Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Trash Picked Tuesday: The one that started it all!

I've been saving up this one since I started Trash Picked Tuesday! This is probably the very first item we ever trash-picked. And by 'we', I mean my brother and I, since we were both still living at home over 15 years ago.

This was one of those things that was just too cool to pass up, even before I knew exactly what it was. I happened along it curbside while driving through my neighborhood one cold winter night. I'm not sure what made me stop, because the last thing my parents probably wanted me to bring home was a fake fireplace. Perhaps I only wanted the firelog insert- I know I must have noticed the electrical cord sticking out the back.

So I went home and persuaded my brother to come over with his truck and we loaded it up. Not until we got home did we discover what was inside:

The left side door opens to reveal a lighted and mirrored bar. The mirrored panel also rotates to another side which has slots for LP records. Why LP records? Because the right side door opens to reveal a stereo component system, with an analog tuner, record player and 8 track deck. The red panels on either side of the fireplace are actually speakers. There's a better pic of the right side here (not my auction, just had a good photo!). And my brother does still have the square trim piece that goes on the right side door- just didn't get put back after the big move- it's in his new place. (The item sitting on top of the fireplace, that looks like a ventilated cooler is a Seeburg BMI-1000, another incredible piece of 1960s electronics, and another post.)

Turns out this piece was made by Koronette, an East German company, sometime in the late 60s. It had a state-of-the-art stereo system, along with the bar and the electric fire logs. Three ways to entertain yourself in one super cool trash picked item!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Flea Market Friday: Mid Century Modern furniture bonanza!

Hey all- I just had the best yard sale experience in a long time- perhaps ever. Thank goodness my brother still needs furniture in his new house because if I had to just walk away and leave these goodies on the driveway I probably would have regretted it for a long long time!

And I apologize for the pictures- it was all I could do to get these things out of the truck and safely into the garage. They definitely weren't going any further until I had someone to help. I smashed my fingers unloading them by myself- they are solid mahogany. (Don't worry- I'm icing my hand down with a nice cold drink...)

First I bought a new desk for my daughter. It's a little cracked-ice formica-topped steel cabinet with two drawers. Maybe it was originally a sewing table, or a little kitchen desk. With a little polish and some fresh pink paint it will be perfect. A steal at $1!

Then the big boys- a solid wood buffet and hutch from the early 1960s. Made by Broyhill, the label (photo at top) says "Saga". I love the detail on the handles and the starburst door panels. Both pieces look barely used, and have zero scratches. $40 each. I didn't even haggle- the older couple was so nice and helped me load it all up.

There are sliding glass doors for the top of this as well- removed for transport!

And a flying saucer adjustable pendant lamp- $1. Don't hate me! ;)

Last but not least, is a mint condition 1940s sofa that still had the original tag on it for $10. That's still in my truck though until someone helps me move it so photos will have to wait!

There were all kinds of MCM goodies at this sale and I was super excited to still be able to snag these so late in the day! I may go back with my brother again tomorrow and possible buy a bedroom set and formica kitchen set...stay tuned....

And if you're having trouble commenting you'll need to install a faster browser, like Google Chrome. It's better anyway; way faster!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Weekend patio and potting shed makeover!

After such a long, cold winter it sure feels good to get outside again! I love sitting out on my patio and working in the garden, and being a vintage lover those things are even more fun when I try to incorporate some of my finds.

You all probably know I have a thing for vintage lawn furniture and my collection grows all the time. You may remember some of my finds from last winter- it's so frustrating to get cool lawn furniture and have to put it away until warm weather!

Finally I got to bring them all out, scrub them down and put out the cushions!

In the back left corner is my weekend project. I always wanted a water feature and figured out a way to use some of the things I already had to make one.

The fountain was a tabletop fountain I got as a wedding present (almost 10 years ago!) and is no longer practical to have indoors due to the little ones knocking it over and making a mess. It had been sitting in the basement for years unused. I picked up the galvanized washtub last fall at a rummage sale for $1- I love its patina. (I have a fondness for galvanized stuff, as you will see...). And the washtub stand I pulled out of the neighbor's dumpster last Mother's Day. The plants were free- we have a boggy area in our backyard and just picked some horsetail rush and the leafy stuff (that's the scientific name, LOL) there. So the whole thing cost me $1 to make.

