This is Ralphie.
I found him at the Long Beach Outdoor Antiques and Collectibles Market that takes place on the 3rd Sunday of the month in Long Beach, CA.
He was haphazardly thrown on a blanket with various other gee-gaws. I almost walked on by, but then I saw HIM. I stopped dead in my tracks. I gazed into his big, perpetually surprised, eyelidless felt eyes.
I picked him up. Those hand stitched features.
The funky acrylic beard. The brown boots. Who doesn't love brown boots?
I had to have him.
Quickly feigning a detached sort of interest, I nonchalantly picked him up and asked the guy in charge of the blanket strewn area how much. I held my breath. How much would I spend? $20? $30?
"Three bucks," the man said.
Blink. Someone at some time MADE him. Three bucks???
I tried very hard not to dance for joy, as that might have tipped the gent off that I was getting (in my own mind, remember) the bargain of the century.
We completed our transaction and I lovingly placed Ralphie in the basket on my bike. I giggled half of the way home.
He now occupies a wee nook to the left of my computer monitor. A sort of constant companion in the studio, I guess one could say.
My husband thinks I am insane. But he loves me enough to share his space with my odd finds and my boxes 'o' junk that I use in my work, which means that he must truly, truly love me as well. It balances out, don't you think?
Until next time, happy bargain hunting!