Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

One person’s junk…Hot Sam’s Antiques, Part III September 19, 2012

Truck door signage, a nod perhaps to Jake Hood, owner of Hot Sam’s Antiques, Lakeville, Minnesota.

ONE MAN’S (or woman’s) junk is another man’s (or woman’s) treasure.

That adage could aptly be applied to Hot Sam’s Antiques, rural Lakeville, Minnesota.

I’ve posted about this antique theme park twice already. Click here and here to read those stories. But Hot Sam’s deserves a third post. Why? Think upcycling and recycling.

Barry, artist and upcycler of stuff at Hot Sam’s Antiques.

I appreciate businesses like Hot Sam’s Antiques which sell or re-purpose used stuff. We are too much a throw-away society although, in recent years, it’s become suddenly chic to upcycle or purchase vintage/used. I hope the trend lasts beyond the current economic depression.

Inside the log cabin at Hot Sam’s is a bounty of antiques, collectibles and other used merchandise. The door leads to the wrap around porch, where you’ll find more goods.

For decades I’ve shopped at rummage sales and thrift stores. The bottom line is that I am careful with my money, a trait instilled in me while growing up in a farm family with little money. Think eating white rice with cinnamon and sugar for a meal. Think no birthday presents. Think shopping only for clothes hung on the sales rack.

My parents worked hard to provide for our family of eight, but it was not easy for them. I never realized, though, that we were poor until I grew into adulthood. That’s a credit to my parents’ love and care.

Because of my upbringing, I tend to bargain shop and put less value on material possessions than many in today’s society. For example, of all the furniture in the house my husband and I own, only five—the sofa, recliner, twin bed frame, entertainment center and my office desk—are pieces we bought new.

Likewise, nearly all of the art I own originates from rummage sales, thrift or antique stores, or recycled art sales.

There. That should explain why I appreciate places like Hot Sam’s Antiques.

And I also like Hot Sam’s because of the creative art pieces such as Popeye and Olive Oil and Sweet Pea riding in the family car. I watched “Popeye” cartoons while growing up.

Somewhere in my memory bank I possess a memory of my dad telling us to watch for the flying red horse en route to visit relatives in the Cities. I couldn’t tell you now where that red horse was located, but I’m fond of this icon. In the background you”re correctly seeing a Statue of Liberty jutting from the front end of a partial vintage car.

I rode in a taxi once in Chicago. It didn’t look anything like this one at Hot Sam’s. But that’s my single taxi experience.

I’d like to attend a circus once… See why I love this place?

Ten years or more before I experience the validity of this statement.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


8 Responses to “One person’s junk…Hot Sam’s Antiques, Part III”

  1. Sara K. Says:

    I’ve noticed Hot Sam’s and will definitely stop in for a visit soon.

    I, too, always looked for the flying red horse on our trips to the Cities (also the Coca-Cola silo – then 7-Up and now Cambria and the Jolly Green Giant & Lil Sprout sign on 169). The flying red horse was on top of a Mobil gas station on Flying Cloud Drive and 494 in Eden Prairie. Sadly it was taken down 20 or so years ago. What fun memories!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I remembered the flying read horse was on a gas station, although not the location. So thank you for the memory jog. We had to remember landmarks, I think, so my dad knew how to get to where we were going. We also had to watch for Ziegler.

      • Sara K. Says:

        Yes, Ziegler – the yellow Cats! It was located along the 494 strip in Bloomington. Further along that route headed east, around the airport and into St. Paul, I would wait until I saw the house with the maroon awnings and would know we had to take a right and would soon be at my sister’s house. Those maroon awnings are still on that house but my sister has moved. 🙂 I like landmarks, too!

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        The yellow Cats, indeed. I love that story about the long-standing maroon awnings on your sister’s previous house.

  2. treadlemusic Says:

    Amazing…..it just keeps going……!!!!

  3. Sartenada Says:

    Wow. Great photos indeed. I enjoyed every one, but my favorite is Popeye. 🙂

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