Sunday, July 26, 2009


I am a sucker for garage sales. Even though it was raining cats and
dogs yesterday, I still managed to pass several sales, as I was out
and about running a few errands. I've always maintained that one
man's trash is another man's treasure, and you never know just
what treasure you might happen upon at a friendly neighborhood

This beautiful baby was my treasured find yesterday. It was
standing, dusty and cobweb ridden in the corner of a chatty lady's
garage, whispering, "R-o-s-e-b-u-d". (I know it's a Flexible Flyer,
but I'll get to that in a minute.) She had it marked with a $10 sticker.
I asked if she would take $5. "How about $6?", she countered. "Deal."
Dickering is such a thrilling part of the whole garage sale experience.

This sweet sled brings back wonderful memories for me, not unlike
Charles Foster Kane's "Rosebud", the most famous single word in
movie history. (I know. I'm a hopeless romantic.) I can remember
sledding in glorious thick snow in tiny Burlington, Indiana on a
Flexible Flyer exactly like this one in the 1950's, with my dear
uncles. We would double up and take turns sliding down the
snow covered hill, over and over, until our fingers and toes were
numb with cold. Funny to think two of us could actually fit on this
little thing. Anyway, it symbolizes happy times for me. And it will
look so charming at the manor for the holidays, don't you think?
Bring on the snow!

PS...I just did some research online, and found that the earliest
Flexible Flyer sleds had the flower logo painted in the center. So,
hey, whad'ya know! "Rosebud" was a Flexible Flyer brand sled.


  1. I expect you'll be trying it out this winter and we will have a picture of that?

  2. wow! what a find! i remember having a sled something like this when i first came to canada in the mid sixties. the idea that you could steer was absolutely amazing to me. so now you have to decide - will you keep it to look at as touchpoint for amazing memories, or will you add to those memories and take it to the hills this winter? for now, i love the story that has already come out of its arrival at the manor!! steven

  3. Oooh, loverly! (I need to go look in our barn -- I bet my boys' old Flexible Flyer is there -- and probably with a charming patina after all this time.)

  4. very nice find.

  5. We don't have garage sales over here which is a shame. We have much larger and more organised car boot sales but they are nowhere near as much fun as your garage sales sound like.

  6. I have an old sled out on the breezeway. I just checked it for it's name. Nothing on the top--worn off. but underneath it says "fire-fly."

  7. jackpot! My family and I just got home from the Brimfield Mass Antique fair.

    Eyed one of those!

  8. You, know, I tried watching citizen Kane and never could get through it, and I think that the reason that I could not watch it was because I already knew what Rosebud was! That is the problem with that kind of plot!

  9. I would hang that on the wall, willow - it would make a splendid work of art and you would be reminded of happy days every time you looked at it.
    Do you fancy joining in our Wednesday meme? If so go to my blog a couple of days back for more info.

  10. Aaah, Rosebud! My absolute favorite movie of all time... I knew you were a woman after my own heart!

  11. Sweetness!!!

    Oh, you might want to check out my blog... you have been given an award, and I believe you would like to accept it. Check it out.

  12. Hello Willow,

    I can just see you dashing over the snow - and, of course, in your part of the world, there's a good chance that you'll be able to use it again. I dare you!

    Looks like awards are coming from all sides!

  13. What a beautiful sled (& a bargain)--& nice Citizen Kane tie-in--thanks!

  14. A boyfriend from ages and ages ago (pretty much a pain in the a**e, but never mind) took me to the movies once. We were standing in the queue for Rocky and the subject of Citizen Kane came up.

    Him: "You've never seen Citizen Kane? [total incredulity]

    Me: "Noooooo." [hideous shame]

    Him: "Rosebud was the sled." [remark casually tossed off]

    Me: [white hot anger]

    Last date with him, ever.

  15. You know, I have an old red sled and is older and in poorer condition, but I swear it must have been for four people at least. I put it outside in a tableau every Christmas. Rosebud used to be my moniker.

