Greensboro’s Ten Best eBay Items

by Brian Clarey

Photo of the ruins of UNCG’s Curry Building, circa 1929

Buy it now for $10

Yeah, we’ve done a Ten Best like this before, but one of the best things about eBay is that it’s a movable feast, with a menu that changes daily. And we found some really cool stuff, like this vintage photo of UNCG. Once known as the State Normal and Industrial School, founded in 1892, it was moved to the original Curry Building in 1902. The Curry Building burned down in 1926, and this color-tinted photograph shows what was left afterwards: a low flight of steps leading to crumbling brick and devastated columns slowly being overtaken by creeping strands of ivy.

Two Taking Back Sunday tickets for the Greensboro show at Greene Street April 20

Buy it now for $229

Joe Ferguson, who books the music for the Greene Street club, gets all frothy when he talks about this band and he books them whenever he can as he says they are a sure sell-out act. Tickets for the Greene Street show next Thursday sold out in a few days at 20 bucks a head, and if Ferguson knew what they were going for online he might have saved a few. Though the band is pretty well known and has a large following, $230 for a pair of tickets is Rolling Stones money. What teenager has that kind of money?

Ace Frehley’s guitar pick

High bid is $2.95 but you can buy it now for $12.95

Remember Ace Frehley? C’mon’… the Spaceman? Grizzled veterans of the KISS Army will undoubtedly recall the April 2000 stop of the Farewell Tour at the Greensboro Coliseum when Frehley, lead guitarist and third-most recognizable member of the band (or is that Peter Criss?) flung a few of these beauties from the stage. According to the post only 288 were made. each emblazoned with the planet Saturn and ‘— you guessed it ‘— an ace of hearts, which one would think might pose a conflict of interests with Paul Stanley, AKA the Lover.

Postcard of the Greensboro Holiday Inn, circa 1950

Buy it now for $8

There were two Holiday Inns in Greensboro in the ’40s and ’50s, one on Randleman Rd. and another on US 29. I don’t know which one this is, but both of them, some time around 1960, became desegregated and were among the first ‘“whites-only’” hotels in the South to allow black people to sleep in their beds. The shot shows the inn against a backdrop of tall pines, the sun glinting off an impossibly blue, triangular swimming pool and a few honkies dipping their toes with the old and cheesy, green and yellow Holiday Inn sign in the background.

1902 bank checks ledger

High bid is $64

A stack of cancelled checks from the estate of Jesse Clarence Watkins, an old Greensboro textile and railroad baron, dates from 1902 to 1916. The seller, jaybardee, says there are huge bundles of them, many signed in ink on the back, and a ledger from 1897. He opines that there are likely some signatures on them with local historical significance and photos of the yellowed documents on the page would make an archivist drool.

Greensboro Police Department shoulder patch

Starting bid is 99 cents or buy it now for $9.95

We’re not sure why an ordinary citizen would want an item like this unless they’re assembling, piece by piece, a replica of a GPD uniform (the wearing of which, by the way, would be an extremely bad idea) or if, like the late Elvis Presley, they simply like to collect law enforcement memorabilia (it’s said that cops would hand their badges over to the King for the asking). At any rate it can be had for 10 bucks, the same asking price as another eBay item, a patch for the Greensboro Jaycees.

Black and white and black photos

Bids run $7.95 to $12.95

In turn of the century Greensboro ‘— the last turn, not this one ‘— the Greensboro Agricultural and Mechanical College , which eventually became NC A&T University, a series of photographs was taken showing the students at their studies, which at that time included such diverse subjects as butter churning and biology. An eBay shot of a group of women in a sewing class shows about a dozen women in front of foot-pedal machines or stitching by hand. Another depicts four men in a blacksmithing class wearing high collars and bow ties under their leather aprons and was used by WEB DuBois in an exhibition in Atlanta in 1900, according to the seller. From the copy: ‘“DuBois was committed to combating racism and he felt that displaying photographs of affluent young African American men and women challenged the so-called scientific evidence and popular racist caricatures of the day.’”

A date with a Rhinoceros Times employee

Auction cancelled

No, John and Willy Hammer are not selling off their employees to the highest bidder. Still we just had to make mention of the Rhino Times staffer who attempted to auction off a dinner date with herself on eBay. This auction was cancelled by eBay before press time, but we feel it’s noteworthy to mention that she called herself a ‘“bleeding-heart liberal’” and said she was not looking for a boyfriend. The bidding was gaining ground before the weekend, over a hundred bucks, but it looks like she’ll have to find another way to pay the rent.

Greensboro Hooters Bike Night pin

High bid is $9.99

Buy this decorative pin depicting a leggy blond Hooters girl holding a tray of beers and straddling a bike with a mean flame job to show your friends that you actually can take something home from Hooters Bike Night.

Pomona Dairy milk bottle circa 1920

High bid is $10.50

If you’re under 35 years old, you probably didn’t know that in the olden days men in white suits would cruise the neighborhoods and leave milk in insulated boxes on people’s doorsteps. Sounds crazy but it’s true. They also left stuff like orange juice, butter and chocolate milk, which in the early 1900s came in little half-pint bottles like this one, with raised lettering and the word ‘“vitality’” on the logo. In the old days, the milkman was also the source of many, many jokes about dubious paternity. Such a price for progress.