This ceramic whale is a dresser caddy. Around 1960, my mom bought one exactly like it for my Dad from Tillie Williams, who sold Avon in my hometown of Brilliant, Ohio.
It sat on my dad’s dresser forever, the top full of loose change and his car keys in the whale’s mouth. It was one of the things that I closely associated with my dad.
About 25 years ago, I walked through my parents’ bedroom and noticed the whale was conspicuously missing from its spot on his dresser. I turned right around and tracked down my mother. “Where’s the whale?”
One of my nephews pulled it off the dresser. It probably contained 10 pounds of coins, so when it hit the floor, it pretty much turned to whale dust. Now, he was only about five-years old at the time, and I don’t want to call him out for a mistake he made before he was even in elementary school, so I’ll just tell you that his initials are Sean Dundar.
I was crushed. I spent the 25 years scouring second-hand stores and the Internet trying to find a replacement, but to no avail. Dad died in 2008 and went to his grave whaleless.
A couple of weeks ago, my sister Rhonda, the mother of the accused, sent me a link to an antique store in Skokie, Ill., with a photo of, “the whale.”
I felt like Ahab when he finally spotted Moby Dick.
I called immediately and spoke to a lovely lady named Lora Swanson, who owns Swantiques. Yes, the whale was still available.
It arrived a few days later and is in a case with my other prized possessions, safely tucked away from my nephew. Yes, he’s an adult now, but you can never be too careful. These things are really hard to find. Trust me.
In the meantime, check out the other bargains at swan-tiques.com.
Here’s a photo of my son, Ryan, with the Lombardi Trophy for the Washington Redskins’ Super Bowl XXVI win over the Buffalo Bills. Ryan is the executive producer for the former Redskins, now the Washington Football Team, and was a doing a video on the 1991 championship season. You’ve got a cool job when an actual Lombardi Trophy comes home with you.
My former employer, the Columbus Dispatch, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. As part of its Dispatch@150 series, reporters Bethany Bruner and Holly Zachariah wrote a lengthy story in Sunday’s paper on some of the big crimes the paper has covered over the past 150 years. They interviewed this old crime reporter for their lead. It was very nice to be included. I’d like to link you to the story, but it’s locked on the website for subscribers.
Reverting back to football for a minute, I’ve got to tip my cap to quarterback Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals for getting his team to the Super Bowl. This is a kid that Ohio State said wasn’t good enough to get on the field. He transferred to LSU, where he won the Heisman, the Maxwell, the Unitas Golden Arm Award, Walter Camp Award, Davey O’Brien Award, Lombardi Award and Manning Award. He quarterbacked LSU to an undefeated national championship and now has the Bengals in the Super Bowl. The best part of about Joe Burrow is that he seems to be a better person than he is a quarterback, and that’s saying something.