That’s So Kitschy

Every year we begin our home school schedule the day after Labor Day. Vocabulary is always part of the routine.

When I read the headline “Rare Find Discovered Amid Town’s Old West Kitsch”, I knew what the “Word of the Day” would be.

I wrote “kitsch” in red marker on the white board under the heading “Word of the Day”.

We looked it up.

It’s pronounced like kich and rhymes with ditch, pitch, which, and rich.

It’s a noun (person, place, or thing) when used as a something that appeals to popular or lowbrow taste and is often of poor quality.

It can also be an adjective when describing a tacky or tawdry quality or condition.

Kitsch used in a sentence goes something like this – The museums in Virginia and Nevada Cities are filled with kitsch antiques from the old west of a by-gone era.


This is not "Gypsy". Just some interesting kitsch in a Virginia City saloon.




The rare find amid the kitsch as referred to in the headline is the antique gypsy fortune teller machine in Virginia City, Montana. The 100 year old machine is very rare and may be one of only two or three of its kind left in the world.

What makes Gypsy so special? In her day, she verbally spoke your fortune. Instead of dispensing cards, she would roll her eyes and chatter her teeth – then a voice coming from the eight foot tall box would tell you your fortune.

Collectors are extremely interested in Gypsy and the illusionist David Copperfield has reportedly offered about 2 million dollars for her.

Montana Heritage Commission curators say “no” to the money as cashing in on Gypsy would be like selling their soul.  I say, sell her. She would be nicely restored and well taken care of. Virginia City looks like it could use the money and I doubt if Gypsy in her present state will draw anymore tourists to the region than usual.

I‘m sorry to say I don’t remember seeing Gypsy when we went to Virginia and Nevada City in the summer of 2010.  I suppose she was tucked away in a corner somewhere and I overlooked her.  I did, however, see a lot of kitsch.

I almost feel like I did when we passed up Wall’s Drugstore on the way to Badlands, South Dakota – like I missed something.

To view our album of the ghost towns of Virginia and Nevada City click here.

You many also like:

The Ghost Towns of Virginia City and Nevada City, Montana

Till next time,




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