Before we get started, I want to mention right up top that today is the last day before I begin my annual August break from the blog. I’ll still be publishing over on Bulletin (I have something really good planned for next week!), and I may pop up here on the blog occasionally (I’ll be pinch-Tickering for birthday boy Alex Hider next Tuesday, for example), but for the most part Uni Watch will be in Phil’s capable hands. Also: We won’t have weekend content for the next month or so. Think of it as summer hours.
Now then: Last October I ran an item about how reader Kenton Bontrager was auctioning off a section of beautiful late-1970s MLB wallpaper that his father had found. He could have put it on eBay, but he wanted it to go to a Uni Watch reader, so I promoted a simple blind auction for him. (If you don’t recall the details — I didn’t recall all of them myself — you can refresh your memory here.)
Today we have a fantastic update on that story from reader Aaron Telecky. I’ll pass the baton to him now.
The Best Wallpaper Story Ever
By Aaron Telecky
I literally gasped when I saw that post about the wallpaper, as my brother, Kyle, and I had that same wallpaper in our bedroom while growing up (in a house my parents moved out of years ago). I’d actually searched the internet a couple of times to see if I could still find it anywhere, but I always came up empty.
The wallpaper was expensive enough back in the day that my parents put it on only one wall in our room. Despite the limited exposure, I’m certain that the wallpaper is was where my love for uni-watching began. As a kid growing up in Iowa in the early 1980s (and without cable TV), my awareness of team logos was mostly limited to a few minutes’ worth of highlights on the local news or in the newspaper, which was almost always limited to Cubs and Cardinals coverage. The wallpaper opened up a new visual world to me.
So when I saw your post, I immediately forwarded it to my brother, whose reaction was just like mine. I told him that I was going to bid on the wallpaper, as I just had to have it. But after a bit of back and forth with Kenton (the guy who was running the auction), he told me I had been outbid. I was bummed but figured I’d given it a shot and that was that.
Or that’s what I thought. But when my 50th birthday rolled around about a month later, the final gift I opened was a long cardboard box from my brother — containing that roll of Kenton’s wallpaper! Turns out my brother was the winning bidder, something that he and Kenton had kept to themselves until my birthday. A great gift, and an even better story!
Fast forward to last week: My brother’s birthday came up, and my wife and I presented him with a section of that wallpaper mounted on canvas to display in his home. (We also made one for our own home.) The mounting wasn’t perfect, but that doesn’t really matter to either of us. We’re just thrilled to have this memorable, uni-centric piece of our childhood to keep, thanks to you, Kenton, and the Uni Watch comm-uni-ty!
Paul here. Is that an awesome story or what? I love so many things about it. Thanks so much to Aaron for sharing it with us.