Blake Glenn’s Looney thoughts, perspectives, and insights on the world of business!
Did I just ….
No. No. No. No. No!!!
I knew this was gonna happen. I knew it. I knew it. I knew it!
Damn! Damn! Damn!
To give you the big picture of this impending crisis that threatened to quickly spread across the global landscape, let me start from the beginning. Four years ago my father’s brother, Uncle Howard, died. He was in his late 80’s and had served in World War II. He wouldn’t discuss his war experiences with me. And I know his wartime journey must have left an indelibly deep tragic scar. I think he only told my father about one incident where he came across a German soldier that had been frozen in the ready position, still holding his rifle.
Over the last 3 years my father and I have cleaned out the house to prep it for sale. Yes. Three. Years. Why has it taken thee years? Let’s just say that if it were my house it would have been done within a few months. But it’s not. And it wasn’t.
The downside of this taking three years of course is that my father has paid a fair amount of house maintenance fees during that time. So he’s lost a good bit of money. The upside is that the house and garage were full of stuff, lots of stuff. The downside is that, in a rush to get a lot of the “junk” out of the house, we made several deliveries to Goodwill (including lots of vintage clothing), granted to a metal recycler a hospital bed that I later saw listed for several hundred dollars on eBay, and threw away other stuff that might have had some good sales value.
The upside is that I found and kept several potentially valuable items including a bunch of vintage and antique tools, vintage luggage and briefcases, vintage hats, over 100 albums (i.e., 33 rpm records for those born after 1980), over 100 45’s (i.e., 45 rpm records), and a few dozen 78’s (as in 78 rpm records).
That last category, the 78’s, are the most rare records I think. They were a popular format in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s before being supplanted by the albums and 45’s. And the 78 records in my, uh, “catalog” include big time artists such as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Fats Waller, Cab Callaway, Etta James, The Mills Brothers, and The Ink Spots.
With these potentially valuable items in hand, I decided to do an inventory and set up an online store via eBay, Amazon, or other means (perhaps a stand-alone site) in order to make a little bit of money from this found treasure. I’ve even been thinking of some bad-ass names for the online store.
- Uncle Howard’s Cool Vintage Cove
- Howard’s Stuff and Things
- The Vintage Palace
- Kool Stuuff 4U
What do you think? Ok. Maybe the names aren’t all that bad-ass after all. But I’ve got the creative wheels turning. In any case, I’ve started setting up some spreadsheets for each category of items I plan to sell. I started the process two years ago but in the last few weeks I’ve really focused on it.
As I’ve researched these records, I’ve been pleasantly surprised that a small few of them have pretty high valuations, if in top condition. Two of the 78’s were listed at more than $1,000. That doesn’t necessarily mean that my copies are worth that much. But still, it’s not too bad if they’re even worth a quarter of the top listing.
So back to the crisis. That loud crack I heard, the one that sent me into a complete frenzied man-panic … well that was the result of my toe accidentally pressing into a 78 record. As I had stood up from my chair, I turned to my right to grab something and took a step. To the right of my chair is where I stored my inventory items vertically on the floor as I entered them into my spreadsheet.
I’d stood up dozens of times and made similar foot/toe plants in the carpet. But this one particular time I suppose I just planted a little too hard and my big toe crashed head-, uh, I mean toe-first into that 78. And CRUNCH … the poor innocent record broke clean in two. Ouch!
By the way, 78’s are made from something called shellac, not vinyl like the 33’s and 45’s. Didn’t know that did you. Well I aim to entertain AND to educate.
So put another way … that loud crack created by my big toe pressing tenaciously against shellac was the sound of money. Money drifting away, dissolving before my very eyes. I reached out in sheer desperation, grabbing furiously for tiny specks, but it wasn’t to be.
Poof. Dust. Hasta la vista baby.
And this was an Ink Spots 78. Those two records that were listed over $1,000, well those were Ink Spots. So as you can imagine, I thought I’d just possibly lit a thousand bucks on virtual fire. After a couple of depressed minutes searching my spreadsheet I found the entry for that record. The damage was less than $20. Whew! I wiped the furrowed, sweaty brow with still shaking hands.
I dodged it this time. But careful, careful from now on. I don’t want to be the one telling my father that $1,000 just did a Houdini due to a poor toe placement.
By the way – anybody in the market for a Sam Cooke 8-track tape? Yea? Well then. Make me an offer I can’t possibly refuse.
Blake Glenn shares his looney perspectives, stories, and mis-adventures in The Looney Executive blog. He has interviewed hundreds (or at least tens) of people via The Looney Executive Podcasts and former TV show. He’s the founder of a tech group called IgniteTech, and claims to be a direct descendant of the original Looney Executive – Because there must be SOME explanation … right?
If you dare, he can be reached the old school way … blake@LooneyExecutive.com
P.S. – If you’re really interested in growing the tech startup scene in SW Ohio, you’ll want to join the IgniteTech Meetup Group. Join the group. Come out to our events. Bring your energy and ideas. Build your connections.
Join us on this adventure. And help us to create a great story!