Tuesday, March 16, 2010


When I was a wee lad, my FAVORITE movie was Disney's The Brave Little Toaster. If you haven't heard of it, you're not alone. It came out in the early 80's, and to my knowledge, was only shown on the Disney Channel. Back then, Disney was not part of the standard cable line up, so my parents had to pay extra for it.

We'd get a monthly magazine.. the Disney Channel Guide.. to tell you what programming was offered on specific dates. My Mom would always tell me when The Brave Little Toaster would be on... and I'd eagerly await watching it... still with the same excitement as if it was my first time seeing it.

One of the main characters is Kirby.. the grumpy old vacuum cleaner. I always had a love for vacuums... even at an early age. Even now.. I enjoy doing the vacuuming.. I find it very calming.. maybe it's the hum of the motor.. maybe it's the back and forth motion... whatever it is.. I have the cleanest carpets in town.

My grandparents happened to have an early 1960's model Kirby sitting in their basement. It had long been retired by the time I had come around.. and Gramps only used it to vacuum out his car. It looked so much like the "Kirby" in the move. I used to go down to the basement and play with it.. pushing it around the floor, pretending it was the real character. I never actually turned it on since it actually scared the hell out of me... maybe it was a little too life-like.. that when the motor turned on and the bag inflated.. it was too much for my young heart and wild imagination to handle.

Recently, I found an old Kirby Dual Sanitronic 80 on ebay. The motor had been professionally restored, and the aluminum polished. It is a late 60's model.. so it's a tad different than the one I grew up with... but it's GREEN... like the one in the cartoon, as well as being my favorite color. So, I bought it.

I was so excited when it arrived.. I know... only I would find a vintage vacuum cleaner to be exciting. I assembled the unit.. and before turning it on.. felt the same sense of hesitation I had as a child.

The unit works great!!! It does a better job than my parent's 5 year old all plastic Dyson. Like I've said before.. there's something so cool about usable antiques. It's so much more fun when you can actually USE something from the past instead of having it just sit on a shelf. It's a bit of continuity with the past. For me, this vacuum links my fond memories of playing in my grandparent's basement with my favorite childhood movie.

I may be a nerd.. but at least I'm a clean one.

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