Aunt Gertie loves antiques

Pictured above are Aunt Gertie and merchant Joanne Kennedy-Craig (left).

Aunt Gertie is old as dirt!  Oh my god, that makes me a walking dinosaur!  Sheesh!  No wonder I love antiques!  Hell, I even felt like I was in an old Hollywood movie as I strolled thru Joanne’s Antiques, gazing at gazillions of unique treasures.  Joanne told me she had about 50 wedding rings for sale.  I thought about the stories each one might have had.  Like a fairytale bride in a long white lace gown with a romantic weekend at Lake Tahoe.  Or a shotgun weddin’ with a waltz and reception at Clem’s Saloon and Dance Hall and their honeymoon at U-Tell-Um Motel in downtown Moose Tail Hollow!  My, oh my!

Her store is lined with gorgeous exquisitely restored display cases stuffed with gold, silver, Victorian Glass, old pottery, jewelry and countless items too numerous to list.  The first one she really loved was an 1890’s tea cart and she has a soft spot for Snow Babies from Germany.

Joanne was born and raised in Brooklyn with a New York accent that’s delightful and even remembers Barbra Streisand, who lived a couple blocks away, running for the subway to get to Broadway auditions. She went to a Catholic School where the nuns were tough but gave her a great education.

When she was 19 years old, she worked at US Lines for the VP of Public Relations and had the honor of entertaining Salvador Dali, when he arrived in the United States after sailing from Europe.  He drew a picture on a linen napkin and signed it for her.  Joanne had no idea who he was so she went home and promptly threw it in the trash!  She’s never lived that one down!

Bob and Joanne Craig moved to Texas, then Long Beach and ended up in Los Alamitos.  Her store, Joanne’s Antiques, at 213 Main Street, is the place she loves and we are so glad she chose Seal Beach, the Tiny Crown Jewel of the Southern California Coastline.  Drop in and pick out some holiday gifts and make sure to tell her, Aunt Gertie sent you!

Karen Hadley, creator of Aunt Gertie, can be reached by surface mail at Karen Hadley, PO Box 34, Seal Beach, CA 90740 or email at