When I was a kid in Spokane I borrowed one of my Uncle Carl's plectrums to learn on. When we moved to Medford I was banjo-less for awhile until my dad spotted an ad in the paper for a Vega plectrum. Similar story - this lady's brother had purchased it new and it had resided in her attic for years after he passed away. It was in pretty good shape when I bought it for $150 in hard-earned paper-route money. I did have it refinished in later years, as I had pretty much worn the laquer off the neck.
At this point I'm also the caretaker of my Uncle Wayne's Vega Artist Model Tenor (vintage 1927) but I've never really learned tenor well enough to be comfortable with that tuning. My Uncle Carl owned a Paramount plectrum, but I don't recall what model it was. That garage sale Paramount woulda been a good snag, even at $800. "My" Vega was recently appraised at $1500, and it's been well-played.
Thanks for the tip on the estate sales. I'll check that out. Altho I really don't need or have room for any more instruments at this point. In fact - wanna buy a vintage Reynolds Sousaphone?