Yes, that's right! I had an antiques and collectibles business for about five years, specializing in books and paper collectibles of all sorts!
Two ceramic dogs begging behind the glass,
With long fur and long faces they wish to be freed.
The freedom they ask for may never come to pass,
For such pretty things are but victims to our greed...
written circa 1977 in my shop,
Karl Stuart Kline
Obviously, I've continued collecting over the years. "Frazetta's Princess" in the background was actually Peggy's! Frazetta was one of her favorite artists.
We collected original art, toys, figurines, comics and whatever else might strike our fancy. The ceramic pieces were finished, painted, glazed and fired by me from greenware in 1981. The lady in blue was a gift from me to Peggy on our first anniversary. It's hard to believe that last year was our silver anniversary! Or would have been... I lost her to breast cancer in 1997 - then again, she's never left me and I will go through the rest of my life with an especially lovely angel on my shoulder...
|Sy Snootles and the Max Rebo band! (Star Wars!) Winged cats! |
(Some of Karl's Kollectibles!) <GRIN!>
I still had the long commute between Delray Beach and west Palm Beach on a bicycle,
|It was about 1973 when I left my job |
as a gun and hardware salesman for
Moore's Boulevard Hardware in West
Palm Beach, Florida.
I had been offered a job that required
shooting of a different sort -- as a
photographer for the Tooley Myron
studios in the Palm Beach Mall!
I gave my two weeks notice and worked
until my final day when we had a small
party and a cake at closing time.
I returned home with good wishes and
good feelings accompanying me as I
set forth on a new job and possibly a
Getting home to my apartment, the first
thing I checked was my mail and I was
surprised to find a letter from Tooley Myron.
I opened it only to find out that they were
notifying me that they had decided to cancel
all new hires due to the economic slowdown
that was current at the time...
THAT was a dirty trick!
I had quit my former job, so I didn't think
that I qualified for unemployment benefits
and I hadn't spent any time on my new job,
so I had no benefits there either!
I did not try to go back to my old job,
although they probably would have been
happy to have me. I had already said my
goodbyes and was looking forward to doing
something different with my life.
However, when I left, I had plans and a
good job waiting for me.
Talk about having a rug snatched from
under your feet!
I still had my epilepsy as well and I wasn't even close to being able to drive legitimately, so that made everything even more difficult!
What I did have was my bicycle with
a trailer that hitched onto the seat post,
A large collection of guns, World War
Two military souvenirs and a need to
pay the rent!
I started by taking that bicycle with a duffel bag full of goods to the local flea market and I brought a folding army cot to use as a table. While I was there I heard about the old Delray Thieves Market as a place where I could set up my booth and secure it when I was away.
but at least I didn't have to carry my merchandise with me. I could also buy, sell and trade more freely without the constraints that transporting my merchandise placed on me.
|I may have had to rely upon my cycling abilities during this stage of my life, but I also enjoyed the independence that they gave me under what were actually very difficult circumstances. However, I very seldom thought of them that way and I thoroughly enjoyed what I did.
These are some antique cycling pins from the late 1800's and early 1900's that I collected while I had my shop.
Looking back, it's kind of amazing...
I had made the transition from being jobless, without even the prospects of having an unemployment check to becoming a self reliant businessman in a matter of weeks.
True, I hadn't turned around to start making a six or seven figure salary, but without sponsorship, financing or even transportation, I had managed to maintain my independence and my pride. working, surviving and even flourishing, despite my circumstances.
Best of all, I had managed to do it without ever resorting to the public dole or depending upon the charity of others!
My business was never a financial success except in the sense that I managed to support myself for five years, during which time I earned a college degree, finally qualified for a Florida driver's license, bought my first car and first met Peggy, who was to become my wife!