I am one of those people, and I actually may be the only one, who doesn't mind musty smelling old stuff. It reminds me of my grandmother's house and that's a good childhood association. It's like when I eat raspberries and the taste immediately transports me back to when we used to go to a lake cabin in northern Wisconsin and pick and eat wild raspberries. We (alright, me) would inevitably eat too much and then spend a vacation day in bed with a nasty stomach ache. However, my food association with raspberries is still pleasant, as long-ago memories tend to be.
Anyway, I spied a big book at the flea market yesterday and when I saw it was a Life (as in Life magazine) Picture Cookbook from 1958 of course I had to have it. For 5 bucks! And it smelled musty, or as the vendor said, "Oh, but its so stinky! You need to mist it with Febreeze for a few days." Ha ha, but no.
It is just full of great photos of food and instructions on how to stock a $25 wine cellar (at an average of $2 a bottle!) and there's even a section on famous fancy restaurants like the Tour d'Argent in Paris where in 1958 the book grandly pronounced that "Tour d'Argent is as expensive as any restaurant in Europe. A meal with duck specialty and wines costs about $16." I can only imagine what that same meal would set you back today!
By the way, although my dear Dad grilled many a steak and many an extremely well-done (ok, charred) burger for me, I do not remember him doing so dressed in a suit and tie. Perhaps that only occurred in homes with gravel lawns and gas firepits, though.