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Roadside Survivor

June 25, 2011

C'mon in!

Traveling along Interstate 10 toward Palm Springs, you may notice a sign for a place called Yucaipa. A small town of fewer than 60,ooo residents, it’s best known as being the former home of the Serrano Indians, the Stater Bros. supermarket chain’s headquarters, and ’80s singer-actress (and Dudley Moore’s towering gal-pal), Susan Anton. Yucaipa has also been a destination for antiques aficionados, with a visible-from-the-freeway row of smallish antique malls packed to the rafters with all manner of gew-gaws. That is, until recently, because like many Inland Empire towns with antique rows, it has fallen on hard times and almost all of those malls have now closed. During a recent visit we were sad to find emptied spaces but not entirely surprised, we’ve seen this ghost town effect before … So, it was heartening to find that Antique Exchange was still in business (I found my goofy ceramic octopus planter here) and chock-full, with loads of collectibles to peruse inside. For me, though, the best part is outside the Exchange, in the fenced yard out front … for a whatsit worshiping, rust lustin’, junk junkie like myself, it’s shangri-la! First clue? Our bug-eyed greeter is a multi-tasking moflero who’ll not only collect your mail but could hold a stop-and-smell-the-roses bouquet for the postman …

Whatta figure

I spend a lot of time out in the yard; there’s just so much to see and it’s easy to miss things. Right off, I’m taken by this gorgeously decayed balletic figure, but it’s only on the second go-round that I see the numerous rusted figurative shelving brackets at her feet. And, note the corroded insecticide sprayers … I don’t have a need for them, but I’m happy they’re here because you never know when I might.


Another moflero (a folk art figure made of a muffler and other metal bits welded together) mailman, this one with a military air about him. I love the rusted trumpet-like jacks in various sizes at the right. They’re solid cast iron and super heavy … now, if only I had something that needed propping up .

Got milk?

Tanks, milk cans, and other metal containers are in abundance. All have the requisite wear, tear and attractive patina I love so much. And, how ’bout that huge rusted ring? At least 5-feet in diameter, I’m in love with it … looks great from this angle; it’s even better from the front …

Big ring, chiller

Did I mention there are two of them! I really have to go back for at least one; I could see it becoming a newer, bigger, focal point at the Rancho. And, that rusted icebox is also calling to me. After all it’s been marked down by $100 … I just have to find a reason and a place for it, right?

Barb bed

This fakir-ready bedstead is criss-crossed with lengths of barbed wire of various vintages. Not feeling particularly masochistic, and without my thick leather garden gloves, I decide not to pick through them. I think they might make a very singular trellis … or something.


Some of the things in the yard raised questions; like where’d all the tractor seats come from? And, what’s that weird centrifuge-flying saucer ball-thing? Would that big-eyed fisher boy — or the gas fireplace logs (painted cement gray, of course) — fit in at the Rancho? How can I adapt the wagon wheel carousel idea for a project? …

Happy guy

I leave without buying anything this day, but I know I will. I just get so happy rummaging through this sort of scrap heap, wondering how it all got here and wishing for a reason to have it all. Here’s hoping that the next time we visit Antique Exchange, it will still be alive and well, and a thriving antique/junker’s haven.

ANTIQUE EXCHANGE is located alongside Interstate 10,  at 31251 Outer Highway 10, Yucaipa, CA 92373; (909) 794-9190 

8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 26, 2011 5:29 am

    Ai yi yi, next thing you know you’ll be posting about Mentone.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      June 26, 2011 5:31 am

      Hi, ks … Thanks for the tip! ; )

  2. June 26, 2011 4:43 pm

    that place is pure awesomeness! that circle could make a rockin fire pit! you have such a great eye, and you are so generous to share your prized sources with us! who knew yucaipa was such a destination!
    (here’s how “the camp” mall in oc re-purposed tractor seats like the ones you saw:

    • reubix1 permalink*
      June 26, 2011 10:11 pm

      thanks, much… and thanks for the link; it’s amazing to see how the homespun and folksy can be co-opted and adopted as hight design, if not hipster fare. not that I mind at all, it’s all part of the design universe, right?

  3. June 27, 2011 1:49 am

    You left without those figured shelving brackets? For shame! For shame!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      June 27, 2011 3:56 am

      I know, I know … i have non-buyer’s remorse about a few things … I can only hope they’re still there when I return!

  4. Mrs. Monstera permalink
    June 27, 2011 8:51 pm

    I always want to stop in Yucaipa when we pass it on the way home. Who can resist a store called JUSTUFF? My husband, that’s who.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      June 27, 2011 9:36 pm

      Ha! I’m surprised at his lack of vision, having met the two of you! I say drop in anyway; that is if it’s still open ; (

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