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Touch of history with USS Arizona menu

Treasures & Trends


Question: Several weeks ago, I bought a scrapbook at an estate sale. When I got it home, I noticed that it had a 1925 Christmas menu from the USS Arizona and wonder if it has any value as a historical artifact. – Shelley, Tucson

Answer: The USS Arizona is important in our national history since it was one of the ship’s shelled during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. It is the final resting place for many of the vessel’s 1,117 crewmen who lost their lives that Sunday morning. Because of this, your menu merits more than just a passing interest. It’s interesting to note that in addition to roast turkey, oyster dressing and mince pie, cigars were also listed on the menu of this holiday feast.

I contacted several dealers who specialize in paper Americana. They seem to agree that it would sell in the $10-$25 range. Jeff Albiniak, owner of Mystiques Militaria, is a regional expert who might be able to help you. His contact information is P.O. Box 12611, Tucson 85732, and CWBUFFSTER@aol.com. He maintains a booth featuring military collectibles at Copper Country Antique Mall, 5055 E. Speedway Blvd.

Barbara DePalma and Richard DePalma are the owners of Deer Park Books, 609 Kent Road, Route 7, Gaylordsville, CT 06755, deerparkbooks@earthlink.net, deerparkbooks.com and 860-350-4140. Since they collect older menus, they also can advise you.

Q: I have an old mechanical bank that I can’t find in any of the price guides or reference books. I would like to find out if it is genuine or a knockoff. – Bill, Tucson

A: One of the better groups for enthusiasts is the Mechanical Bank Collectors of America, P.O. Box 13323, Pittsburgh, PA 15242, mechanicalbanks.org and info@MBCA.com.

Q: I am breaking up my mother’s house and have an assortment of items from the 1950s including cookware, table linens, vintage aprons, a dresser set, several old table radios and a collection of wonderful old salt and pepper shakers. Where can I sell this stuff? – Brynnia, Tucson

A: The Pink Porch is a local shop that specializes in many of the items you mentioned. The shop is tucked away in a small cottage at 2301 N. Country Club Road.

In addition to his work for the Tucson Citizen, Larry Cox writes book reviews and a weekly collectibles column that are syndicated by King Features and distributed throughout the United States and Canada. E-mail: contactlarrycox@aol.com.

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