What is That Junk??

There’s a lot of junk in the photo at the top of the page.  It could be my own personal voodoo shrine.  Nope.  It’s a collection of pop culture items that I’ve accumulated over the years.  Tchotcskies.  Lagniappes.  Whate’er you call them.  For the curious, I’ve labeled them in a photo and will list them off:

numbered photo

  1. A silver stegosaurus pencil sharpener given to me by Leigh Ann shortly after I started teaching.
  2. The base of a Union Civil War soldier statue given to me by the great Sam Bell and Dan McCarthy.  He’s cool looking, but too tall to fit in the picture.
  3. An unopened pack of 1989 Fleer baseball cards, given away as party favors at an art show/concert at The Percolator, a Lawrence, KS art gallery.
  4. A “Day of the Dead” diorama, featuring three skeletons playing harmonica, drums, and guitar respectively, bought during a trip to Las Cruces, New Mexico to visit Scott Ludtke and Brenda Jessen.
  5. A silver rocket stress toy, emblazoned with the logo of Texas A&M’s Special Collections University Library.  A gift from James Gunn after he learned that my robot stress toy from the 2007 Nebulas Banquet had been devoured by Blaze, the Wonder Dog.  (A&M has one of the best SF library collections in the world, including the papers of Howard Waldrop, George R.R. Martin, and Sam Moskowitz.)
  6. A Buddy Holly bobblehead, again too tall to be pictured.  I had a dream about a Buddy Holly bobblehead the night before I found this.  Such weirdness must be embraced.
  7. A “Boots Williams” South Kansas City Ford Dealership emblem from the back of a junked car.  If you grew up watching late night UHF television around Kansas City, you remember who Boots Williams is.  The “LL”s are spelled out using actual boots in the logo.  I had this affixed to the side of my Fender tweed 4X10 for years.
  8. The very tiniest glimpse of a custom carnival punk: a blue witchdoctor with black hair all around it.  A good luck charm given to me after I passed comprehensive oral exams at KU.
  9. A Don Quixote and Sancho Panza paperweight from Madrid.  If you can see, they’re riding across the cover of a copy of Cervantes’s Quixote.
  10. An ink pen designed to look like a ray gun, complete with Flash Gordon-y lightning bolt.  Another gift from Leigh Ann.
  11. A replica 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air, bought in Wheeling, West Virginia during the Welterweights’ last and only national tour.
  12. A cake topper figurine of Luke Skywalker (black Jedi robe, Return of the Jedi-era Luke) with a light-up green light saber.  Vader is next to him, but isn’t in the picture.  They came as a set on a birthday cake.  Once people know you work in science fiction…
  13. A Buddha statue.  Long story.
  14. A button from Room Con Quatro, a hotel room party hosted annually by the inestimable James Holloman during ConQuesT, Kansas City’s longest running SF convention.  That year had a Day of the Dead-theme.
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One Response to What is That Junk??

  1. Leigh Ann says:

    I was going to make a snarky about all your junk, but now I realize that I’m partially responsible for adding to your collection. Dang!

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