Follow by Email

Search This Blog

Friday, August 7, 2009

there are 2 of them



a fellow came by the ReStore one day, as so often happens, with a lot of odds'n bits in the back of his nifty little Nissan truck.  i have a fondness for small trucks, being a tree hugging' girl with an Oilberta background. i drive a little old ford ranger myself. so i couldn't help admiring his nice little truck.  the stuff he brought was all carefully sorted and contained in various buckets, tins, and sturdy hand made boxes.  it was interesting stuff that he'd clearly taken some care over.  alongside the assorted nails, concrete fasteners, and bits of wood were some bits of old hardware.  really old hinges and hasps and things, made from heavy metal that makes the stuff on the racks these days look like it's not really serious about what it says it can do.   i like sturdy old stuff.  i guess that's obvious to anyone who cares to notice.  and he was a fellow who pays attention. as we unloaded the things he was donating, he mentioned that he was moving away, and might i be interested in some doors he had as well?  my usual reply to that sort of question is, "well, i'd have to look them over before i could say for sure," so in a day or 2 he was back with some doors.  2 of them he'd made himself, though i didn't know that till later.  what i did know, was that they were really well crafted solid wood doors, and i said so.  that's when he told me he'd made them.  i think that was a bit of a test, cuz not long after we'd unloaded them, and after i'd put the really good stuff in a prominent place in the store, with a fond pat on its satin smooth surface, he brought up the subject of the pump organs.  did i know anyone who might like a couple of antique pump organs?  

and that's how these lovely things came to be in my ReStore.  they're things of marvelous beauty, crafted from glowing hardwood and rich in carven detail.  they need a lot of work; he was planning to restore them (couldn't resist the pun) but is now moving to Ontario for family reasons, and couldn't fit everything into his moving van. he figured we might be able to find them a good home.  

i hope he's right.  i feel responsible for them now, like orphaned children or pets.  

the one with the green felt behind the openwork  hasn't all of its innards.  my summer student is thinking she may just have to take it home and convert it to a computer desk.  

since the pump organs moved in, there's been an interesting assortment of very cool old stuff turning up.  there's a feeling i get from the folks who bring these small treasures in, that it's an issue of trust.  they're giving me things they value, but have no place for, because they trust me to treat them with respect.  

i love my job




11 comments:

susan said...

Oh I think I love your job too. The pump organs really are very beautiful and I hope the one with innards can be restored to its original purpose. I just hope that fine man will be okay back in Toronto. Life is pretty fast-paced there nowadays or is that just my imagination? Then again, there's always room for a fine craftsman or woman.

linda said...

these are lovely old things! I would want to fix them up, spend too much money and then have no place for them....

pretty soon, you will be able to open an antique store too!

Salt Water said...

For me, the pump organ's appearance reminds me of a Thanks Giving Holiday that was celebrated at our house. Mom had a piano that looked much like the organs. The power failed with about thirty people in attendance. This meant candles and oil lamps had to be put everywhere, especially on the tall piano. This was the coziest holiday I can remember, thanks for reminding me.

gfid said...

su - i hope the 'complete' instrument will be making music again too... but i'm not optimistic. they're very big pieces of furniture, and there's lots of interest in them, but not many offers (i have them on silent auction till the end of August)

linda - they truly are lovely. it starts my morning on the right 'note' to walk in the store and see them. i love the old stuff, but it's pretty much accidental in a ReStore in northern alberta. nearer the coasts, ReStores do a booming business in heritage materials.

salt water - good food, good music, family and friends... an unforgettable thanksgiving memory! thanks for sharing that. and, hey! i've been on four
paddles with the local kayak club so far! in little pea pod whitewater kayaks - not your elegant ocean going vessels, and it's like trying to steer a marble, but huge fun!!

Seraphine said...

your first clue should have been the handmade boxes. with so many boxes available, who makes their own boxes?
i love boxes. i have boxes, though i never thought about collecting them, boxes with worry dolls in them. i have some old cigar boxes, hardwood boxes, jewelry boxes, an old sewing box etc.
i think you can judge people by the boxes they keep.

gfid said...

sera - you're right. there's something solid about box people.... i guess someone who likes to build things would make boxes. i love boxes too. and chairs. and pitchers. and vases. pretty much anything that's designed to contain things, in fact.

lindsaylobe said...

These are wonderful specimens – would they be nearly 100 years old? – I hope you’re able to find a home for them where they are restored so that they can be played once more.

An interesting posting and its good to see you’re enjoying your work meeting such generous folk intent on helping others.
best wishes

Shakespeare's Cousin said...

Looks like someone loved these things for a long time. I would love to have your job. I can understand how you look at them like children or pets. The pump organs might find a nice home in a church somewhere.

You must get such a warm, fuzzy buzz when you find a home for one of these things. Most people these days don't know how to do things with their hands anymore--like make doors.

My grandpa was a master carpenter, so when I see stuff like this, it makes me feel warm & fuzzy, too. I know it's worth much more than money! The treasure is the time someone put into it, loving the wood, making it shine. . . OK, I have to stop now.

gfid said...

lindsay - i wish i had time to find out more about them.... all i know is they're old, and i hope someone who loves them gets them.... not sure if one of them can be restored as a musical instrument, but i've heard some pretty cool ideas about other alternatives.... computer desk, insert an electric keyboard and fake it....

shakespeare's cousin - thanks for dropping by! yes, it's an incredible job. my dream job, actually. with a master carpenter in your background, your life must have contained (and perhaps still does contain?) some really beautiful things. and wood is one of those things, that, done well, and cared for, just improves as it ages.

granny p said...

Your store sounds like something close to my chap's heart. He does like old, well-put-together/made wooden stuff. He also drives a truck for carrying in any come across by chance. Shame it's such a long hike between Canada and Canaries. Even with the use of a truck.

gfid said...

granny p - distance not the only deterrent.... there's all that water.....