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  • the things you find at garage sales

    I'm an old fart, to be sure, but even I have never seen a wooden javelin. Have you?

    An old friend of mine has a (non-track) friend who bought a pair of wooden Gill spears last weekend

    I hope he didn't pay too much, because I can't imagine there's much of a market, as rare an item as they may be.

  • #2
    Re: the things you find at garage sales

    In 1991, my (then-) wife and I had just left a Golden Gate Park art museum, and were driving through this fancy neighborhood of nice houses when we came across this "fixer-upper" with a "garage sale" sign on its lawn.

    It turned out to be Joan Ullyot's house, she of local (and even national) marathon fame, and involved in the Bay Area running scene for many years!!

    Anyway, she had some running-related items...which I bought.

    An autographed copy of Hal Higdon's "On the Run from Dogs and People.".
    It was autographed TWICE!!
    Once by Higdon to Joan : "Joan: Thanks for running with RunTours--".
    Once by Joan to me: "To Aaron: Happy continued running!"

    BTW, she and I "raced" each other in the 1975 Avenue of the Giants marathon.
    From about the 21 to 23 mile marks, we ran side by side.
    I finally beat her, 3:07:30 to 3:08:21

    So when I talked to her at the garage sale, she remembered me!!
    (We'd talked a bit while running together.)

    Another item I bought from her was a nice beer stein with a Houston Marathon logo on it!!
    I guess she'd won that in that marathon.

    I think I paid less than $3 for BOTH items!!

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    • #3
      Re: the things you find at garage sales

      Originally posted by gh
      I'm an old fart, to be sure, but even I have never seen a wooden javelin. Have you?

      An old friend of mine has a (non-track) friend who bought a pair of wooden Gill spears last weekend

      I hope he didn't pay too much, because I can't imagine there's much of a market, as rare an item as they may be.
      I'm guessing they were both solid spears. There was a brief time when Dick Held was making hollow-shaft wooden javelins, but they had a habit of breaking, so there probably aren't many of them left.

      I'm guessing the Gills are at least 60 years old now, so if they're still straight I'd be amazed. They eventually tend to warp like a cheap billiard cue!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: the things you find at garage sales

        Oh, and yes, I've seen them, even donated several to an antiquities/athletics fan for his collection. But I have none myself.

        On the other hand, I inherited a hammer from the 1930s: double-handled with the large chain link connecting the wire to the head.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: the things you find at garage sales

          Originally posted by dj
          Originally posted by gh
          I'm an old fart, to be sure, but even I have never seen a wooden javelin. Have you?

          An old friend of mine has a (non-track) friend who bought a pair of wooden Gill spears last weekend

          I hope he didn't pay too much, because I can't imagine there's much of a market, as rare an item as they may be.
          I'm guessing they were both solid spears. There was a brief time when Dick Held was making hollow-shaft wooden javelins, but they had a habit of breaking, so there probably aren't many of them left.

          I'm guessing the Gills are at least 60 years old now, so if they're still straight I'd be amazed. They eventually tend to warp like a cheap billiard cue!
          Dick Held.

          Was that in the past tense?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: the things you find at garage sales

            Originally posted by gh
            I'm an old fart, to be sure, but even I have never seen a wooden javelin. Have you?

            An old friend of mine has a (non-track) friend who bought a pair of wooden Gill spears last weekend

            I hope he didn't pay too much, because I can't imagine there's much of a market, as rare an item as they may be.
            Wooden javlins were all I saw in Norway in the early to late 50's. Made from birch wood.

            In Melbourne '56 Egil Danielsen initaially threw wooden javs until he switched to a Swedish steel jav in the 4th round of the Olympic final and set his stunning WR. But that throw was as close to perfection as he ever came. Wood or steel it would have been very far.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: the things you find at garage sales

              I don't know when they stopped but Oklahoma HS still threw javelin in late 30s-early 40s..Ed Peoples, OKC Classen set a NHS record in 1939 (?) We did not use them 1945-49 but there were a couple of old wooden javelins and a solid ash vaulting pole with a metal spike in our bus barn. I don't think I saw a metal javelin until I went to Okla A&M in 1949.
              As I remember, they were kinda warped and cracked.

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              • #8
                Re: the things you find at garage sales

                Originally posted by lonewolf
                As I remember, they were kinda warped and cracked.
                Maybe they were not made of northern birch (silver birch).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: the things you find at garage sales

                  I have seen some pairs of wooden javelins in the storehouse of my HS too, never seen them being used though

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: the things you find at garage sales

                    The last wooden "javelin" I have seen was the one I built in a forrest weeks ago for my 5
                    years-old son who loves to hunt terrific monsters and dinosaurs... :wink:

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: the things you find at garage sales

                      Originally posted by 79.
                      The last wooden "javelin" I have seen was the one I built in a forrest weeks ago for my 5
                      years-old son who loves to hunt terrific monsters and dinosaurs... :wink:
                      My father made me wooden javelins when I was 5, too - but they were for throwing, of course :wink:

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                      • #12
                        Re: the things you find at garage sales

                        Ahh, memories! My father cut me my first javelin out of stand of young lodgepole pine in Eastern British Columbia when I was 6 or 7.

                        Almost exactly 50 years later, while driving from Vancouver to Edmonton for the World Half-Marathon Championships in ’05, we stopped at a small rest stop in the middle of nowhere and when I got out of the car I realized it was the exact same stretch of road where the javelin had come from.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: the things you find at garage sales

                          Originally posted by gh
                          I'm an old fart, to be sure, but even I have never seen a wooden javelin. Have you?

                          An old friend of mine has a (non-track) friend who bought a pair of wooden Gill spears last weekend

                          I hope he didn't pay too much, because I can't imagine there's much of a market, as rare an item as they may be.
                          If your friend would be interested in selling one of them i may be interested.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: the things you find at garage sales

                            sorry, he's not interested; proudly mounted on his office wall (he's a coach).

                            Comment

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