Happy Throwback Thursday! We've got something really throwback-y for ya today:
Mike says that when he was a little jug-eared kid in the mid-1940s, there was a statue just like this one on the mantle above his family's living room fireplace:
He naturally wondered who the man in the statue was and why anyone would want to stick pins in his butt. Somebody, M thinks it might have been his Grandma Boyd, told him it was a very bad man named Hitler, and that he deserved every one of those pins.
M decided to err on the side of caution: Where, he asked, was the real version of this very bad man? The answer was that nobody knew, since he hadn't been seen in a long time. He was hiding somewhere. M has since realized that this conversation must have taken place in the spring of 1945, when Hitler was, in fact, holed up in his bunker in Berlin, Germany.
But two-and-a-half-year-old minds do not think globally. They think in terms of what they can see. M rushed upstairs to his Uncle Benny and Aunt Mimi's bedroom and looked out the window. There in the distance, across the side yard, stood a large outdoor billboard. I'll bet he's behind that sign, thought Mike. If I wanted to hide, that's where I'd go.
The idea of a very bad man, regardless of his name, hiding at the edge of his own side yard haunted young M for some time, but eventually he stopped worrying about it. He does not, however, recall ever going over to look behind that billboard.
Here's a snapshot of M taken in April 1945 while he was in front of his house, waiting for his ride to nursery school. (Today I think they call that pre-K). If you look behind his right shoulder, you can see Hitler's hiding place:
About a half-century later, when Mike recounted this no-longer-scary event to some of the older folks in that household, no one could even recall having the pincushion statue of Hitler, let alone what became of it. By then it was the age of the internet. M went online and found one of the gee-gaws for sale for about $165. When he showed them a printout, his relatives began to feel that if they'd ever had one, maybe they should have hung onto it.
Today we found a more recent webpage with an interesting story about those little statues. Over the years they've sold for upwards of $430, though today the prices seem to have softened. One was listed last year on ebay at $200, but ended up going for $150. Still, when you realize they originally cost as little as 69 cents, it's enough to make you think twice about throwing out junk.
Just saying . . .
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