...Too Cool for Sunday School

This is the coolest Rockabilly jacket ever...created at Roadhouse Antiques, there's not another one like it anywhere. I created this for some snap and pizzaz when hanging around Austin...and boy does it generate a buzz when I wear it.
I had this one made when I couldn't find what I was looking for in a short cut, mariachi style western jacket. And, since there wasn't anything out there that blew my socks off, I decided to create one for myself.
Since I had this one done, I've made two others for myself and couple for other ex has one she fell in love with.
What I discovered while making these was it was a lot easier making jackets for guys than for gals...sorry about that ladies, but you just have more curves to worry about...I could do custom work in making women's jackets but if I didn't have the exact measurements, it's a crap shoot.
Anyhow, I have a few of these my closet...all different styles. And if I'm wearing one of 'em around town I'll get stopped by people on the street wanting to know where I got the jacket. I was wearing one at a show here in Austin one time and Mike Cavendar just kept staring at the coat. He couldn't quite figure it out...something was familar but then again it wasn't. Mike finally asked me, "did you make that jacket?" To which I replied "yep" with a big grin on my face.
Although, there are similar jackets out there by Scully and maybe some others, none quite have the look these do...mainly because they're custom made to fit me and I think we're cutting 'em a little shorter than off the rack jackets. I want that jacket sitting just above my belt so, if I've got a fancy belt with a great buckle it'll show.
I don't need all the jackets, so I've got this one up on Roadhouse Antiques' web site @ for thing for sure, if you have this jacket you won't ever meet yourself coming down the street because it's custom made and there ain't no more.
Kick up you heels and go boot scootin'...we'd love to see you waltz across Texas with the Rockabilly jacket and some great boots from the Roadhouse...hasta luego.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Classic Advertising...Retro Art

Roadhouse Antiques recently listed a great selection of vintage advertising...with some very cool die cut litho art. A lot of the pieces are from the early part of the 20th century and run up through the 1960s. This is the "golden age" of advertising to me. It's classic, it's creative, it's colorful, and it's cool. It's from the time before computers, when the art work was done by hand, the concepts were simpler, and the work was true art. Not to denigrate today's advertising because some of it is's just different from the early stuff.
Check out some of the vintage advertising we have posted for sale and you'll find some really great art. Like "Dr Morse's Indian Root Pills," pure chicanery, quack medicine, but great advertising.
You have to appreciate some of the quack products, snake oil, and elixers sold in the of my favorites was Hadacol. They finally took it off the market...probably because Hadacol was 12% alcohol...even teatotalers would take Hadacol with the recommended dosage a Tablespoon 4 times a day and some before would likely take the edge off the day.
Advertising such as the litho on tin sign above would never be condoned today...not politically correct. It has young children smoking cigars...ain't gonna happen in today's hypercritical world. The sign is also embossed, which is an expense most advertisers wouldn't okay today.
Coca-Cola has some great vintage advertising...and, they do some great advertising today, but the medium is much different. In the early 20th century, most advertising was signage...and, it had to catch your attention to compel you to buy the product. Nothing subliminal, nothing repetitive, no pop-ups...just straight forward graphic advertisements.
Check out our recent postings to view some really cool early advertising art...whether it's Coke ads for your game room, food ads to decorate Mom's kitchen, tobacco oriented advertising "sins," or great lithography for the art of the ad, Roadhouse has some way cool stuff for spicing up your decor.
If you're looking for any thing in particular, let me know. I have some larger hand painted signs not posted on the site as well as some neon, advertising clocks, and other product advertising...let me know what you'd like to see.
What really revs me up is the "art" of the advertising...absolutely love it.
My degree in art specializing in graphic design, can help you understand my passion for early advertising art.
Keep looking for cool stuff...and enjoy your hunt.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rockabilly Vintage Boots...Didn't Make the Tour