It added the perfect element of bubbling water to the patio without costing me a fortune or looking too "new" (I hate that).

That done, I turned my attention to the potting shed, or barn, as we call it. The barn is really just that; when we moved in the previous owners had kept a pig in there. It's quite large, probably 400 sq feet and three rooms but only one story. We can park our tractor and all our outdoor furniture in there, and it's where I keep my larger treasures until I can use them. We put quite a bit of work into this building the first year we lived here, adding a new roof, siding, and rebuilding the back wall that had been constructed out of an old Gulf billboard. (Wish that still had the graphics but it had been painted over-you could just make out the outlines of the letters.) I tried to keep the vintage bones intact, though.

It is also the place where the kids keep their bikes, wagons, Tonka toys, Power Wheels (for a while we had 4- now we're down to 2), etc. It kind of just became a mess of junk. And the whole thing was home to numerous birds and mice. Blech.

I'm sure many of you subscribe to Country Living and Flea Market Style magazines, and like I, you probably fantasize about having some of those outdoor spaces. I'm sure many of them are staged just for the magazine and are not normally as fascinating as they look, but it's good inspiration, nonetheless.

So I spent a long afternoon on Sunday with a shop vac and rags cleaning up the mess and organizing my part of the shed so I have a place to work on my treasures. I think it cleaned up pretty well- and wish I had taken some "before" pics. I need to add some softer touches with linens and things, but it's on its way:

Told you I love galvanized stuff! And that thing on the right that looks like a giant eyeball is a searchlight off a Navy ship. It works- someday I will find a use for it!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Make it from Scratch Monday: Rhubarb Cake

If you love cooking seasonally, you're probably aware that rhubarb is one of the first spring vegetables. And if you happen to have an established rhubarb plant in your yard you've probably got more than you know what to do with right now! (If you don't, go out and plant one right now; you can buy rootstock at any garden center and it will be ready to pick in about 2-3 years.) And BTW- it freezes really well; just chop the stalks and freeze them in ziploc bags until you're out of the fresh variety.

Here's a dessert recipe that's a little different than your standard pie or compote recipe: an easy from-scratch cake with a runny rhubarb filling on the bottom. It is so good, you'll just keep making it until all the rhubarb is done!

This is a two-part recipe; prepare the "bottom" and the "cake" separately. Take a stick of butter out of the fridge about an hour before starting so it has a chance to get soft. It's also important to use a large non-reactive pan for this recipe. A 13x9 is the smallest you could use, and glass or a vintage enamel-ware pan like mine are the best. A steel sheet pan tends to leave a metallic taste when combined with the rhubarb. Sometimes, if I am using a very large pan I double the batter part and leave the bottom part as-is.

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while may also note that this is one of those recipes where I can use almost exclusively vintage kitchen items to make it- Vintage Recipes with Vintage Techniques! The only modern thing I always use is a dishwasher-safe cutting board and good knives.

Rhubarb Cake


4 c. chopped rhubarb (1/2" to 1" pieces)
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 egg
2 Tbsp. melted butter
pinch salt

Cake Batter:
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. softened butter
1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg

1. Mix the dry ingrediants for the bottom (flour, sugar, salt). Add the melted butter and then the lightly beaten egg.

2. Chop rhubarb in 1/2 to 1 inch chunks. If you're using frozen rhubarb add it while it is still partially frozen, and include any liquid that may have thawed out in the bag, or your rhubarb will get "chewy".

 3. Combine rhubarb and bottom ingrediants. Grease a non-reactive (not steel) 9x13 pan with butter or cooking spray.

 4. Add the combined "bottom" ingredients to your pan. Preheat your oven to 350.

5) Make the "batter" by creaming the butter and sugar. Then add the egg.

6) Add the flour and baking powder and mix.

7) Add 1/2 c. milk.

8) Mix well. Batter should be a little sticky but not very heavy.

9) Spread batter over bottom mixture. If you are using a pan larger than a 9x13 it probably won't cover completely. That's OK, it will spread out and the bottom part will bubble up over top- yummy!

10) Bake at 350 for about an hour. Mine got a little darker than I intended because I got distracted, but it really carmelizes great this way. The top gets a little bit crusty and the bottom is so gooey!

11) Enjoy while it's still warm! :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Check out the giveaway at Vintage Engineer Boots!

