Antiques Market

A NEW MONIKER FOR THE GREAT ONE

So how long had we been hanging on to that old Philco radio/record player console?  Long enough.  It's now a bar and is waiting for a new owner to find it at Antiques Market in Moultrie Plaza on Coleman Blvd in Mt Pleasant.  The Great One can check that one off of his to do list. 

Who would have ever thought he’d turn into Handy Randy?  And even more amazing, he is actually enjoying it. 

He now has a work table (we rescued from a trash pile) that takes up most of the garage, which has never housed a car anyway. 

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A vise, purchased from a yard sale, is now properly attached to his table waiting for the opportunity to be of service. 

And he is not lacking in screws, nails, nuts, bolts and other thingamajigs as we found some organizers at an estate sale filled with lots of goodies.  Probably way more than we'll ever need.

Because “a clean workspace is a happy workspace,” a large shop vac, sucks up the dust as fast as he generates it.  (Seems he finally realized that the tiny little one he insisted was all we needed is not going to cut it.  I won’t say I told him so, but. . .) 

Now if I can just talk him into a router and a saw or two.  I see signs and frames in my future.  

I'VE GOT SOME EXPLAINING TO DO

Unlike curiosity, procrastination will not kill the cat – the blog maybe, but not the cat.  So, what ever happened to that single solitary New Year’s Resolution I made? Although I had plans to post to the blog on a regular basis, old habits die hard.  Let me explain why the blog has been lacking in new posts – not excuses, mind you, just an explanation.

First, work has been crazy.  While the overall amount is less, the schedule is more fluid and it seems to arrive in dribs and drabs with no rhyme or reason to the timing.  I’m not complaining – an unpredictable schedule is better than a total lack of work.

Secondly, I decided to try my hand at refinishing an old desk and I’m hooked.  So then I took on a 1930s chest of drawers graciously provided by my next door neighbor and now am working on a Remploy tea cart.  Although I still have a good bit left to do on that, I’m already looking forward to my next project.  We have plenty to choose from in the garage – no cars, just projects.

And finally, the booth across from us at Antiques Market became available and we decided to expand.  We now have 4 walls instead of just 2 but our booth is still wide open with a nice wide aisle down the center.  Plenty of space for lookers and pickers.  We also now have room for all of the things that wouldn’t fit in the booth before along with all of Randini’s cars and planes.  Stop by and take a look.  If you go in on Sundays, you will even get to meet the Great Randini in person.  Now, how could you possibly miss out on an opportunity like that?

IN 2017, I RESOLVE TO . . .

New Year’s Eve 2016 is fast approaching and there are so many resolutions I should make.  But if I take the time now to evaluate each and decide which ones I might have the possibility of sticking with, I’d still be sitting here on the 29th of December in 2017.  So instead, I’ll start by resolving to make more time for my Midlife Pickers blog.  No more excuses about lack of time or creative juices.

At this time last year, we were getting ready to put our house on the market and move back to Charleston.  So, I had a feeble excuse to slack off.  Anticipating a long drawn out ordeal with prospective buyers trooping in and out for weeks and even months at all hours of the day and night, we were pleasantly surprised.  We had a few fast and furious days - less than a week.  Poor Spike, who has a major aversion to riding in the car, threatened to pack his bags and move in with a more stable family.

Then started the hunt for a new home - excuse #2.  Foiled again.  Despite an ice storm in Fort Mill, we made it to Charleston a day late, found a Spike-friendly new home and by the beginning of March were all settled.  And I was out of excuses for my procrastinating ways. 

But then because of lack of space, we decided to take our sizeable collection of treasures to Antiques Market in Moultrie Plaza on Coleman Blvd in Mt Pleasant and now I have a constant excuse for blog procrastination.  Keeping up with the Midlife Pickers booth is time consuming, but we love it.  Since we have no room at home for all the things that continue to entice us to buy them, the booth makes a perfect place for them to entice others to take them home.  They are doing a pretty good job of that.  I guess they just saw us as a stepping stone along the way on the path to their real homes. 

If there is a spot in your home yearning for something to fill it, maybe some of our favorite things still looking for a spot in someone’s collection will inspire you.  I know there is someone out there for each of them.  After all, the embracing couple, the pewter pig napkin rings and the Beatrice Grocery Group leather sample case all latched onto happy shoppers and followed them home as have Larry, Curly and Moe.

Hope your Christmas was merry and that the New Year exceeds your expectations.  

A RATHER SLIMY TALE

Visit many a retail business and you’ll see camera signs everywhere, “Smile!  We’re watching you!”   These aren’t Allen Funt’s Candid Cameras.   They do catch anything and everything we do when we think no one is watching – many a butt being scratched, the occasional tooth picker (those Wild Wings sure do cram themselves into your nooks and crannies) and at times a “customer” taking advantage of a 5-finger discount.  Yes, security camera videos do show it all.  There is no longer any mystery about how things disappear.  All you have to do is watch the video.

So, we know what happened to our double snail inkwell, we even know where it went.  But being the eternal optimist who believes in the inherent good in all mankind, I prefer the following version starring Stan and Shy-Ann. 

About a century ago, a master inkwell maker searched high and low for just the right snail-shaped globes to use on his latest masterpiece.  His eyes first settled on Stan whose glass was glistening in the sunlight streaming in through the window.  As he brought Stan over to his work table, he spied little Shy-Ann who was nestled back in the corner of a box just beneath the table.  He knew he had found the perfect pair.  Without so much as a how do you do, Stan and Shy-Ann began their life as a couple.  They were present for many an official signing.  They watched as love letters were composed and written with a flourish.  And after World War II, they witnessed the proliferation of the ballpoint pen. 