Rocket Ranch Roadhouse keeps a broad selection of vintage & retro boots in stock. Austin is a great market for them...partly because so many dealers carry them making for a great competitive selection. There must be thousands of vintage boots in Austin for sale at any given time.
We do love our vintage and retro here in Austin.
Selling vintage, retro, i.e "previously owned boots" is an art and a science...mostly because you buy what's available and cannot always have the right size for your clients. Or as they say in the rag and shoe business, "the distribution" of sizes is not complete.
The boots shown are a great pair of vintage Tony Lama boots with red stitching and piping and the highly sought after "roach killer" toe. This toe is from time-to-time referred to as an "X" toe, or simply "pointed toe." Boot makers will have this in their repertorie and you can find a less extreme version by Old Gringo and other retro reproducers. Here in Texas the most common reference to this particular toe is the "roach killer" so named because you could kill a roach in the corner with this's that pointed.
I was trying to find a pair of black boots for Lucky Tubb the other day before he hit the road for a tour east and then on to Europe.
If you don't know Lucky Tubb and the Modern Day Troubadors, check out their MySpace page...a great Austin Rockabilly band. They're headed out across the midwest to the east coast and then back to Texas before jetting off to Europe for some gigs in Belguim and the Netherlands...Rockabilly is hot over there as well.
This is exactly the type of boot he was looking for, unfortunately the size was wrong and we couldn't fit him...we'll keep trying.
I called around to some of my buddies who also carry a good selection but without any success...the request was very boot with roach killer toes, and preferrably a distinctive underslung riding heel. Lucky was out of luck on this one.
We love the boots, but fit is always an issue when selling previously owned boots. If your looking and find a pair you like, they fit, and they're within your budget, you should spring for 'em on the spot.
I'm going to get into some of the other Rockabilly gear we have in stock in the next blog...Austin has a great selection of "pearl snap" shirts and my good friend K T Antiques always has bunch of cool ones at great prices. But there's a lot more including accessories such as hats, belts, pants, western suits, and so on.
So for next time...look for a little about some very cool Rockabilly jackets we've been putting out for sale...they are show stoppers. I can't tell you how many times I've been stopped on the streets of Austin wearing one of Rocket Ranch Roadhouse's one-of-a-kind short cut jackets with pearl snap closures. One of 'em even stunned Mike Cavender of Cavender's Boot City.
Catch Lucky Tubb and The Modern Day Troubadors on tour right now...great music from a great the great-nephew of ET, the great Ernest Tubb.
Until next time...hasta luego...and, good luck in your hunt for cool stuff whatever it may be.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Letter Jackets...Above & Beyond MCM

