Part of my job as an antiques dealer (or vintage seller, if you prefer) is to properly clean, research, and identify reclaimed and discovered items in order to best present these old things to potential buyers. Continually making discoveries, uncovering new-to-me stories is one of my favorite parts of this gig.

But sometimes, as I’ve recently noted on Twitter, I go down rabbit holes and end up writing tomes when I list the item. It may not always translate into the best bang for my buck – especially when I fall in love with something which should just be inventory…

Meet my latest crush: Cecil Aldano Moore

More than just a handsome big bear of a man in an impressive fur parka, Cecil A. Moore, aka Mush Moore, was most known for his sensational 6000-mile trek by dog-sled across the US.

He left Fairbanks, Alaska on November 14, 1949, and arrived on April 4, 1951 in Lewiston, Maine (where Moore was from *).

Moore used a sled custom-built and donated by the Flexible Flyer sled company. (The sled had wheels that could be installed when it was necessary to traverse snowless trails or roads.)

The parka Moore wore was worth thousands of dollars; it was made by an Eskimo woman, the finest fur maker in Alaska.

But it was still a rough trip…

Five days in, members of the U.S. Army in Alaska came to look at the sensational dog team ad musher. “The temperature was 55 below zero that day and the officers and GIs marveled that the hardy Moore could survive alone in that frozen waste.”

Traveling roughly 35 miles per day, Mush Moore & his dogs crossed five mountain ranges, 81 lakes, and 129 rivers. And that’s not including the other treacherous & perilous incidents.

Moore finished the trek with nine of the 12 original huskies he started with. And Mush always gave the dogs all the credit for his remarkable trip which made headlines all across the country as he traveled from coast to coast.

Cecil Aldano Moore also worked as an ironworker in many states as well as Morocco, Iceland, & Africa. He was the lead foreman on the Augusta Memorial Bridge, Augusta, ME, which was the largest bridge in span and height at the time of construction.

Arch Soutar, Lewiston Evening Journal editor, who interviewed Mush often, recalled that Moore was “unusually strong, physically resourceful and an enemy of defeat, engaged in a rough and hazardous profession,” adding that Moore “was a man of unexpected inner sensitivity, an outdoor man with a large and almost brilliant vocabulary.”

A larger-than-life man. Yet a man largely lost to history.

(I know I shouldn’t be surprised; no one lives forever, not even film stars with such dreams of living forever on celluloid.)

This rare vintage dog-sledding and sporting history find is currently available for purchase on Etsy. Contact us with serious inquiries.

Clearly designed for fans who followed the amazing trek & came to see him when he stopped in their towns and cities to take care of his dogs, this promotional piece has Cecil A. Moore’s signature printed along the photograph on the front. However, the real Mush Moore signature is inked on back.

This piece of ephemera is akin to the thin cardboard of Mutoscope and old Hollywood movie promo cards. It measures 4 x 6 inches.

* Funds raised from this marvelous event created the Cecil A. Moore Fund for Underprivileged Children at the Healy Asylum in Lewiston (Healy Asylum was built in 1893 as an orphanage for boys, a role it served until about 1970. Now the building is called Healy Terrace; it’s used for affordable senior housing.

PS The podcast will resume soon! (As soon as I can refrain from so many rabbit holes!)

Why Cecil Mush Moore Made The Trek
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This Week’s Story is prompted by a vintage piece of lingerie. You can listen to the audio podcast here.

This particular lingerie piece, in a powder blue satin, is more slinky sleepshirt than naughty negligee. With its built-in shoulder pads and double-breasted suit jacket front, this nightie looks more like an oversized power suit jacket than something you’d find in the ladies’ intimates department. It’s oh-so 80s.

vintage 80s double-breasted lingerie with shoulder pads

But the garment’s roots are in the 1940s. Designer Elsa Schiaparelli may have lit the shoulder pad fuse in 1931, but it wasn’t until World War II began that the big bang of shoulder pads in women’s fashions really exploded.

Women’s fashions became steadily militarized, heavy in masculine styles with shoulder pads becoming increasingly bulkier and positioned at the top of the shoulder to create a solid, strong look.

Soon the style was ubiquitous in female fashions, found in all garments except for lingerie.

So leave it to the 1980s, decade of excess, to put shoulder pads in the lingerie.

Fashions of the 80s rigorously borrowed from many previous decades – exaggerating things as it went.

From the 40s – big shoulders and double-breasted suits.

