Joe Ley Antiques – Louisville, Kentucky

As an orphan who had no toys and was passed around unwanted from family to family, Joe Ley bought up all the old toys he could find – dolls, carousel horses, sleds, cradles – when he grew up. He bought up junk other people were discarding during urban renewal in the ‘50s and refurbished some of it to sell. All of this and far more – old posters, records, dishes, furniture, jewelry, chandeliers, doors, hardware, musical instruments, military memorabilia– is now crammed into his 1890s three-story red brick former schoolhouse and yard in Louisville.
“As time passed, what once was junk became very collectible,” he said.
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His place is now popular for filming movies, for buying special pieces for decorating restaurants like TGI Fridays and for restoration projects.

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About Pam O'Meara 47 Articles
About Me Staff writer, Lillie Suburban newspapers Free-lance writer Member, Midwest Travel Writers Association I’ve been a writer for over 20 years at Lillie Suburban Newspapers in St. Paul. I’ve also done free-lance writing – for 3M business and health publications and for a running club and a speech therapy group. My special interest and focus for over a decade has been travel writing – about my trips and those of others in the United States and abroad, and I am a 10-year member of Midwest Travel Writers Association. I have a bachelor’s degree in English from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in comparative literature from the University of Michigan. I was an English teacher for almost three years before having kids. Life is good! Writing awards for Pam O’Meara 2015 Minnesota Newspaper Association -- Second place for columns on Selfridge’s in London, Missouri prison, mother’s death 2014 Midwest Travel writers Mark Twain – honorable mention for story on Hemingway in Pamplona, Spain 2013 MTWA – first place – recent travel sites – Fort Bragg and father 2008 MTWA – third place – newspaper story on Hawaii: the Big Island 2006—MTWA – second place – recent sites – South Korea – DMZ