Hey everyone, Jon at Vintage Engineer Boots is having a killer giveaway: a studded motorcycle belt he is making himself! Head on over and enter, and stick around to read his posts. I've learned quite a bit on vintage men's clothing from his blog- you will too!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My aprons!

Zootsuitmama asked us to show off some of our aprons, and since I have quite a lot of them, I do believe I will take her up on that!

I may make this a 2 part post, because I have so many. I've decided for now to just show the longer aprons, because these are the only kind I really use. I have dozens of "hostess-style" lower-half aprons, so if I get a chance to photo some of them that will be another post. I really need to move some of those into my etsy store, so I guess I should do some photos ASAP.

Since I prefer the long, bib-type aprons and the upper-half housekeeper's-style aprons, I'll show you my favorites.

Most of these were inherited from my family because they know I love vintage and love to cook! Thankfully my relatives were stocky German ladies and these are plenty big. :)

All of the bib-style aprons were handmade by a relative in the 1930s-50s. I believe many of them are feedsack cotton. This blue one is so practical- I always wear it when I'm working with something likely to stain a lighter fabric, like berries! It's hard to see, but there is rickrack trim around the neck and waist.

I love this one; the pattern is a pansy floral.

This one is my favorite. I just love the red trim and the ruffle at the bottom.

This one is hand-pieced and not the least bit practical. As you can see it has hardly been used- more for hostessing than cooking!

I love this apron. It has a great 1940s look and the pockets are great. I wear this to clean all the time.

A pink gingham rayon apron that I got for a quarter at a yard sale.

This is a child's apron with a Peter Rabbit theme. It is hand embroidered and belonged to my mother as a child in the 1940s.

And since we're looking at aprons, how about some housecoats? I'm putting these two in my Etsy store- if you like them, I will give my blog readers 20% off. Just enter coupon code: PIT20OFF at checkout! Better buy the red one quick before I change my mind and keep it! :P

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thrifted Thursday, Hard Core Edition: Secrets of the Hunt, Pt. 2

Hi everyone! I hope you all are ready for the second installment of this series, Secrets of the Hunt. This is going to be centered on thrift stores! Maybe not all of you are interested or able to do yard or rummage sales (part 1), but I think just about all of us have a thrift store somewhere in our area. I'll try not to be as verbose as the first part and show more photos (I had a great thrift shopping day yesterday!) so hopefully I won't lose any of you along the way ;)

Many of the "rules" (hey, I'm not big on rules for anything, so take that with a grain of salt...) are very similar to part one. And remember that I buy for resale, so if you only buy for yourself, some of this won't apply, but much of it will, I hope!

1) Location!

I find that the most productive thrifts for vintage shopping are the smaller thrifts. The big boys, like Salvation Army and Goodwill, seem to get the "bottom feeders" of the donation world, like broken toys and 1990s clothes. They get the yard-sale leftovers and the college dorm furniture that no one knows what to do with- just get rid of it by giving it to Goodwill. Don't get me wrong, I've scored my share of vintage clothing and housewares from GW and Sally Ann over the years, but much of the time I spend a lot of time digging and come out with relatively nothing. Especially lately!

I think people who shop at smaller thrift stores prefer to make their donations to those same stores. I know I do! And the people that shop at the smaller, church- or charity-run stores are usually the people that donate the things we want to buy. The older couples or the middle class bargain-hunters shopping in the store are the ones that end up bringing in Grandma's wedding china or 1930s dresses when they are left with them. Almost all of the better vintage I have found has come from a few small thrift stores.

2) Be thorough!

I primarily buy clothing for myself and to re-sell in my Etsy store . My general rule of thumb is, if it's in good condition, buy it. If it fits and I like it, I keep it for me. If not, it goes to the store. I buy things regardless of size and gender, because I am buying for resale. In order to stock my store, I have to scour the entire thrift store. I look through every section, mens, womens and childrens. Usually, if I have enough time, I look at almost every item in the store, even if it's just a quick perusal.

Two places I especially look is in the misses/juniors section and the men's section. I guess this may seem odd to some of the staff or shoppers in the store, but I could care less. I look in the juniors section because, as those of us "modern-sized" (LOL) gals are well aware, ladies were a lot smaller in the 40s and 50s. Many thrift store staff see a 1950s skirt with a 24 inch waist and automatically put it in the juniors. Same with a teeny tiny 1930s suit that to them looks remarkably like a shrunken/cropped Abercrombie jacket.