As the ink in their wells began to run low, no one came to refill them anymore.  The pen resting above them was no longer in demand.  Eventually, Stan, Shy-Anne and the pen were shoved into a box and placed in a dark closet.  

Many decades later, an antique dealer from New York happened upon an estate sale where he found a dusty double snail inkwell and rescued Stan and Shy-Ann.  They were cleaned and polished and once again became cherished members of the family.  But alas, the antique dealer retired “down South” and with a smaller home placed, his collection in Antique Alley in Matthews, North Carolina.  That’s where we found Stan and Shy-Ann, brought them home and placed them on Grandmama’s Singer treadle sewing machine.  I could say, “and we all lived happily after.”  But, that’s not what happened. 

With the house on the market, Stan and Shy-Ann along with all of our other collectibles were bubble-wrapped, stuffed in bins and locked away in an Extra Storage unit in Charleston.  And that is where we went wrong. 

Day after day, Stan bemoaned their situation, blaming it all on Shy-Ann.  If she were just more adventurous, they would have spent all those years traveling the world.  Oh, the sights they would have seen, the places they would have been, the memories they would have made, blah, blah, blah . . . Shy-Ann sat quietly, biding her time.  (If she had had thumbs, she would have been twiddling them.)  When they were moved to our booth in Antiques Market, she had already formulated her plan.

One day, an admiring customer picked up the inkwell and placed it back on the Hoosier just a bit closer to the edge.  Shy-Ann looked over at Stan dipped her head ever so slightly and off the Hoosier they went.  The little red 3-legged chair was the perfect landing spot. 

Stan was amazed, but she wasn’t quite finished.  Inching closer to the edge of the chair, she spied the shotgun shell box and slipped onto that and finally, the Camp Boardwalk wooden box.  From there, the floor was a safe distance.

They found their way, albeit slithering at a snail’s pace, out the door, across the Cooper, the Ashley and into an antique store West of the Ashley.  There they perched on a shelf in a booth but didn’t stay long.  I’m hoping they will tire of their travels and find their way back home one day.  Like the father of the prodigal son, we’ll welcome them back with open arms, no questions asked.

OVER THE RIVER TO ANTIQUES MARKET WE GO

After quite a bit of deliberation and procrastination, we finally got our act together, started an inventory list, made tags and I even let the Great One paint a piece of furniture.  After a not too close inspection, Sara understands why I never let her dad do any painting.  “Obviously, Dad didn’t grow up doing arts and crafts,” she quipped, hitting the nail right smack dab on the head.  Luckily, the cabinet is for display purposes only.  Although I must admit I didn’t do much better painting the shelves that went in it.

With everything ready to go, Sunday morning arrived cloudy and damp.  A bit breezy, too, urging us to get our things across the newest Cooper River Bridge before the bottom fell out.  I know, it’s actually the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge and it has been open since 2005 and it replaced both the John P. Grace Memorial Bridge and the Silas N. Pearman Bridge but with those two bridges no longer standing, it will remain “The Cooper River Bridge” at least in my mind.  (We won’t discuss the state of my mind, not today anyway.)

I’d like to be a fly on the wall at BCBC (Bungee Cord Boot Camp).  They must put those little guys through quite a rigorous training program before sending them out into the world to help us keep all our stuff Tetrissed into the bed of a truck going across a long, high bridge on a windy day without anything flying off into the wild blue yonder or the windshield of another vehicle. 

On the other side of the Cooper, with the help of Jonathan, Joanna and Sara, the booth began to take shape.  Rug down, Hoosier, curio and the aforementioned now black and white cabinet in place, we began to unpack our treasures.   

The Michelob neon light found a home inside the black and white cabinet, a far cry from its former home in a bar on the lake near Columbia.  We hoped the Miller mug light formerly located in a liquor store in Conowingo, Maryland and the Schmidt Bartender, not sure of his heritage, on the shelf above would remind the Michelob of its former glory days. 

The Marsh Hoosier-type cabinet became home to milk bottles, canning jars and some vintage kitchen staples.  The Coca-Cola and Pepsi:Cola metal carriers landed on opposite corners on top of the cabinet.  The Snowdrift and Jumbo Peanut Butter jars jumped into place on the top shelf along with Ma Brown’s Apple Butter.

The curio settled comfortably into the only corner hosting Made In occupied Japan items including salt and pepper shakers, figurines and a hand warmer with its original packaging.  A cup and saucer, the onlyMade in Germany – US Zone we have found took front and center.  Baseball cards (the Great One’s Dream Team) were granted a shelf along with a Michael Jordan Box Set and a couple of Starting Line Up Award Winner groupings from the 1990s.

An antique double-snail ink well claimed a shelf with a few vintage desktop items no longer seen in modern offices.  Nowadays, your desktop is a screen on your computer where you can find just about anything you need – that is until your computer dies on you and if you’re like me and get lazy about backing up your files, you’re up the creek without a paddle.  (Eric says, “Lazy would imply that you actually do occasionally back up the files, Mom.  When exactly did you last back up your files?”  That was a rhetorical question, right?)

The booth was looking pretty good but taking a vote, it was decided unanimously that the pegboard really needed to be covered and we had room for a few more items.  So early the next morning, armed with burlap, tacks, and pegboard hangers the Great One and I returned to Antiques Market.  It didn’t take us long to realize that in order to hang the burlap, we were going to have to undo all we did the day before without benefit of our 3 able-bodied young laborers.  And once we had done that and hung the burlap, we realized we should have taken pictures so we could set it all back up the right way.  The final lesson of the day, it is much easier to add to the inventory list and tag items at home.  I’m sure there are plenty more lessons coming our way.