I love the Mid-Century Modern look in and accessories. I also have a penchant for other things extending into the MCM experience. This includes a lot of different elements, some of which I've collected over time...many long before I began bringing in MCM furniture and seeking the appropriate accessories to highlight those pieces.
I've always been a fan of cool retro jackets and have quite few in my closet. When I first started finding athletic jackets, club jackets, and the like I was rather naive about the genre.
The blue & white satin jacket in the middle of the picture is an unmarked "club jacket" from the 1950s. I found this jacket in a bundle of clothing I bought in 1978...thought it was cool and kept it. I've worn it a number of times before retiring it to "display only" status. That's when I began to learn about the "reversibles" and concentrated my efforts there.
Let me explain the "reversibles." These are club and athletic jackets which are fully reversible giving you two different looks. They are usually melton wool on one side and satin on the other. It's rather rare to have both sides display a team or club logo, name, or other graphic, but it's possible...rare, but possible.
What's so cool about the "reversibles" is you have two jackets in one...and two distinctive looks. I love to be searching a secondhand store or flea market and find a reversible jacket...I get jazzed, especially when the price doesn't take into account the rarity of the jacket. A lot of times the seller has no idea the jacket is a reversible. If this is the case, I'll usually point it out...then I'll buy the piece if the price is reasonable. Here's the quickest way to tell if you have a "reversible' jacket, 1) you have closing snaps on the inside and outside, or 2) pockets on both sides...both identifiers are the first thing I look for when I'm checking out a jacket.
I obviously get a bigger kick out of a jacket that fits me, but will buy smaller ones also, just because I like the style. Some will have the name of the original owner sewn across the left front...athletic jackets usually have the original name inside one of the pockets. So, if you find a cool letter jacket, check inside each pocket to see if there's name sewn inside...many times you can tell by the name whether it was a guy's or gal's jacket. Not that it makes any difference, but it's fun to know. I have jackets from junior high school up through college...I had a cool letter jacket from Yale not long ago and sold it at a market here in Austin. The best finds outside of "reversibles" are jackets with a lot awards...District Champs, All-State, State Champs, etc. Some even come with other doodads...I have one "reversible" girl's jacket with "Going Steady" strings on the letter. Usually from the 50s or early showed the gal wearing the jacket was not available...gotta love those little signs from the past. Also you'll find a lot of metal pins indicating a sport...some will be sewn into the letter or jacket but a lot were metal and simply attached.
I'm finding a recent surge in demand for vintage and retro letter jackets...maybe it's because of Lady Gaga's video with the dancers all wearing vintage letter jackets.
Anyway...I've been collecting for over 30 years and still wear 'em.
I've got one reversible with the name "Lenny" over the left chest. I've worn it to parties and been called "Lenny" all evening by people who didn't know me, just assumed I must be "Lenny" because that's what the jacket said. That jacket is one that has info on both sides as "Lenny" is on the front of the wool side and the white satin reversible side has "N C E" on the back. I have no idea what "N C E" stands for...but, what the that point whatever you make up sticks.
What better way to have fun, enjoy collecting, and have a useful piece all at the same time...besides you can have an alter ego when you wear them.
Enjoy the hunt the cool, vintage, retro, and antique you'll find at Roadhouse Antiques & Vintage on-line and at home in Austin.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Off the Wall...Yard Art

Well, here we go talking about off-the-wall yard art "OTWYA". That could be a major descriptor, over stated, or under stated. I cannot describe with any forethought how this developed in my back yard...but, I'll give it a shot.
Some years back while living in Lubbock I was constantly checking out the local vintage/resale stores. From time-to-time I'd come across metal hubcaps selling for .30-.90 cents apiece. Now, I don't really want them, but at the same time I'm thinking...hmmm...we don't really use metal hubcaps anymore. now it's either fancy rims or plastic hubs. So, I just started to buy 'em at those prices.
The first time I took a bunch of metal hubcaps to an antique show they brought no interest...zilch, nada, zero. I tried a couple of more times and even listed a Plymouth 1930s cap on eBay...zilch, nada, cero.
That's when my decorator and friend went for the "collection" of hubcaps to grace the interior walls of the patio deck. The idea used the available caps and it looked great.
Then one fall, while over in Fayetteville, TX at the show I find a farmer who had 100s just lying in a field.
Well...gotta say I instantly popped over to his place and grabbed all I could find.
I was diggin' through the tall grass, trollin' in thickets, and generally finding metal hubcaps of all types and varieties...I've been over to that place 4 times and I'm still findin' hubcaps.
Now...there was just no place to put 'em all. Stacked up, I was always tripping over 'em, so I cleaned, polished, and put them on the back fence for a little south Austin yard art.
They catch the evening sun and sparkle like a West Texas twilight...and the hubs stash just keeps growin'. Now,...I'm always lookin' for metal hubcaps.
I've got a couple in the house...the too cool for Sunday School 1950s moon spinner with the saturn stamps, some of the '58 Chevy Impalas with the checkerboard design. Those help decorate the game room & achieve a MCM 50s-60s feel.
BTW...I'll be moving the Williams Pitch and Bat game in soon. It's the 1958 Shortstop Deluxe wood-rail machine where the players pop up and run around the bases. There's two pitch speeds and a batter...great two player game.
I'll post on the day the Williams comes to join Elton's Pinball'll be a challenge to get both in with all the 50s furniture...hasta luego
If you see any metal hubcaps, let me know...I plan to build this year's Christmas tree out of found hubcaps.
Good luck in your pursuit of vintage, antiquities, retro, and all-round cool old hubcaps.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Accessorizing: The Final Touch

