Cabin fever and a driving need for Fiestaware led my buddy Scoobie and I to take a short roadtrip to Newell, West Virginia and East Liverpool, Ohio. While Scoobie had one of those magnificent days of treasure-hunting luck, where pretty much everything she collects was presented to her on a silver platter and even the platter was half-price, I uncovered treasures of another type...
I got the chance to hear tales of my fellow antique archaeologists on their quest for once-lost gems!
It began with the lady standing in front of a display of discontinued Fiesta colors, and I'd enquired about the color she had in her hand. It was a beigey-peach shade I hadn't noticed before, which she told me was "Apricot."
It turns out, this lady had begun collecting Fiesta years ago because the cheerful colors had helped soothe a day of depression, and recently some of that beloved china had come a-tumbling down off the shelf in a tragic display of gravity, broken pieces and a broken heart.
She lost sets in periwinkle, apricot, and lavender (adding to the tragedy, lavender is super-expensive these days) and now she's working to replace her loss.
Well, it turns out the apricot set before her was entirely too pricey-- five pieces for $200!-- so she said she planned to amass what she could separately from various booths in the mall.
I had the fun of encountering her in various spaces throughout the four floor mall, as she'd hold aloft a new missing piece like another important element of her quest. Here a saucer! There a tea cup! Here a bowl! There a plate!
Scoobie and I would cheer with each new discovery.
And I found myself-- having never noticed apricot before-- suddenly seeing apricot everywhere in my travels and wondering if my new friend would stumble on the piece herself in her search.
By the end of her shopping, the lady had recovered almost all the pieces she needed at prices she wanted to pay.
Hopefully joy, Fiesta, and a few stronger shelf brackets, will now be a staple in her home.
It was while Scoobie was checking out at the cash register, that the second tale of antiques redemption came to us. A middle aged man came swiftly to the customer storage area brandishing this wooden contraption and grinning like he'd won some grand prize.
"Have you ever seen one of these before?" he asked everyone at the register. The item in his arms was painted red and had a seat on it along with a long curved rail on the opposite side. I was wondered if it were some kind of a weird farming implement when he explained it was a sled-- a one runner sled-- some kind of "jumper" I believe he called it.
My thinking was if you did much jumping in that thing, you had better have some wicked kind of good balance or you'll also be doing some cracking and breaking to go with it. But he said, no, it wasn't hard to use and didn't require much balance.
He went on to explain it was exactly the kind of sled he'd had as a kid and had spent years trying to find one like the sled he'd lost.
Saturday had been his landmark moment, and he assured us the jumper would jump again.
But, hey-- that's the romance of secondhand scouring. It may take time, but eventually you're reacquainted with that old lost love, no matter what your personal beloved may be.
Wishing all you nice readers a Happy Valentine's Day of your own. Here-- sniff these...
And have yourself a great day!