Friday, February 26, 2016

Antique Stores . . .

This past Sunday my kids and I took a ride to one of our favorite antique malls. It takes about a little over an hour to get there depending on traffic, and when you travel on main roads that go to Washington, DC, you can expect a lot of traffic.  As we traveled we talked about what we wanted to look at.

Charlie loves old paper and in the mall is the best antiquarian paper dealer Whiting’s Old Paper. Charlie has been collecting ship memorabilia, especially about the great ocean liners. His collection of books, menus, post cards, etc. is mind-bogging. As soon as we entered the mall, off he went in search of more.

Tif and I meandered from glass case to glass cabinet filled with antiques and collectibles galore. Such as these old toys. Some we recognized as either knowing someone who had the same thing or sadly, that someone in our family had one just like it, but it is gone. This leads me to feeling melancholy at the same time annoyed to see what people have discarded. I am sure they had their reasons: the item was no longer useful, it was unwanted, tossed out. And so many of these things are absolutely beautiful, charming, and in my opinion, still useful. The things that really get me upset are items of historical importance, especially military possessions, vestiges of remainders from past wars and battles proudly fought and sacrificed made.

For example, why wouldn’t a family want to keep these swords, guns, helmets, badges of honor, even diaries telling the soldier’s story? Still yet there were photographs, autographed Yearbooks from military academies, medals, ribbons of distinction, and uniforms.
Moving on after we had enough grief, we find looking at old furniture very enjoyable. We marvel at the construction and materials used, imagine the house and room where the grand dining set proudly waiting for holidays meals and special occasions. Tif loves old Hoosier cabinets with their commodious compartments.
I enjoy looking at fashion items; fancy purses, jewelry and hats. Again, we ask each other why didn’t someone want that leather purse, rhinestone pin and stylish hat. You see many of these items in antique clothing stores and so much more online.
Oh well, as they say, one person’s trash is another’s treasure.

Yet there is one very good attribute that comes out of these emporiums of memories, and that is they may have what you may be looking for. Something to replace the one that was lost, given away or trashed. You can find just about everything and when you do you can place it in your family museum to either tell or enhance your story. And another feature these antique merchants give are lessons in how to display. Study the cabinets, the shelving, and the lighting. The careful placement and eye-catching presentations. Have fun going down memory lane, even though you may feel a bit melancholy. That feeling can make you actually feel grateful for the things you did save. So go on. Visit an antique store or mall, talk with the dealers. Appreciate the service they provide and then go home and fill your family museum with memories.       

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