From the 1950s, the 80s took rolled jeans and rocker leather. Those soft 50s pastel angora sweaters were back – now paired primarily with black for higher contrast. And the classic 1950s ponytail become the exaggerated side ponytail.

From 1960s fashions, the 80s took mini-skirts, bold colors, and mod geometric patterns.

Of course, there was a great backlash to all this big, bold, exaggerated 80s fashion too.

Brands such as Laura Ashley & Jessica McClintock’s Gunne Sax surged forward with their fond looks backward towards a softer, feminine, romance associated with prairie and Victorian-styled designs. A time when women were women and men were men. (Of course, leaving out the facts that back in those good old days manly men and womanly women had to use outhouses and chamber pots, as we often do when romancing the past.)

This gender power struggle dynamic displayed in culture as fashion can be seen clearly in the 1980s television show Dynasty. The show’s costume designer, Nolan Miller, dressed his stars, Linda Evans and Joan Collins, in more than just the glamorous gowns of the wealthy. Their wardrobes were built on establishing and displaying the female leads’ authority and power. Big shoulder pads were needed for such big ambitions!

But even as those huge-shouldered power suits represented the power in the new working woman, it was also necessary to show that underneath her “bitch in the boardroom” persona, she was “all woman” underneath. Enter lingerie.

All things silky and lacy were paramount to a woman’s 80s wardrobe. Whether it was underwear as outerwear, a la Madonna, or it was a silky soft teddy beneath that tough power suit, lingerie was an 80s necessity. In the case of this vintage 80s piece, one would balance the “I mean business!” double-breasted, shoulder-padded night-suit by wearing the “Monkey business, baby!” of an all lace bodysuit (typically with stockings) beneath it.

This is the intimates fashion equivalent of Enjolie’s “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan. And never, ever let you forget you’re a man.”

Like I said, classic 80s.

Item details: Available in booth #27 at The FARM. Ladie’s size Medium. Cloth label: Charmeuse, 100% polyester. Machine wash; tumble dry low. Price: $26.95

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Hi, I’m Deanna Dahlsad of Fair Oaks Antiques.  This inaugural edition of ‘This Week’s Story’ is based on a mixed media artwork we found. (You can listen to this short audio podcast here!)

We found this piece on the street during Fargo’s Cleanup Week. Yes, that makes us trash pickers. That’s not really news; we’ve been on Night Time Live with Bob Harris (on The Mighty KFGO) a number of times talking about this. Obviously, rescuing works like this is nothing we are embarrassed about.

As an artist, the idea of another artist tossing her works out made me a bit sad though. And it reminded me of a debate I had with a professor in my college days.

In an art history class, we were discussing Venus de Milo I think it was… If not, it was another classical marble sculpture designated as Art with a capital A. Yet this work of art was found in a garbage pit; discarded, it seems, by its creator.

If, as we were being taught, Art with a capital A is defined as works which are created to be beautiful or to communicate important ideas or express the creator’s feelings – how could a work thrown out by its creator be considered art? If the artist himself had decided that the work was inferior – either by not communicating the intended message or not meeting the creator’s definition of “beautiful” – how could we call it art?

This, of course, leads to axioms of “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Not to mention the classic, “I know it when I see it.”

That last line is most known in the US for its role in the porn vs art debate in a landmark Supreme Court obscenity case. However flawed that statement is – & it is, all these expressions lead to paths of individualism and subjectivity, to the arbitrary whims of personal taste.

Yet, if enough of us agree to call a thing beautiful, or otherwise feel we “get it”, we can call an ancient discarded marble sculpture “Art with a capital A.”

Which is why this person will happily sort through another’s trash just to salvage a piece which will become another’s art treasure.

The mixed media artwork is $89.95 and can be found in our space, booth #27, at Fargo Antiques & Repurposed Market. Dealer code YES.

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Given the current situation, the dreaded coronavirus, we’ve seen an explosion in DIY and crafting — including a throw-back to Victorian hobbies, such as scrapbooking.

We’re no different; we’ve been putting in a lot more hours in the studio – and not just for custom pieces, but been listing items in our handmade Etsy shop, LunaTiqueBazaar, too.

And we’ve been keeping busy with our crafty-DIY supply shop, KindnessOfStrangers, including restocking with new old stock embroidery kits featuring kitsch-tastic wishing-wells, owls, & mushroom designs!

