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News Article
Faded Memories

by Connie Swaim


I wrote what I thought was my goodbye column for the June 27, 2011 issue of AntiqueWeek. And yet, here I am again back in the editorís chair.

I took a look back at that column and realized it was mostly about what I was going to do with all of the things I had collected in almost 25 years of working at AntiqueWeek. I said I would probably sell some of my collections.

Hah. That never happened. I did sell some things in the last six years. I sold most of my horse-related items and moved full-time into collecting anything related to vintage German shepherds or dogs in general. I still have my Dr. Seuss collection. It would take me days to sort out where all of the pieces and parts of that collection are currently residing. They could be in my brotherís barn, they could be somewhere in the house or the garage where I live. They may be in one of the two storage barns on my property.

It seems like too much work to dig it all out for no more than it would probably bring. Maybe someday I will hire someone to sort out all my stuff.

As for everything that was in my office in June of 2011 it is still somewhere in boxes in any of the above named locations. Iíve moved twice since then. I have a garage that is full of nothing but boxes whose contents are mostly a mystery at this point.

I think it may be easier to start over. Currently my new office is full of empty shelves. It seems like it might be much more fun to just go out and collect new items for those shelves rather than sort through boxes in the summer time in a stifling garage.

My first item for the new office is a Yuengling beer banner with cute bully breed puppies enjoying a brew. (Please folks at home; donít really let your dogs drink beer, it isnít good for them). Yuengling just started distributing in Indiana, where I live. So, it seemed like a double fold collectible. But, mainly I just loved the puppy faces and it was only $6.

I had a garage sale of sorts six years ago and staff members came by my office to pick over things I didnít want to box up. Some of those things returned to me this week! One of our Farm World editors returned a Lord of the Rings coffee mug and a glass mug showing Aragorn, also from the Lord of the Rings. She said I was not getting back my Aragorn poster.

It is amazing how many things are the same as they were when I left. Most of the employees are the same. A vast majority of our freelance writers are the same. But, two people are missing and my heart hurts that they are not here anymore. For years auctioneer and attorney Steve Proffitt wrote a weekly column covering auction law. He was also a staple at every auctioneer convention I went to. He was always a friendly face and was the epitome of a Southern Gentleman. His death means I will never again be regaled by stories of his ďdaddyĒ and all the values he was taught as a young man.

Also missing is Ken Beem. Ken and his wife Barbara had been writing for the paper since 1992. As a matter of fact, when Barbara learned I was returning as managing editor, she sent me a copy of the first correspondence I had with Ken that started their entire writing relationship with AntiqueWeek. My how technology has changed. My letter to Ken accepting an article he had submitted for publication was typewritten on AntiqueWeek letterhead. I asked Ken to please submit copy in a double-spaced format as it was easier for our typesetters to read. Barbara also reminded me that I supplied writers with rolls of black-and-white film for their use in covering auctions and shows. The writers then mailed back the undeveloped film.

Now, everything is digital. I donít even know where I could find a typewriter right now outside of an antique shop.

Ken left an amazing legacy in terms of his work regarding Bennett pottery. I am so pleased that both Barbara and their daughter Kat still write for the paper.

Donít hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns about the paper. You can reach me at or 800-876-5133, ext. 131

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