I shop the menswear section because a lot of men's vintage is more valuable than ladies (who would've thought!) if you can find the right items. I personally have never found a pristine 1940s sharkskin suit, but I have found several pairs of mens shoes that I have sold for 50-100 times the price I paid. And just like ladies, men were smaller then too- some of the smaller men's items (like size 8 shoes) I can also sell to women.

3) Think outside the box!

I also always search through the "active wear", as icky as that can be. Did you know that some guys will pay through the roof for a 1920s-1950s sweatshirt? Me neither, until I really tried to educate myself on men's vintage. And I'm still kicking myself for not buying a pair of 1980s deadstock KangaRoos sneakers- remember the zipper pocket on the side? Not my style, but I probably could have made some money on them.

Another place I have had good luck is the "costume" section. Do not miss this section in early fall, especially! Many 1950s prom dresses or two tone shoes end up in the costume section, and you would hate to have someone unwittingly buy those and trash them for Halloween!

One of my favorite sections is the place where staff stick the miscellany they don't know what to do with. Sewing and craft supplies, small tools and small appliance parts can be very valuable to someone who is looking for an accessory to their 1946 Sunbeam Mixmaster for example.

4) Dress appropriately!

For the most part I hold true to my reasoning in part one. But occasionally wearing vintage to a small thrift store can pay off. Especially if the owner or manager gets to know you. I once had a manager give me a better deal on a stack of 1950s vintage little girls' dresses because she knew I was going to have my daughter wear them, and not just re-sell them (tho I will do that eventually). I wouldn't bother dressing for anything but getting dirty when I go to a big Goodwill or Sally Ann, though!

5) Timing is everything!

In part one, I said "don't shop on the weekend!" That is definitely true with thrifts. Most of the donations come in on the weekend, or on Mondays after a weekend cleanout or yard sale. By the time they get processed, they hit the floor mid-week. That is the best time to shop. And don't be afraid to go to the same stores every week. New things are coming in all the time and if you want to get the good stuff you have to be a regular. If you aren't, other pickers are, and that cool 1950s Western shirt will not sit there for a month until you come back. I guarantee it.

6) Pay or walk away

Now, I haven't talked much about price in either of these tutorials. Those of you who are long-time readers know that I am the ultimate cheapskate. For the most part, things have to be cheap for me to buy it. I automatically assess an item before I buy by what I think it's worth in resale. If it's not for my personal use, I won't buy it unless I think I can at least double my money. I almost never pay over $10 for anything. But fortunately most thrifts can accommodate this rule.

If they have a "vintage" section I generally avoid buying them (but I look anyway ;) because that means the items are priced at a resale level already, and it's probably 1970s/80s stuff anyway. The good vintage usually gets mismarked into the juniors section, anyway! The only time I buy from this section is when it's something I am going to keep and wear myself and I think it will be worth it.

So on with my finds! I bought all of these things yesterday at a thrift store I try to stop at every Wednesday. It's a small, charity-run store with an upper-middle class older female clientele. Most of the things are modern, designer items (Jones, Lizwear, Chicos) that appeal to that clientele, and are donated back by them. But occasionally those donors throw in "that old stuff that Mom had back in the 50s", and that's when I'm a buyer!

This sweet Western shirt is not that old, but it has a great two-tone look. It's a size large and should fit my husband. Western wear is probably the vintage look he feels most comfortable in. If he says no, watch for it in the store.


I'm wondering if this brown floral day dress was meant to be part of a "his and hers" outfit with the shirt. I didn't realize it until I was photographing it today that the brown tones are almost identical. That might not be a coincidence- rule #6) If you find something great in a thrift store, keep looking for more. Chances are there are more items from that same donor and you might find them in other sections. It's brown cotton with pockets and a back zipper, and doesn't look like it was ever worn. Wish it fit me, but it doesn't. Now it can be yours!