NOS retro vintage embroidery craft kits

But I, the wifey, came here to blog today to share some images of a sweet old scrapbook we once had in our possession. It was a book compiled by a woman who clearly had spent a long time in 1955 recovering from a hip injury.

vintage greeting cards in old scrapbook

Along with the kitschy old “get well” greeting cards, and an odd note from well-wisher about her icky toe (see below – if you wish!!), the maker of the book had created delightful drawings, including this “stepping stones to recovery” one.

Stepping Stones Leading To Recovery old scrapbook art

Note that this vintage scrapbook page below combines drawing or coloring with glued in images – charming & so much like today’s junk journals, right?!

It’s no wonder so many people today have joined in the junk journal craze!

For those who are not familiar with the phrase “junk journal” – it’s a handmade book, usually made & embellished with found & vintage items, the pages of which you fill with writings, artworks, clippings, doodles, stickers – whatever you wish! Rather combining the best of scrapbooks, diaries, & art journals. So many creative options!

red velvet junk journal
handmade vintage junk journal

(I’ve also written a bit more about junk journals over at The FARM’s blog – there’s a video too!)

The junk journals I sell are often called “naked” because they are created with plenty of blank pages to fill in. As you can see in this video I made. (I am so much better at making journals than videos lol)

Because so many of my extended family members are unable to see one another now (unless it’s on Zoom or something), I have spent most of April making nearly a dozen junk journals & mailing them out as gifts. In fact, we’ve often shown-off some of our junk journal pages in Zoom chats!

The journals were so well received, that I’ve spent the past few weeks taking custom orders for handmade junk journals their friends! Proof that everyone loves – & needs – a creative outlet.

Art is good for the soul.

Like Kevin Smith says,

Only someone who doesn’t understand art tells an artist their art somehow failed. How the fuck can art fail? Art can’t be graded, because it’s going to mean something different to everyone. You can’t apply a mathematical absolute to art because there is no one formula for self-expression.

It’s a quote I put into each one of the handmade junk journals I made for family & friends the past few weeks – hopefully, they find it as inspiring as I do!

For those interested… The icky toe news!

Dear Cousins - icky toe letter
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Sure, we are all about the vintage Valentines this time of year – but we are also enjoying the new trend: Valentine’s Day Trees!

We call this one the Sweet-Tree For Your Sweetie!

(In our space at Fargo Antiques & Repurposed Market; booth #26, dealer code YES.)

Also, what can be more romantic than weddings – and vintage photos of weddings? The entryway at Fargo Antiques & Repurposed Market is filled with them for the holiday!

And we’ve even got this sweet vintage centerpiece idea: a pink & gold metal mid-century modern bowl, sitting on a crisp white china plate, holding a pink Asian jade tree sheltering an adorable pair of vintage, made in Japan, china bride & groom candle climbers! About as romantic – and eclectic! – as it gets!

Discover more in glorious pink & white at the #isncollectorscorner hash! (And on the wife’s Instagram too!)

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Today is National Beer Can Appreciation Day, honoring the day beer was first put into cans in 1935, and the Farm is celebrating with a New Year’s Old Beers event – featuring a book signing with Alicia Underlee Nelson, of Prairie Style File! She will be signing copies of her book, North Dakota Beer: A Heady History at the shop from 4 pm to 6 pm.

If you want to get in the mood, here’s an interesting article on beer can history: Meet Archaeology’s Beer Can Man.

Also, we brought in some killer vintage beer items for this event!

Circa the 1950s, a Schlitz globe light (incomplete but rare as all heck & cool to boot!), and a 1963 Pabst 3-D advertising piece featuring golf!

Lots more breweriana & beer collectibles in the shop too – and we dealers keep restocking as this has been super popular! So come check it out – and, don’t worry, if you can’t make it today, Alicia will be back on Saturday, January 25th, from 1 pm to 3 pm to do more book signing!

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Hey, Fargo-Moorhead record lovers, we’ve got a pop-up flash sale for you!

This Saturday, December 7, 2019, ALL records in our booths at Fargo Antiques & Repurposed Market (aka The Farm) are HALF OFF!

Yes, this includes all our vintage vinyl: 33 1/3 LPs, 78s, 45s – even classic kitschy kids’ Christmas records! Even if already marked down! All our records are 1/2 off!

Fine Print: One day only. All records. Dealer code YES, booths 25-27. Shop opens @ 10am, open until 7pm.

(Pretty simple, right?)

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