Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Reminiscent of our war with North Vietnam, this Zippo was probably used by a local veteran during his tour of duty. Zippos, including those associated with wartime activities, are very collectible.

From Wikipedia...

In the Vietnam War, the Mobile Riverine Force (MRF) (after May 1967), initially designated Mekong Delta Mobile Afloat Force, and later euphemistically the Riverines, were a joint US Army and US Navy force that comprised a substantial part of the Brown Water Navy. It was modeled after lessons learned by the French experience in the First Indochina War and had the task of both transport (of soldiers and equipment) and combat. The primary base was at Đồng Tâm Base Camp, with a floating base at the base of the Mekong River. It played a key role in the Tet Offensive.

Friday, September 26, 2014


Occasionally I'm lucky enough to buy or trade for vintage sport collectibles, like these 50s era LSU items above. Below are some 40s and 50s era Mississippi State collectibles.

Early yearbooks from Ole Miss are particularly collectible. Those like the one pictured below can bring hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Sunday, August 31, 2014


The bullets were flying back and forth between the lines during the siege of Vicksburg. I guess it was inevitable that some of them would meet each other before they reached their intended target. 

I dug this pair from the hills behind the siege lines many years ago after their paths had crossed way back in 1863. The energy of their impact welded them together. How many like this have been dug here, or elsewhere? I don't know. But of the many thousands of bullets I and others have dug from the hills around Vicksburg and elsewhere, this is the only bonafide pair I've seen.

Friday, August 15, 2014


This old Howe scale is still in workable condition, even after years of use at Oneil-McNamara Hardware store here in Vicksburg. It's amazing to see the intricate manner in which scales and other tools of the Victorian era were constructed. Even today, the scale could be depended upon for accuracy.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


There's no way of accurately knowing just how many large (32 & 42 pdr., 8", 9", and 10") stands of grape were fired into Confederate lines and even into the city of Vicksburg itself during the invasion of Mississippi and the siege of Vicksburg by the intruders from the north. Shown above are broken plates from an 8" stands, and below, one of the complete 8" stands that I reconstructed from the remnants of balls, plates, rings, bolts and nuts dug from the forts along the Yazoo River (8" stand of grape shown at far right). In the background is one of three 12-pounder stands that I dug from a Confederate fort overlooking the Mississippi River.

The 8" stands carried nine solid 6-pounder shot (cannon balls), while other calibers carried larger or smaller shot as required by the change in diameter of the cannon bore. Upon detonation of the cannon powder, the plates and balls separated; as in a shotgun, the various balls fanned out, causing destruction wherever they might land. Though deadly when used against massed troops or fixed artillery positions, it is doubtful that stands of grape were as effective as their smaller cousins, the canisters (canned shot), where smaller and more numerous shot were used to mow down swaths of soldiers as they advanced on enemy positions. The 12-ponder Napoleon cannon loaded with canister was one of the most feared weapons of the War for Southern Independence.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Treasure comes in all forms, I guess, including a bench made from the rear gate of an old Chevrolet pickup. It must have been "treasure," for it sold out of our store in no time to a mechanic who planned to use it as a display in his shop.

Monday, June 30, 2014


This Victorian half-tester bed is representative of what was found in Vickburg's stately homes around the turn of the century. It was probably built around 1880-1890, and required the high ceilings typical of the Victorian houses that lined Cherry and Drummond Streets. 

The popularity of half tester beds declined amidst reports, whether true to not, that a young newly wed's back was broken when his love-making caused the poorly attached canopy to drop upon him.

Many of Vicksburg's treasures are much older than this Victorian bed. Some of these will be examined in future posts.

Saturday, May 31, 2014


The beer companies, especially Anheuser Busch, have always been among the top advertisers of their products. This is one of AB's early advertising items, a brass corkscrew embossed with their name and icon. These are quite collectible.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Treasure comes in all forms!

Back in February I picked up these two little guys as they wandered along a street in downtown Vicksburg. They jumped right into my car when I opened the door, then both crowded themselves onto my lap and began licking my face. But they were filthy, and I did my best to avoid those lapping tongues. Straight to my home and my shower they went, where they were subjected to the horrors of a good bath. One had a collar with the name "Fifi," the other had no collar at all. The lighter colored was a female (in heat, of course) of poodle or shiatsu origin (I think), the other appeared to be a full-blood Cairn Terrier. They were inseparable. And they were the "lovingest" little animals you could ever meet. 

After trying for days to locate their owners I gave up the search. But I wondered: How could anyone lose such adorable little dogs, yet not care enough for them to check the local animal rescue and humane society offices to try and find them?

I was getting far too attached to the two squirts, and having two mutts of my own, I knew I had to move fast or I would have four mutts of my own. I contacted the local rescue agencies, who were too full to accept them, then visited the local humane society. There I talked with the lady in charge and made her promise to find good homes for the two, and to absolutely promise that they were not to be "put down." I gave her a $100 bill to seal the pact. When she took the two away, I felt like I'd lost two good buddies.

I checked with the humane society a week later to make sure my two pals were okay. I was told that both had been adopted. The Cairn Terrier was already settling in with his new family, and new owners were on their way from Louisiana to adopt the little female.

Treasure really does come in all forms. But I think I prefer these "living treasures" to any other kind.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Some "treasures" you pick up around Vicksburg are so unusual that they defy explanation. This one, a plastic creation of notebook size that was, indeed, the cover of a notebook I bought along with bunches of other strange stuff, is a good example. Mapinduzi is defined as the "Revolutionary party of Tanzania," whereas Joe De Grinder is defined on one blog as:

"Joe the Grinder is the name of mythical ladies man in blues tunes who seduces the wives and sweethearts of prisoners and soldiers. He’s also known as Joe De Grinder and Joe D. Grinder. The term dates to at least 1939. Grinder is from an old slang verb, to grind, meaning to copulate."

Whatever the remainder of the terms - "Mississippi Land, Bro. P., Korea 75 - 76" - mean is anybody's guess. If you recognize any of them, please let me know.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


David Baum is a fine young artist who once lived here in the Adolph Rose building. I have several of his works; these are two of my favorites. If you examine them closely, you'll see that there's a lot more to them than what first meets the eye.

David is obviously a very religious person. Perhaps he was undergoing an inner struggle in his relationship with God, evident particularly in the first of these two works, when he painted them. For more information on David, see


Friday, February 14, 2014


I found this old photo of Mississippi's back-to-back Miss Americas in a batch of old documents some time ago. Lynda Lee Meade of Natchez, on the left, was Miss America of 1960, while Mary Ann Mobley of Brandon, Meade's sororiety sister at Ole Miss, was Miss America 1959. I recall how delighted we all were with the selection of both the girls. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


For every nice US or CS marked buckle relic hunters dig from the battlefields or the siege lines, they dig probably three dozen or more buckles of the everyday garden variety. These buckles aren't fancy, but they were just as necessary to the soldiers in the field as the brass ones that supported their pants or their swords. Their variety and usages are endless. Most were made of iron, but many were of brass, and some were even made of pewter. Perhaps some gifted writer will someday attempt to catalog and describe this common and ubiquitious artifact of war.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Dug here in Vicksburg, this is one of only three chill-nose 10 pounder Parrott artillery shells I've dug or acquired from here in Vicksburg. I've dug probably twenty of the flat-nose variety, but the chill nose is scarce as can be. I'm currently listing this one on eBay as I have the opportunity to acquire another. The "chill nose" or "bottle nose" bolts were, I've been told, designed for use against heavily fortified positions, such as artillery or cannon emplacements.