To me, adding the right accessories to your MCM decor can really set off the can make it or break it. We talked about how you can successfully blend different styles such as the earlier "MCM Meets Southwest" article. Accessorizing can distinquish your decor, identify your style, and add enjoyment and pleasure for you and your guests.
Picking the right accessories can be a daunting task or a "walk in the park" depending on your decorating decisions.
You can make it easy if you know the theme you want. Is the theme color based, collection based, era based, or have some other basis?
Here's an example of how my decorator and I did my home...When we were choosing the accessories to add, my decorator kept asking me the same question..."What collections do you have?"
Well, that's why the guest bath walls are all covered in old Mexican sombreros of all sizes and styles.
That's also how we developed the backyard decor of old hubcaps on the patio and back fence...more on this little episode later...I don't know too many people who have 100s of old metal hubcaps just lying around.
Meanwhile back at the ranch...she took my different collections and began to theme each room.
The guest room looks like a 1950s high school sportsfan room...full of old athletic memorabilia, letter jackets, and pennants.
The living room has a surf/skate theme...and each skateboard has an old western hat hanging on it.
The game room has pinballs, slot machines, gumballs interspersed with old Ranch Oak furniture from the A. Brandt Furniture Co. from Fort Worth, TX.
So, my decor was collection based...from what I had collected or kept over the is amazing how much of my accessories are things from my past I never threw out.
You can do it any way that works for you, but just the right set of lamps, just the right starburst clock, or just the right area rug, just the right cocktail set can really brighten a room and further establish your "style."
Good luck with accessorizing your decor.
Now, let's think about yard art and hubcaps...hasta luego

Monday, May 3, 2010

Antiques & Vintage Retro: A Green Investment

I always like to point out to my customers and clients the advantages, in today's world, of buying "used" and "recycled" furniture and accessories...or antiques, if you will.
I've always been impressed with the quality and craftsmanship in older furniture and accessories...made in America, built by American craftsman, of American materials. Up until about 1980 most things were made in the US and then shipped for sale. Today we see more things coming from China or other Pacific Rim countries...the labor costs are cheaper, the material is cheaper and hence, the final product is cheaper (read not made to last).
The things Roadhouse Antiques & Vintage offers for sale via our shows, website, or other Etail opportunities are things that have survived for 50 years or longer. They are things that will last another 50 years and beyond.
We scour markets, shops, barns, fields, sites, and other places to provide you with the best we can find...we're true recyclers...we're American pickers. We find things we can recycle, they may take a little fixing up or TLC, but you won't have to cut down another tree to buy our wood products or smelt any ore to buy our metal pieces.
We like to think of ourselves as a Green Business with little to no harm on the environment...although, we do have to transport the inventory we offer, we try to make sure we're hauling a full load not a partial load. Heck, we'll tie it on the top of the rig if we have to.
When you buy our products, you can buy with confidence that the product will last, hold value, and maybe even increase in value while you enjoy it. If you ever decide to sell an antique or retro vintage purchase you've made, you probably won't lose money on your investment. Why? You're making an investment and having the joy of using your purchase while you own it.
Try that with a piece of furniture from simply will not work. With antiques and vintage retro it will work.
I always encourage buyers to buy the best you can afford, upgrade when you can, and buy what you love.
What's moving best for us right now are pieces at the top of our line...the better pieces at reasonable prices. Not to say our lower cost inventory is not selling, because it is...but we sell our best pieces first. We continue to upgrade our inventory to meet this need while keeping our prices in check and affordable for the quality of merchandise we offer.