And lastly, I found a pair of cat eye glasses. I've been looking for some new ones ever since my daughter snapped 2 pairs (!) in half when she was little. These are metal so it shouldn't be so hard for her (or I, LOL) to break them. Now I just have to get the right prescription put in. These were a little more than I usually pay (marked $15, but with 25% off) and I can remember buying the now-broken frames for next to nothing, but still a pretty good deal for something I will use. The cherry handkerchief  was only $1, and cute, so I picked that up to tie up my hair in the summer.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thrifted Thursday (Hard Core Edition!): Secrets of the Hunt, pt. 1

I've debated doing this post for quite some time. On some folks' blogs (this one included) many comments have been left about "not being able to find anything" thrifting or at yard sales. I've been fortunate to find myself in the position that I am able to find enough good stuff to slake my own vintage appetite and have some left over to re-sell. Hopefully this will eventually turn into a tidy little business for me (visit my Etsy shop!) and we can supplement my husband's income with a little extra $.

In this, part one of this series, we will deal with rummage and yard sales. Thrift stores will be part 2! I also know a lot of my fellow thrifters like to go to auctions and flea markets; at this point in my life I don't do much of that. With two small kids in tow, waiting around for hours until the auctioneer gets to a particular item or walking endless fields of fleas with over-priced vendors just isn't practical. But eventually I'd like to do the auction thing more; lord knows there are plenty of those around. I also shop at antique stores and the like, but if I buy anything it's probably just for myself and not something I would re-sell, because I can't get things cheap enough.

I've accumulated some tips and strategies over the many years I've been doing this. But do I want to share all my secrets? Well, why not! After all, most of you don't live that close to me to be any competition. ;)

And that is the first rule of the hunt: location.

Whether it is thrifting or yard/rummage/estate sales, the place to start is an area with an aging population. I happen to live in an area with a lot of older folks living in older homes. These individuals are likely in the process of downsizing and moving into retirement homes or their family is conducting an estate sale. The areas with older people still living in the house they may have bought as a young couple in the 1940s-1960s, are the most fruitful for vintage seekers. I usually don't waste my time going to yard sales in new developments or thrifting in trendy urban areas unless I am looking for baby/kids stuff or modern things (and that's very rare for me).

Rule # 2: Don't be afraid of volume- Be thorough!

My very favorite type of sale is the church rummage sale. By far, these places have the largest volume of stuff, excepting some of the larger thrifts. But chances are it's not that well organized or displayed. Most of the time I find things piled on tables, and just barely sorted, like "womens" and "mens". Many of the good things are on the bottom, either because the little old ladies that are running the sale put their personal donations out first, or because all the other scavengers like me didn't bother to dig all the way through the pile. Allow yourself plenty of time to shop, be thorough, and even if you're not the first one through the door, there will still be something there for you.

If you are an early bird and get in with the crowd, it's always better to take your time and work the sale "backwards" to stay away from those who follow the crowd through the established traffic pattern. Most people tend to turn to the right when presented with a directional fork; if you turn to the left you might get to some of that stuff before your compeition. Then work against the traffic and go around twice to make sure you haven't missed anything.

And forget about jewelry unless you are the first person in the door- with the price of gold these days people crowd around the jewelry table as soon as it opens. Even regular people have become sophisticated enough to know that bakelite and celluloid jewelry are worth $$, so chances of finding that at a rummage sale is not great; at a yard or estate sale it's a little better, but I haven't had much luck in that area for a while.

And that brings me to rule #3: Don't be afraid to think outside the box!

I'm usually drawn to the clothing first, but I find my best deals on things I may not plan to buy. For instance, I took a break in the middle of typing this up to go to a rummage sale ;) hoping to get more clothing for the shop. I did not find much, but I did come away with a neat vintage umbrella with lucite handle ($1)

and a cool vintage chrome and aqua iron ($2) which I've been looking for for some time.

It all depends on what is donated and what the shoppers are looking for; I doubt many people were there to buy a vintage iron, but I was.

Rule # 4: Dress appropriately!

Never wear wool to thrift. Even if you notice that that Woolrich coat has moth holes and leave it on the table, some of those moth eggs might hitch a ride on your pristine Pendleton 49er that you wore because of the great pockets... Wear clothes that can be washed as soon as you get home!

