Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Old dumps and dirty girls (jeans)

I am a dirty girl. I attract dirt like Liz Taylor was a magnet for diamonds and men.
This is what my jeans might look like after I am done with them. After I have been out trouncing around in the desert.
When I was a girl, one of my favorite places to play was an old miners' dump. I would wade in broken glass and tin cans to look for whatever treasure.
I am sure I came home often, with grime under my broken fingernails, bleeding and covered in DIRT.
Digging around in old dumps is not as fun as it used to be. Many have been picked over, already, and the good stuff is gone. What was miners' trash, is now hot on E-bay. And commercial pickers spend a whole summer screening. A lot of would-be awesome finds have also been blown to pieces by trigger happy hunters.
However, that is not to say treasures cannot still be found between the sage and the pine. Whenever I find evidence of an old homestead, miners dump or settlement, and it is off the beaten path, I stop and look. Just in case. You never know when you will stumble on a gold or silver nugget in this dirt. It does happen.
I bumped into a dump recently. After I found this old Coke bottle I became even more interested. I decided to let the boys play in an old rusted out Station Wagon with no windows, and I was on a treasure hunt.
I waded through piles of bones and doll arms; medicine, food, cold cream and liquor bottles; tin cans; cars, tires, fuel and oil cans; broken glass and old barrels. There was no purple glass so the dump was not too old. The Idaho and Nevada license plates I found indicate the dump might have been active around 1965-69.
For me, an old dump with goodies in it is wild fun. By the time the boys were bored with the car, and began to venture into the pile of glass and tin after me, I was filthy dirty and bloody. 
I put the best of the best treasures in my basket; made a mental note of the dump location; and I arrived home with grime under my broken fingernails, bleeding and covered in DIRT.
My basket of goodies.
Now I need the readers help for the next two pictures. My best pick at this old dump was this glass pitcher that can be laid on its side, and has a measurement bar on it, in ounces. To read the measurement, you have to hold it upright.
I know it is a rare find. There is a seam, so I know the glass is old, maybe even older than those license plates...
I do not know what it is called, or for what purpose it was used. 
Can the readers help me out? I hope so. In the meantime happy treasure hunting!
April 25, 2011

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