So remember, when you're looking to buy antique and vintage're buying green and making an investment toward your future. The two concepts go hand-in-hand. Good hunting!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

MCM Patio Furniture Favorites

I was wanting to get some feedback on everyone's favorite patio furniture from the 1950s - 1960s. This is a time where I have very vivid memories of the parties my parents used to host with friends, neighbors, and co-workers. My parents always had a galvanized tube full 7-Up and Coke chilled by a big block of ice my dad would get from the local ice house. We had a way-cool redwood and aluminum folding picnic table with matching benches and always an aluminum folding table for the food...we had a built-in brick fireplace in the backyard to grill the hot dogs and burgers.
There were these two Adirondack chairs my parents had which had to be painted each year...that was always my job. They were forever white, I don't think my folks ever thought about different colors...they were made by my dad and originally painted white and stayed white.
Remember the webbed aluminum folding chairs you could take camping and to the lake? We always had some of those plus the older fan-back or shell-back metal chairs...I had to paint those to about every other year.
But my all time favorites, still are, the folding redwood and aluminum chairs...they were just too cool for Sunday School...and I didn't have to paint 'em every Spring.
I just loved that style...and like I said, I still do. I buy 'em every time I get a chance. Needless to say there's a few hanging around right now.
I found another redwood and aluminum folding picnic table the other day...fell all over myself buying reminded me of the one from my youth. The last one I had got sold to the movie Secretariat which should be coming out soon. It was filmed in Lafayette, LA and Lexington, KY...I can't wait to spot the table and some of the other Mid-Century Modern furniture I sold as props. I tried to get the picnic table back after filming but one of the senior decorators had dibs on it...figures, it was cooler than to other side of the pillow.
I sure like to get know what your favorite MCM patio furniture is...let me know, maybe I'll find some...for me I'm bugnuts about the redwood and aluminum style.
I certainly sell a lot of fan-backs, floral punched, shell-backs, and metal patio furniture...but, around my house it's all about the redwood style...more later...hasta luego

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mid-Century Meets Southwest

I've been posting more of the Native American works my website @ I've always had the eclectic decor which mixed my love for MCM furniture and accessories with my passion for Native American art. It seems the two may not be compatible or complimentary, but they seem to work well together.

Anyway, I'm moving out some of the Native American art pieces and offering them for others to enjoy...I just have more than I can really display. I figure what's the purpose of having works of art, if you can't adequately display them for your's or other's enjoyment?
I continue to change the decor in the house as pieces move in and through the inventory which I have available. That's one of the advantages of being a dealer, you get first pick of your own inventory...bring a piece in, take a piece out.

The fact that there's a surfboard in the living room which is lined by every skateboard I every skated bearing a cowboy hat which I wore at that time in my life seems natural to me...a little eclectic rather than eccentric.

Heck, I figure it's not eccentric, it's "colorful." As Strother Martin's character in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid said, "I'm not eccentric, I'm colorful." Of course he was shot right out of the saddle immediately following that statement, but that's another thing altogether.

I've brought MCM together with Southwestern to create a unique appeal and a place I enjoy spending my time.

So, more Southwestern art is up on the web and the MCM remains mostly on CL here in Austin...'cause it moves quickly and affords my local clientele quality at affordable prices. And, it's helpful and flattering to find my CL posts on other local blogs about Mid-Century Modernism in and around Austin.

The next show I'll be at is set for 24-25 April at Palmer Events Center here in Austin...City Wide Garage Sale, which is one of a kind for finding odd, unusual, unique offerings of all types at more than reasonable prices...hope to see you there!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

After Fayetteville...Back to Austin

Now that Antiques Weekend and the Fayetteville show is behind me and I've had a week to recover, I've been posting more Mid-Century and Danish Modern furniture and accessories on Austin's CL. I didn't take a lot of MCM to Fayetteville, just enough to give folks a taste of what I've been doing in Austin.

The show in Fayetteville was gruelling, as usual, with 12+ hour days and sleeping on a camp cot...then the craziest of all was on Friday 2 April I smacked a buzzard on Hwy 159 crashing in the windshield of my Suburban and sending glass all over me and the interior. I found a great place in Columbus, TX to fix it and was back in Fayetteville by noon.

