“Sweet old Bob” Gaines and Harold Jehle pondered tinkered with the little brass contraption for several minutes before finally giving up on it.
They figured out that one piece was stuck and another was sharp, but that was as far as they got before taping over the sharp end and putting it back among Bob’s collection of other little contraptions.
The pair were among the numerous collectors at this weekend’s collector’s show at the Tucumcari Convention Center.
“This is a good show, with a good variety,” said organizer Dan Sowle. “There are 10 states represented.”
Another visitor was local columnist and author Delbert Trew. Trew spent 23 years in Quay County, where his family ranched along the Canadian River.
He has written a couple of books, including one about some of the cowboys who “stood right behind” some of the more famous names in Old West lore.
Another one of his books walks about “war wire,” the barbed wire used to entangle men and machines during war.
“It’s an unpleasant subject, but there wasn’t a book on it, so I figured I’d write one,” Trew said.
While barbed wire used to be the focus of the collectors show, it has grown to encompass all sorts of collections, from kitchen timers to electric insulators to books.
“There’s a big variety of things — some of which we’ve never seen before, which is always what makes it interesting for us,” said Dan’s wife and co-organizer, Nancy.
One of the collections she pointed out was the assortment of baby shoes by Tucumcari resident Yetta Bidegain.
Bidegain has stockings, shoes and more, some of which belonged to her grandmother.