Saturday, April 17, 2010
Your rusty things have a home with me.
I pulled up in front of a forty year old ranch home. The garage sale sign was home made. The driveway piled up on both sides with "junk". I'm not talking about old furniture, clothing or toys, this was Junk. Boxes of old bottles, signs, a collection of refrigerator emblems pried off of old refrigerators, beer cans, etc.
I wandered into the garage and more "collections" met my eyes. Baseball cards, comic books, kitchen utensils, crockery the list could go on and on.
In the corner, at a cardboard table, sat a wizened old man. I smiled and told him he had a wonderful collection of stuff. He told me that he brought it all from the farm after they sold the place. Some of the stuff was his brother's, his kids and what he found when he used to go dump digging.
We talked about the amount of glass bottles he had found digging at the old farm dumps.
Then I asked him if he had a box or drawer of old rusty things that maybe he hadn't put out?
He turned in his chair, lifted his head to the ceiling and bellowed, MARTHA.
Scurrying sounds and then a sweet little tiny old lady in bedroom slippers appeared in the doorway, to the house.
He got up, pointed to his chair and said, "Sit."
I can't say I liked his attitude toward his wife but it didn't seem to bother her.
She sat down, smiled at me and asked me what he was going to go look for.
I told her. She thought for a minute and then looked up at me, squinting and said, "What on earth are you going to do with that?"
I told her rust fabric. I swear I thought her heart was going to stop. She did put her hand to her chest and her mouth formed a perfect "O".
I told her after rusting fabric I might use some of it for assemblage. She didn't have a clue so I explained what that was. She shook her head and smiled at me.
I know she was thinking I had way to much time on my hands.
He came back with a box of items. She scurried back to the kitchen. I looked through the box, getting my hands dirty and feeling like I had hit the lottery. Old hinges, hooks, key plates, gears, pulleys.................I muttered to myself, I wonder if there are any keys in here.
He was gone and she was back sitting in the chair. " Whacha ask him for this time?" she asked brightly.
I spread my "finds" out on the table. Then I asked her how much she thought he would ask for them. She peered at everything and then looked up at me and said, "Looks like about $5.00s worth, to me." I agreed with her.
He came back with a cigar box full of keys. OMG did this man have keys. She traded places with him and went back to her newspaper reading, in the kitchen. I heard her holler back to him, "I told her $5.00." He looked at me and said $4.00. Apparently, he was willing to underbid his wife.
I sorted through the key box and at the bottom found the ring of keys that had my name on them. He put all my treasurers into a small wooden box, told me that was for free because he didn't have any bags. Handed me an oily rag to wipe my hands, took my $20.00 bill and he gave me ones, in change.
He told me to come back any time. I carefully walked out to my car, trying hard to keep my feet on the ground and not do some sort of silly hop-skip thing.
I waved as I drove off. He waved back.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I'm a happy camper today.
:) Bea Who sees endless possibilities in junk, especially rusted junk.