We found a few of our favorite ornaments during this trip: Mercury glass dioramas

Out o’er the frozen ground there rang the cry:
Remember Mount Victory!!!

It was a risk - one of those antiquing trips where you’re using up your precious time going to some little out-of-the-way spot that might hold nothing more than a few forgotten piles of junk. We wended our way over the icy roads, following the directions of our Garmin to a place we’d never been before. Garmin’s directives were few and far between, and few signs of civilization presented themselves.

We had begun to worry about gas availability when we saw the outskirts of our destination: Mount Victory, Ohio. A town of 600 souls, its name was said to originate from the auction of the town site, at which the winning party exclaimed, “Victory, Victory…we shall name the town Mount Victory!”

Winning an auction seemed like an auspicious sign for a place where we hoped to score on some good old Christmas stuff. The list I’d compiled looked promising too - there were six or more promising sites to investigate.

Iffy start to the day

Unfortunately, a number were closed. The weather had apparently prevented some people from feeling the mercantile mood. At one small shop near a church, we found the owner at home but unwilling to open her shop. Another, more promising-looking shop was also closed - at least she put a note on the door. At a barn-based shop, a much nicer homeowner opened for us, but alas - mostly furniture and few smalls; certainly no Christmas décor.

We did better in the town center. The first shop we visited, The Browsing Patch, had a lot of crafts and new items not of interest to us, along with a few decent fifties plastic garlands - and some adorable beribboned kittens - but more importantly yielded Linda a porcelain-top table with a patriotic design. A perfect score for her patriotic-themed office! And the prices there were really reasonable.

We stuffed the table in the car and proceeded to the House of Yesteryear. This was a pricier shop, but they did have a few nice old blow molds. The genial owner bargained a bit and Linda felt like she got a fair deal. He also referred us to a shop a bit outside of the town center, Victory Corner, where I saw some graniteware that looked strangely familiar. Turns out this is a vendor I often see at the Springfield Flea Market. Their shop was a very nice, higher-end store where they were also willing to wheel and deal on most of the Christmas items. Some good mercury glass garland went into Linda’s bag. I mooned over a half-grown Golden Retriever and bought a piece of graniteware.

We went back to the center of town and made a great score at the church charity store (think Goodwill) on a bottle-brush tree priced at $1 and a set of two candle drip guards adorned with spun-cotton fruit. It was priced at 50 cents - I’ve seen them in Lebanon for $22. I gave the lady a $5 - and she didn’t want to take it!

Attic picking!

We migrated over to Grandma’s Attic. This is probably the largest of the stores in town, and it had the most wares that were for the budget-minded. I was a little disappointed in my first glances, as there was NO Christmas, despite it’s being November, and nothing else appealed to me.

But my dear friend was already one step ahead of me. On the landing of a staircase there was a box of the type one usually finds aluminum trees in - and indeed, a tree was therein. The tree and the price were just average. But she’d bypassed the tree and sprinted upward, having already obtained permission to enter, and pick, an attic wherein were the Christmas things that they “hadn’t gotten out yet.”

She was kind enough to let me know it was OK to follow, and we rounded a corner into a whole room full of boxes of Christmas items. It was a Christmas-lovers dream. We started making a pile. When we’d made a pile that emptied a box, I filled that box and we started on another. True, there was a lot we didn’t want - holiday Barbies, animated snoring Santas, and other cute items not appropriate for Vintage-only snobs. But we found plenty to make us happy, and squeals punctuated the digging sounds. I’m mildly obsessive, and tend to sort things as I look, so the proprietress ended up with a well-organized lot when we were done.

All good things end too soon. We spied another side of the attic that also stored what was plainly Christmas stuff. Linda lumbered down with an armload to ask if we could look at that. The lady in charge of the store wasn’t sure - she believed those items belonged to the owner, who was storing them at the shop while she was moving into another house. But good as gold, she offered to call, and came back with the welcome news that we could look through it - but that the owner might not want to sell some of those things.

Of course that’s where all the best stuff was! We made our selections judiciously, and when we finally emerged from the attics, offered our finds to the staffer, who called the owner again. This time, she accommodated us by coming in to see what might be sold. We were thrilled with every item she passed into the “sell” pile, and downcast at each item she said she wanted to keep. We were well-satisfied with her generosity, and we gathered our prizes and departed with great joy.

There is no store as good as an attic.

As excited as children on Christmas morn, we bundled our new toys into the car and set out towards home. We agreed there’d never be another “pick” like the attics at Grandmas. Linda said that forever after, we’d have to say, “Well, it was good, but it was no Mount Victory."