It's been a wacky few weeks for the Suburban and my antique shows having it in the shop twice for transmission work and then the buzzard incident...but if you need auto repair work while in Austin, I highly recommend Adam Hall and his crew at River City Automotive...what I'd call fast and fair. I also recommend Juke Automotive about 2 blocks north of River City Auto...they did a great job for me also keeping me on the road.

Now back to what's up and for sale in the MCM and Danish Modern lines here at Roadhouse Antiques in Austin...I just a listed an absolutely fabulous Cathedral table from Broyhill's Brasilia Collection. It's in extraordinarily good condition with the original glass insert and ceramic can take a look @ I also have posted all of the MCM clocks, well there may be 1 or 2 still around the house I've not offered for sale but most are listed.

I sold a really great pair of "bouncer" garden chairs this morning along with a matching super light weight aluminum table...still have 1 aluminum table in the front yard along with a cool redwood and aluminum folding picnic table. There's a set of 3 redwood and aluminum folding garden/patio chairs and another set of was a set of 3 with the rocker but a lady wanted just the rocker and she took it home for a good price. I may be a little off with the MCM garden stuff, but I really go bugnuts over the redwood and aluminum outdoor furniture...I'm just ahead of headlights on the style. I think everyone will catch up soon, but it's my preference over the 50s fan backs. The redwood and aluminum folding pieces are the best for durability and style and just reek 1960s retro.

I've been working on repairing the stash of early coin-op games I have, so they are all off the trailer, cleaned and in excellent working we're talkin' some serious pin games from the beginning of the genre between 1929-1932. Games like O.D. Jenning's Victory Ball and 2 different Bally Hoo games...these were Bally's first games and 1 vends 10 balls for a nickel and the other vends 7 balls for a penny. I'll also have my Williams 1958 Short Stop Deluxe back from the shop in a few weeks. Steve Bronson with S & B Amusements here in Austin has totally shopped the game...who's ready for little pitch and bat baseball now the MLB season has opened?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Spring Show in Fayetteville Texas

Well, it's that time again...springtime in Texas and time for another Antiques on the Square in Fayetteville, TX.
If you haven't been to Fayetteville, you're really missing a great little town in Fayette County on Hwy 159. With a Precinct Courthouse listed by the Texas Historical Commission, 3 sit-down restaurants serving up some great home cooking, and a rousing population of 260, Fayetteville is great place to live, visit, or shop.
Antiques on the Square has dealers from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee carrying a wide variety of antique & primitive furniture, quilts, advertising, Native American textiles & baskets, lodge paraphenalia, original art, jewelry...and some very unique and unsual pieces.
Of course being the spring show dealers will have a large selection of outdoor and patio furniture and accessories.
The venue is in and around the Old Firehouse right on the square with plenty of available and close-in parking. Our tents are spacious and well lit since we are open well into the evening...hours are 9 AM - 9 PM daily, sometimes earlier and often later. We open on Friday 26 March and close on Saturday 3 April giving our shoppers plenty of time to browse for some bargains or those one-of-a-kind items you're looking for.
I'll have some of my Mid-Century Modern furnture there, offering a taste of my main line of vintage goods...with more in Austin, I can always show clients the furniture on my laptop and retrieve it as needed.
I will be bringing the Broyhill Saga Premiere hutch, but leaving the Broyhill Brasilia Cathedral table safely in Austin.
I'm also displaying at La Bahia on Hwy 237 with Sarah Stopschinski from Brenham...I'll have more primatives at the La Bahia location with Sarah.
Coin-op, Native American, Mid-Century & Danish Modern in Fayetteville.
Hope to see y'all sure and see the bloomin' bluebonnets on the way. The bluebonnets are beautiful along Hwy 71 between Austin and Fayetteville...take a drive and stop in and say hello.