Nechama Levy owns and manages a bike shop called Bicycle Roots, which opened in June and whose launch was partially crowd-funded. People who gave $35 received a T-shirt, cap, and water bottle, like the one from which she's drinking in the photo shown above. The bottles were ordered in mid-May and were supposed to be delivered within two weeks, but the whole thing turned into a drama, as the bottles were mistakenly sent to the wrong address, then mistakenly sent back to the manufacturer instead of being forwarded to the proper address, and so on. Nechama: "I was like, arrgghh!" The bottles finally arrived a few hours prior to this installment of Show & Tell, so Nechama decided use one of them to tell this story. Here's a closer look. (Photo by Alie McNeil)
Eric Frank was running his fingers along the spines of some books at the University of Rochester library two years ago when he encountered something that felt like wood, not like a book. He reached into the shelf and pulled out this combination thermometer/barometer. On the back of the gadget were two Post-its, which said:
"Remember when we watched Shutter Island in Hoyt after all those creepy things kept happening to us?"Eric was intrigued enough by this to take the device for himself. "They make me interested in the object because of the feelings and thoughts assigned to it," he says. "Also, the barometer dial has terms like 'Unsettled' and 'Stormy,' which is how you feel most of the time in college." (Photo by Alie McNeil)
"No, I have a bad memory."
While attending college at the University of Michigan, Max Frank (yes, Eric's brother) befriended a woman named Mallory, who was a bit troubled: she was always high, she drank hydrogen peroxide, and on and on. One day Mallory crashed on Max's couch, so Max went out for a walk, during which he found this abandoned doll, which was made in Israel. It was dirty and a bit bedraggled — one eye was closed, one shoe was missing. Just like Mallory! Max took the doll and cleaned it up. As Mallory drifted out of his life, Max says, "the doll became Mallory." (Photo by Alie McNeil)
Greg Guthrie attended college at Vanderbilt, where he and some friends attended a "Casino Night" event. Frustrated by the slow pace of their winnings, they decided to set up their own mini-casino within the event. Greg ran back to his dorm and retrieved this set of dice, which he and his friends used to run a rigged dice game over in a corner of the room. People were only betting raffle tickets, not real money, but still, "We were scamming the whole crowd," Greg says. He and his friends ended up with hundreds of raffle tickets and used them all to try to win a big TV for their room. "But we didn't win," says Greg. "We were crushed!" (Photo by Alie McNeil)
When Ari Friedman was two years old, his mother made this book for him. It's an amazing object, hand-sewn from various pieces of cloth. The interior pages features assorted animals, each one with a zipper or buckle or snaps or some other type of open/close mechanism. (You can see these pages here.) Although the book seems like a remarkable keepsake, Ari has lost track of it several times during his life. "It disappears from my life and then comes back," he says. "I just found it again a few months ago. I'm not letting go of it this time." (Photo by Alie McNeil)
Alie McNeil (who took all the other photos for this installment of Show & Tell) loves her hometown of Columbia, Missouri. During a recent trip home to visit her family, she picked up this deck of cards, which features notable spots around Columbia. You can get a better sense of the cards here. As she talked about the cards, people in the Show & Tell audience started asking her which spots were assigned to certain cards in the deck. The two of clubs, for example, is Booches Billiard Hall ("They're closed on Sundays," says Alie, "so they put a sign on the door that says, 'See You in Church!'"). And the three of clubs is Alie's high school. "Our mascot was the kewpie," she says. Alie was off for another visit to Columbia two days after this installment of Show & Tell. (Photo by Paul Lukas, using Alie's camera)
We conclude, as usual, with Show & Tell host Paul Lukas — me. I normally wear this T-shirt only once a year, on the last Saturday of July. That's the date of the annual volunteer firemen's chicken barbecue fundraiser in my hometown of Blue Point, Long Island. (The event is promoted more heavily on the back of the shirt.) I began attending the firehouse barbecue with my family when I was a kid and have made a point of continuing to attend each year as an adult, even though my parents no longer live in Blue Point. I always bump into old friends (and occasionally old enemies), and it's a nice way for me to feel connected to the town, if just barely. I bought this shirt at the 1990 barbecue and have kept wearing it to the event each year since then. The T-shirts they currently sell look nothing like this one, and invariably some old-timer spots me, nods approvingly, and says, "Oooh, haven't seen one of those shirts in a while." That always makes me feel good, like I still have some Blue Point cred. (Photo by Alie McNeil)
That's it for this round of Show & Tell. Big thanks to all who attended, even bigger thanks to the participants, and bonus thanks to Alie McNeil for the photography and to Heather McCabe for handling the audio. Show & Tell will be hiatus for August, so our next show will be Wednesday, Sept. 11, 8pm, in the back room at Freddy's. Hope to see you then.