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"Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them."
Ronald Reagan

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. "
Ronald Reagan

"No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth! "
Ronald Reagan

"There are no easy answers' but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right. "
Ronald Reagan

"To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last - but eat you he will."
Ronald Reagan

IN THIS ISSUE

It Started It All  
by Mark Neeley 

I am often asked by folks all over the country, “How in the world did you get into this”, in referring to our business here at Vintage Fans. So I thought I would write an article and share a few images of my very first antique fan, the one that started it all. It’s a familiar story that I would imagine many people can relate to as to how they started in business. Our business truly is the same; it just has an outstanding and very unique product.

If you would have asked me 20 years ago, what type of business I would have been involved in 20 years later, the last thing I would have said was an antique and vintage fan company. I had grown up around old stuff all of my life and my childhood home was built in the 1840s. I always admired things that were built well and that included antiques that had been passed down in our family. They did not have to be antiques though as many of the things from my childhood and adolescent years were built very well. I grew up around American made items that had been built from the 1930s through the 1970s. About the only things we had that were new, were electronics such as Televisions and the like. We also had fairly new automobiles. I had an eye for old things and enjoyed making them run or look new. I worked in high school at a garage and body shop, where I continued to learn to work on cars, something that I had done since I was 8 or 10 years old. At the body shop I learned about auto paint, minor body work and sanding…..oh the sanding. My boss, Carroll, was a major influence on me and he took the time to show me things that I remember to this day. At his shop, he had a hill behind the shop that stored a collection of salvaged automobiles, many that would be highly prized today.  I remember walking among the G.T.O’s, 57 Chevys, Fords, Mercurys and Chryslers and thinking “These are all so cool, we need to restore these”. Back then, very few shops could stay in business doing restoration work only, especially in small town South Carolina. We were a collision repair shop and general garage, but we also did an occasional paint job on an older car. So I guess the seed was set in this environment. To this day when I walk in an old gas station or shop, the kind with cement block construction, large pane glass that rolls out for ventilation and a “pit” for changing oil, it takes me back to Carroll’s. Those kinds of places are getting harder to find today and it’s a shame, because there is something about the atmosphere of those shops that can’t be matched in today’s steel framed and sheet metal skinned structures.

By 1991, those memories of working on automobiles whether it be body work or mechanics were just that, memories of my teen days. I still loved to hunt for old things and on a Saturday excursion with my girlfriend (and future wife), I went into an antique store in Waxahachie, Texas. We had enjoyed hitting antique stores to look at old things and we had picked up an old oak dresser that she used in her apartment.

In this particular antique store, there was an old 12” General Electric brass blade table fan. I looked at the price of $110.00 and quickly decided that this was neat, but too rich for my blood. After all, it was not something that I really needed was it? We exited the store and walked to some other stores on the square, but I kept thinking about that old G.E. desk fan. I decided that I wanted to go back there and have a better look at that cool old desk fan. As we returned, I asked the lady did she know if it worked. She said she thought it did and she could call the seller for me who she knew was home at the time. As I looked at the patina on the brass blade, I also noticed that the screws were brass and as were the rest of the trim. The fan had been built with a handle incorporated into the oscillation ring, all along I am thinking, “this is one of the neatest items I have ever seen in an antique store”. After the sales lady called the seller he responded that the fan did indeed run and he offered a discount of what I believe was 10%.  That was all it took. I thought I am buying this thing. We grabbed our Green prize and I walked out of that store and into my future. Little did I know that the antique desk fan I had just purchased would have such a monumental impact on my life.

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