  16. what a find. love a good yard sale...never know what you might find. days sledding as a youngster...ahh loved them! rosebid indeed.

  17. I'm a sucker for a good yard sale too! You never know what you might find, it's like a treasure hunt. And you found one! What a cool sled! I love your nostalgic story too. Childhood memories shape who we are!

  18. I am proud to say I knew exactly what you were talking about when I saw the title to the entry and got a glimpse of the photo! It's one of my favorite movies...although I must admit I didn't EVER watch it until I was in my 40s and I took a film studies class in college! LUCKY you for finding such a great treasure for such a great price! I love me a bargain! Enjoy, Lisa

  19. Great find in memories! I can tell you are ready for cooler weather!

  20. That is amazing with the flower and all that. What an awesome find, Willow! It's like Christmas in July.

  21. You did bring back some memories in which I can see, in my mind's eye, my little brother and me sledding down a steep,snowy street in the Bronx, NY..on our way to sledding down a hill in the park..
    Now..snow..I can wait!!

  22. "And it will
    look so charming at the manor for the holidays, don't you think?"

    Hi! Willow,
    What a very nice find!...A beautiful "antique" sled...
    ...and the answer to your question
    Oh! Yes,I do think it will look charming during the holiday at the Manor.

    DeeDee ;-D

  23. Oh what sweet memories with each piece one discovers at garage sales or antique shops. I agree, garage sales are fun.

  24. I will have to ask my daughter to see if there are these markings on the sled we gave her. My parents found it when she was a little girl, now 36, and I pulled her in it. Now she pulls her three in it. Sweet memories.

  25. Oh, so that's what Rosebud means . . . hadn't quite finished the movie.

  26. Hello Wills,
    I have a funny feeling we are going to get a ton of snow this winter...Just sayin'...

  27. Aww that Orson Welles ... he was um...a character.

    But you SCORED at the garage sale. Well done, you! It'll be awhile till it snows, but you'll be ready.

    I like it that your dinner tonight is a mystery.

  28. I can't wait to see what creative thing you will do with Rosebud this winter!

  29. Old sleds are lovely-- for themselves, and for the memories they evoke. At a house near here, there is a fence of Flexible flyers -- they are attached in a curving line along a stockade fence -- it looks great and makes the fence an art piece. These same people also have a fence made of bicycles welded together in a long line!


  30. I've never had the opportunity to ride a real sled before. We rarely have had enough snow for this kind of fun. But one year we had lots of snow and ice so the ex made a crazy sled type thingy out of his saw horses which we tried to ride down our street. I bet your Flexible Flyer works ever so much better than our homemade sled.

  31. That all sounds so exotic to me Willow! I cannot imagine such a thing living in sunny Australia. It sounds like a childhood from a Little House on the Prairie or Heidi in winter! I love garage sales as well and op-shops (thrift shops I think you call them) It's the thrill of the chase that appeals to me so much! I don't do the bartering thins however. I must start to! xx

  32. That is beautiful. What a find!

  33. You know those sleds used to be more popular than computers today. I never saw one in this good condition but I think I have seen all kinds of sleds including those long enough for many people to lay down on and slide down hills.

    Pick a Peck of Pixels

  34. That is a great find! A few of our neighbors put their vintage sleds out with their Christmas decor on their always looks so wonderful!

  35. We have an old flexible flying which my wife sits out on the front porch during the holidays.

  36. What a bargain! A beautiful piece of machinery with real craftsmanship, nice as a display piece, even better flyin' thru the snow-can I have a go?

  37. I had one as child too! Nice find. Too bad we didn't know in advance to keep these things for future.

  38. It's a beauty. What a bargain!

  39. Gorgeous! You shined it up beautifully. Sledding was a great past time in Rising Sun, Indiana, too. We used to pray for snow so we could take my dad's old Flexible Flyer and our newer saucer sleds up to Murray's hill.

    And no one wanted to be the look out for cars, even though a really good run meant that you ended up on the other side of the street.

    Thank you for the memories.

  40. An extremely lucky find, Willow! Congrats.


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)