A Real Treasure

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13231048_10207117330951486_1818497510_nSister Fat Man and I recently cleaned out Grandma Fat Man’s old garage/barn that sits behind her house. As we dug deeper, we found a lot of artifacts left behind by previous owners. We found a gold tooth, books, tools, a muffler for a 55 Chevy, still new in the box, old license plates from the 40’s and 50’s that had been nailed to the walls to stop drafts, work orders and receipts from as far back as the 1920’s, and too many other things to mention. The best thing about the artifacts was the stories they told. Old wooden box’s had been nailed to the walls for shelves. Mary P. bought a set of World Book Encyclopedia’s that came in a wooden crate. For my younger readers, that was the equivalent of buying a laptop for your school aged kids. There was a large crate that had been shipped to the Sheridan Press, my hometown newspaper. A wooden box shipped to Kibben Hardware store that had contained a set of fragile china, and had been shipped by rail in 1948. The attic had hundreds of receipts from the automotive repair shop that used to operate in the garage, signed by the old owner. As we were going through the things we found there, I imagined Mary’s kids using the encyclopedia’s to write their science papers for school. Bringing home an A, and Mary being so proud. The mechanic hammering those old license plates to the wall where the cold winter wind was blowing in. Just the week before he might have ordered a new muffler for some customers 55 Chevy, but the customer never showed up to get it put on. The stories I imagined went on and on with each new discovery. I like antiques because of the connection they provide to the people who once owned them. It is kind of a way to know the stories of people who lived out there years long before I existed. I have always found people to be interesting. How they lived, who they loved, there sorrows, and there joys. I am fortunate because my job allows me to meet and talk at length with a wide variety of people. The biggest dirt bag off the streets as well as the rich lady who owns that big house on the hill were once children who played, and laughed, and dreamed. We can learn a lot about life, cars, real estate, child rearing, and ourselves from other peoples lives. So put down your phone, get off your computer, and go down to the antique store or coffee shop, think about and talk to people. You will most likely find a REAL treasure.

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  1. Doris Moeller

    I believe this is the building behind 55 E 8th. It belonged to Frank and Mary Kedl until her death when it was sold to the current owners. Mary was a primary caregiver of mine when I was a child. She was the dearest of people! What is notable about this building is that is was from the Kooi Coal Mine. I was always told it was the dance hall bit I have not verified that. I’m sad to see it so neglected.

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