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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:39 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 14431
Location: CT
While considering interesting places for Z trips this season, Wild Bill's Nostalgia Emporium in Middletown crossed my mind, just up the road from Middletown Nissan.

SAD TO SAY, Bill Zeigler has died and Wild Bill's has closed.

For those of you who have visited there, there can be no replacement for this place. For those of you who never experienced it, there are not enough words in the English language to describe what you've missed out on. This marks the passing of a truly unique experience in my lifetime.

Aside from its just outright-weirdness, I will especially miss its incredible collection of LP records, CDs, 8 track tapes, cassettes, wall posters, old sportscar magazines and comic books.

Bill was a Vietnam Veteran who held a Top Secret NORAD clearance in the Air Force and plotted nuclear missiles during the Cold War. That always bothered me a little :lol: but I loved to talk with him. He always wore brilliant Hawaiian or tie-dye hippyshirts and intentionally dressed as weird as he possibly could. In fact, he once told me that choosing his wardrobe each morning was the most-careful thing he did each day.

His Emporium was a 10,000sqft warehouse full of shelves, each cram-packed with the most indescribable constantly-changing 1950s-'60s-'70s and '80s stuff ever assembled under one roof. A real whale skeleton hung from the ceiling, close to a dummy Cold War missile warhead and a 6ft Elvis mannequin. Bear traps lined the floor of one corner and a dozen old hunt-n-peck typewriters filled another. Schools shopped there for props for their school plays. Baby Boomers just stood in the middle of the shop with tears in their eyes and smiles on their faces.

Entry to Wild Bill's was free, but it was nearly impossible to escape without buying something. Prices ranged from $1 to thousands of dollars and I never saw anyone leaving empty handed. I certainly couldn't. The store was there for more than 30 years and in truth, it was a shoplifter's delight. You could spend an hour in there and not see everything he had. It was easy to loose your wife and kids in there too. You could have left and driven away and they never would've noticed.

There were also several acres of amusement-park-like out buildings which only got opened and manned during halloween. The kids from nearby Wesleyan university must have had a ball in there.

Farewell Wild Bill. You were absolutely one of a kind.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_ ... 1&filter=7



1970 240Z

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