Monday, July 23, 2007

you collect WHAT???!!

funeral home fans.

("did she say, 'funeral home fans'?...i think so, yeah...let's back slowly out of this blog before she notices us!")

that may not be their official name, but i don't know what else to call them. they are hand-held, heavy cardboard fans that usually have artwork on one side and advertising info on the other. mostly, the advertising is for a funeral home, which is where i guess a lot of them were given away. i think the ones i have are mostly from the 40's and 50's. which makes sense: in the years before air-conditioning, if you were going to be at, say, a viewing, for several hours, in your dress clothes (& probably a hat & gloves, in those days) you might well be slightly warm, after a bit. hence the fan. and wouldn't a lovely mountain scene, or a picture of jesus, be comforting to look at, in such sad circumstances??!

i found my first one at a garage sale a few years ago and just fell in love with it. heck, as we know, i like paper, generally, and vintage paper especially! i like old books, and those souvenir pamphlets you get at tourist attractions, and i really REALLY like postcards... (but that's a whole 'nother blog entry!)

anyway, having found one, of course i had to keep looking, and thus a mini-obsession was born. i can go for months without really thinking about them, but if i find myself at a flea market or antique shop--especially one stocking vintage postcards & paper ephemera--i will ask hesitantly, "you don't have any...funeral home you?" sometimes i get a look from the proprietor. often i get one from my companion. in south pasadena, with my friend barb, i just got a smile. which i didn't think too much about, since barb's a happy kind of gal. a couple of days later, on my birthday, the smile made sense, right after i opened...


well, as you can imagine, i was stunned! i mean, a friend who takes you to see pre-raphaelite paintings and bakes you a cake on your jingo, that's a good friend! one who does all that, and remembers that you collect funeral home fans...and finds some for you??! (and somehow--heroically--manages NOT TO REVEAL that fact when you are in an antique store together several days beforehand & they are mentioned...??!!)


i don't know what i've ever done in life to merit such a friend, but boy am i grateful!!!

thanks, barb!!!


  1. Your blog is always fun to read. You have a great sense of humor and tell a story well. Those fans are gorgeous! Now I know what a funeral home fan is too :) Oh, and isn't it wonderful to have friends like Barb? (I have a friend like that, but her name is Kaye!)

  2. Those fans are beautiful!!

    What a fab friend!


  3. ok, i have actually never seen these before. do people still have these at funerals? i must is much more interesting than a phamphlet commeorating a life, a great keepsake & great if it is hot out!
    i will keep an eye out now!


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