Monday, October 25, 2010
Keys to the past
Today I am going to try to write about something that happened to me this summer. It really creeped me out and kept me from sleeping for a day or two.
I love estate sales. That being said, a lot of people are kinda weirded out about going through someones house and digging through their stuff. I get it, but generally I walk away with something they have 'loved' for years and now I am going to find a new use for it or 'love' it right back. So when I saw a giant sign out side of the creepiest antique shop in the world, I was in heaven.
When I say creepy, I mean funky, dirty, unorganized and a bit dangerous. The more I think I may fall through a floor the happier I am. This place was all that and then some.
The Lady that ran the shop was (is...she is still there!) about 90 with jet black hair and drawn in eyebrows...and always wears a giant flower in her hair. She is cool! (a bit crazy, but I like em' that way!) When her shop was open she always played 40's music and hobbled around reminding you that the prices were all negotiable. I would stay for hours!
Last summer she decided to 'pack it in' and give up the shop and opened the remaining buildings for her Estate Sale. oooOOOOHHHHHH buddy, let me at it!
Holy crap! What I found...I wandered from room to room in this old 3 story building that use to be 'downtown' but the town has long since been gone. Every room was filthy, covered in dust, crud and about 100 years of grime. After my initial walk through I then got down to the business of searching for goodies. It didn't take long before I realized this woman actually still lived there. I had to let the shock of that sink in, cuz this place was like a time capsule from the turn of the century.
Walking into the kitchen I was amazed at the condition...all the old appliances were still there and the walls were painted a sickly pink. The floors were covered in layers and layers of linoleum. The ceilings were all 12 feet tall with the hanging lamps. And the windows were still sporting the ancient velvet curtains. Matching velvet curtains were in all the doors. Charming, no...filthy, yes. Each room was exactly the way it would have been in 1915. No effort had been made to upgrade, remodel or even repair. All the rooms were very small and it appeared that when the flooring started to get worn, another layer was put down. The parlor still boasted an ancient piano under mounds and mounds of other assorted crap. Every room was filled with years and years of collected stuff that are now so badly decayed that no one could use them.
Room after room I wandered looking at her stuff. I wanted to stay around for hours, but the inside atmosphere was so unbearably creepy I had to leave. I did manage to find some goodies, and David helped her pull the sign in as we left. I sat in the car for some time reviewing what I had seen. This was an actual building that was caught in time, like a bug in amber. Old wood stoves and coal stoves in every room, and wallpaper so faded and warn you could not recognize the design. This woman actually lived there...and with out a doubt, so did her parents and grandparents. the only nod to this century was a wall phone from about 1960.
I kinda forgot about it, till this weekend when I drove through the little town and saw that sign, she still is working that estate sale! So if anyone wants to view a living museum, with a real life curator, put on your grubbiest clothes and come and get me!