The catalog and the times in which it first saw the light of day.
When I was a lad, I frequented several shops in Chicago that were run by individuals of questionable character. My favorite was Doc's Hobby Shop which was loaded with regalia at prices even a 12 year old kid could afford. One of the problems is he never had regular hours and I would have to get a ride from the parents. Turns out he was a heroin addict and used to rob banks in Nebraska and Missouri. He finally got caught and that was the end of that source.
SA daggers that were early with all of the leather were $5.00. Heer and Luftwaffe 2nd model daggers with hangers and knot were $7.50 and he had piles of them.
Another memory was Der Alter Oberst in LaJolla, Ca., who put out similar catalogues with hand drawings and a few photos stapled together. It was a magical time when we had no idea what 2/3 of what we bought were. Tinnies were kept in big containers at 25 cents each,
LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.
"Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."
I was raised up in Paris France in the 50's and 60's . I was born in 1951.My mother loved to go to the flea market to buy old porcelain . She used to take me with her and that was my first meeting with German items left by the troops of occupation when France was liberated . In the early 60's tons of helmets , uniforms , medals was for sale on the side walk of each fleas market of Paris.
I remember an entire black uniform hanged on the door of a truck at the "marchť de la ferraille" in 1962 .I was 11 years old and dared to ask for the price , the seller wanted 1000 Francs which was something like 200$ for it . It was a lot of money in 1961. A CitroŽn DS car costed 10000 Francs =2000$ at that time .
I bought an heer helmet M42 with decal for 20 Francs =4$ ; I still have it ...A waffen SS helmet costed 100 francs = 20$ .
I suppose I am of the next generation of collectors, those who transact via the digital medium. I have had zero luck at shows, in fact, the only one I attended I picked up a fake item...I guess I need to carefully reassess my ability to not only judge iron crosses, but my ability judge character as well. I am not aware of any brick and mortar establishments that sell this regalia, and in my highly PC locale I doubt one would be tolerated, although, I would prefer to conduct business in person. My best recollection of attending a show was meeting Bob Hritz, a pleasant man. The stories that Bob, Wagriff, and notton have written above do paint an interesting picture of the hobby and the early characters one encountered. While I am not exactly young, I just turned 40, I imagine many years from now I will be thinking of how sane the prices were that I paid for my items, or, perhaps, I will be trying to eat one of my visors while the world around me is turned to ash. Either way, I appreciate the polite interactions here and the contextual review of prices and availability of this regalia over the span of the decades.
FB sharing the Retting catalog information speaks volumes regarding his training as a historian and keeper of records. Thank you for a nice look into a not so distant past FB.