Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Side-Track- Taken to the Cleaners

Several years ago I bought 40 cannon balls.  The story goes like this.  I went into an antique store near downtown Denver on Broadway.  I was looking around and spotted a couple of what looked like 20 lb. cannon balls.  I picked one up and asked the fine looking older gentleman if these were real cannon balls.  He most assuredly said that they were indeed, and told me that back in the old days (of honor and integrity) they used to heat them up first before firing them into the enemies ship to cause more damage and catch things on fire.
 I said, "Wow, this is splendid."  OK...I didn't say splendid, but I did say, "Do you have any more?"
 He said, "OH YES! Quite a few."
 I said, "How many would I have to purchase to get a price break?"
He said, "FORTY."
My heart began pounding. With a beam in my right eye and a mote in my left, and trying not to show any signs of intense satisfaction, I said, "Very well."
He had his young assistant, (scoundrel in training) go to the back and help me load my newly acquired treasures.  This was Saturday morning so when I came home I found no one around for the moment, so I stuck them in a base cabinet in the garage where they sat growing in value over time, similar to what stored gold bars might do.

 A few months later on another beautiful Saturday morning Cari shook me and said,"Are those cannon balls in the garage???"
I said, "How did you know those were cannon balls?"
She said, "Your the only one I know who would actually buy 200 cannon balls and hide them in them in the garage."
I assured her that this was going to be well worth the purchase.

Today I decided to pull these babies out of their treasure chest, clean them up a bit, and dive into the world of militaria.  I found some sites selling cannon balls and my heart jumped out of my chest when I saw how much some of them were worth.  I hobbled out to the back where Cari was planting some flowers and told her that she may be able to give her 2 weeks notice.  THEN!  I saw a site about FAKE cannon balls with a picture of what looked like MY cannon balls, and once again, my heart leaped out of my chest but for the opposite reason.  This was the best of times and the worst of times. For sure.  (These are actually grinding balls from a ball mill, used by the mining industry to crush raw ore in a giant tumbler.)

  Does anyone have any ideas of what you can do with these?

If your interested I'll sell them to you for my cost.
I've seen deck railings where the post had wooden balls on the top, maybe a nice five inch, 23 lb steel ball might look nice.  What about the bottom Newel post on a stair railing? A four poster bed? A door stop? A paper weight?  A conversation piece?  I even took one to a good friend to cheer him up when he had a bad week. (This is when I thought it was a real sacrifice)   

That's about all I have to say about this.

I can now put this behind me and go onward and upward.


kittrean tanner said...

That made me laugh...all of it...but, particularly Cari saying you are the only one to buy and hide....my laugh had a snort attached....therefore, my vote is to keep them....keep them all!

Shutterfreek Photography said...

This post is BRILLIANT! This blog is BRILLIANT. It most be shared immediately! Keep the post coming Jim. This is going to catch on like a new mexican brush fire.

Cindi Mills said...

That is hilarious. Jimmy the Valiant Treasure Hunter. Keep on writing. You have the best stories. Love ya

Anonymous said...

Rusty Simkin

Jim, who knew? but maybe the Stop light that you purchased from the same store will be worth something! The story is worth the price you paid for them however!

Anonymous said...

pam jones said
Jim!!!! Peggy just showed me your blog. Okay Jim...I'm hoping my opinion is worth something to you (at least as much as the cannon balls are)...you are a very gifted writer...I am still spell-bound! Go for it, Jim! You are in the beginning stage of becoming a world-class author! I love you!!!

Mikael & Ronnie Squire said...

Oh no! Don't tell my dad! One of those cannon balls is one of his most prized possessions. I remember you gave one to him for his birthday years ago and it has gone down in history as "Only Jimmy Cardon could give Perry Webb a cannon ball and Perry would love it". This only makes the story better!

Jac Bishop said...

I still can not express in words the happiness I feel when I read your blog. I was there when you brought those nuggets home and all I could think was, I hope they were carried over on the Santa Maria!

Bonnie Alger said...

The best part about you having this blog is we don't have to wait all year for your hilarious Christmas letter or be depressed that you didn't send one!

As far as the faux cannon balls...I am thinking that maybe you could paint them a variety of pastel colors and sell them to Disneyland for their BUGS LIFE ride as Dippin' Dots! Don't you think they would go nicely between the watermelon arch and the 5 foot candy corns? Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eeZKDtFHM0&NR=1

Cardon Family said...

Oh....I am loving this! I am going to be anxious to read each and every new post! Keep em coming!

Rachael said...

YOU ARE A GENIUS! Your writing is just as amazing as your building...I am loving it!

Chanel said...

SO, so funny! I remember when you told us the story and gave dad one of your prized cannon balls. Now it is even that much more valuable. I can remember that one of the hardest parts of mom and dad selling the old house was knowing that you had messages written behind the cabinets. I know we know have your writing hidden in the new house, but the fact that dad also has one of your "treasures" in the new house is priceless!!! LOVE IT!!!