For me, I prefer not to wear head-to-toe vintage to shop. First of all, most of my vintage is not that practical for digging and carrying dirty/bluky items. Secondly, I don't like to telegraph to other pickers what I might be looking for. I've found that dressing in jeans and a sweatshirt while shopping with two small kids in tow really paints an image of a harried mom just looking for some good deals (which I definitely am!), and many of the cashiers at rummage and yard sales give them to me. What I bring to the checkout counter is really irrelevant at this point.

If you're digging through mounds of clothing, chances are some of it is not clean. I always carry baby wipes and hand sanitizer in my purse. Don't let the ick factor keep you away from the good stuff- just remember that most things can be washed (hands included) or dry-cleaned. And if you're going to be storing it for re-sale it will pay in the long run to take your items straight to the cleaners before you get home! If you buy anything like a vintage suitcase, make sure you air it outside and use your vacuum cleaner's crevice tool to get in all the corners. I'm deathly afraid of bedbugs (which can hitchhike even on brand new bags) and I am rigorous about doing this.

Rule # 5: Don't shop on the weekend

Around here, many rummage and yard sales are held Thursday-Friday-Saturday. I really don't know why this is, because you would think that a Saturday and Sunday sale would get more business. My only guess is that it's hard for churches to staff weekend sales. Nevertheless, going to a sale on a Thursday guarantees that you will see two types of people: stay-at-home moms and retired folks looking for cheap stuff and something to do, and serious dealers who are looking to score things for their stores, both of whom tend to spend some money.

You have to do what the other serious shoppers do and go to the Thursday sales. This is like a 9-5 job for some, and going on a Thursday morning at 8 or 9 reinforces that idea. I know as soon as I pull into the parking lot and see some of the dealers' cars I've come to recognize that it is going to be a good sale. And also that I'm probably late! (but see rule #2)

Many sales often reduce their prices, or hold bag sales by Friday afternoon. Problem is, the good stuff is already gone. I find it a better strategy to pay "full" price of a few dollars per item and get one or two killer items rather than pay $5 for a bag of second-tier clothes that aren't really what I'm looking for.

Whew! If you're still reading I hope some of these strategies work for you. I didn't realize until I re-read it how hard-core some of this sounds, but it's true. Good things are out there if you work to find them.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Thrifts!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The kindness of strangers

I am one of those people that like to be in control of every situation I am in. Few times can test my patience, then, than when our car breaks down far from home. I have a hard time with the helpless feeling of not knowing exactly what to do and how.

Thankfully in this day and age, I learned we can still rely on the simple kindness of strangers. And Friday's incident helped to reinforce this for me and to teach it to my kids.

We were on our way to visit my mother-in-law at our cabin up in Northeast PA last Friday night. Thankfully we got an early start and started our 3.5 hour trip shortly after 5. We pulled into a Burger King parking lot in Dallas, PA about halfway there to use the bathrooms and get a couple milkshakes. After that mission was accomplished, we put the key in the ignition to start the car (a 2000 Buick LeSabre) and there was absolutely nothing. No lights, no start, zip.

My husband, being a car guy, knew exactly what it was, a dead battery. Of course, we had the car all packed with stuff and couldn't even get at the battery to jump it, since in this car it is located under the back seat. No kidding- of all the dumb places to put a battery, that's where they put it. There are remote terminals under the hood, but you can't actually see the battery until you remove two baby seats, all the toys and blankets on the seat and pull the actual cushion out.

So once it became evident that we were in distress there in the Burger King parking lot, three older men came to our aid. One had a jumper cables, one pulled his truck up next to our car, and one had a wrench. ;)

Unfortunately, the jumper cables didn't work, because the battery was 11 years old (original to the car) and the terminals had corroded so badly one had fallen off. No doubt this is because no one can actually see the battery under the seat to make sure it is still in good shape...

So Joe, the man with the truck, took my husband up the road to an auto parts store to purchase a battery and a pair of vise grips. Bill, the wrench guy, sat with me and the kids in the Burger King while we waited and regaled us with tales of his auto adventures (he had a LeSabre similar to ours). The jumper cable guy, (we never got his name) sat in his car with his wife until everyone returned with the new battery.

About an hour later, we were back on the road, thanks to the kindess of three men we never met and who wouldn't even take us up on our offer to buy them a cup of coffee and a burger.

So even though our trip was delayed and we were left stranded by our car, the kindness of strangers is still something that exists. I will definitely pay it forward in the name of Bill, Joe and Jumper Cable Guy.