Found at the flea market: The story of Benedict Arnold
Oh, Long Beach flea market! If only you existed every weekend and not just the third Sunday of each month. This week I was on a personal hunt for a vintage kimono (found it! 1940s, $40) and a vintage typewriter (Tab-O-Matic, $15). But the best thing I saw was this crazy-looking framed artwork: An old-fashioned etching of a gray house with an ominous caption below, "Arnold's birthplace in Norwich, Ct. For many years it was supposed that this house was haunted by some evil spirits." It was weird in the way the Museum of Jurassic Technology is weird. And there was a table full of them -- each with a different caption and drawing. I needed to know more.
Russel George, who runs Estate Jewelry & Coin Exchange out of Hemet, Calif., said he received the etchings -- which tell the story of Benedict Arnold -- in a large leather-bound book. He pulled them out and had each one individually framed. He guessed the etchings and prints dated to the late 1700s or early 1800s, but he would have to have them authenticated. He was asking $25 a piece for each framed work. I considered getting at least the haunted house one, but I was a little nervous to bring any talk of evil spirits into my house.
If you're more brave than I am, you can find George every third Sunday at the Long Beach flea market.
-- Deborah Netburn
Photo credit: Jason La