Friday, October 9, 2015

Wicker Dale - Part Two - "A Perpetual Punctual Ponderance"

Wicker Dale

Part Two

"A Perpetual Punctual Ponderance"

            (From the home of the woman with breast cancer and her Wicker Dale china ) go
            Up the street to its head.
            Turn right
            Go down one block
            To the big white house
            On the left to
            Stand before

            “Every” (Evangeline) Maples’ home
            It is right there.
            One goes in (enters) through the front door
            At the top of front steps
            That face the street
            After knocking on that door
            Using the door’s original
            Solid brass American Federal
            Door knock... er.  Always.

            Every was, at least, twenty years older than the woman with the breast cancer and the Wicker Dale china.  And... very poised... Every was at being that.  To herself.  To her friends.  To the neighbors.  To the community.  To me.  I did not ever trespass but, oddly, enjoyed an open invitation “to knock”.  In the community I was dressed for having this open invitation with flatulent oratory that included “HOW CAN YOU (stand her)”, “SHE IS A BITCH” and  “SHE HATES EVERYONE”.  And endless more... flatulent oratory.  That was all it was too; ‘flatulent oratory’.
            I was ‘in’ because I knocked?  Naturally... but with a healthy dose of ‘the antiques bug”.  As Every called her was not a hobby.  “Naturally”... considering Every’s community poise.  Antiques defined by Every was... and this never a spoken title... American Federal... “good taste”.  Only.  Bric-brac, Victorian, pillow glass... the French and Indian Wars (Colonial Wars), Chippendale, John Singleton Copley (colonial painter) were shouted down as “not being” American Art by Every’s sure grasp of American ... Federal... Fireplace... accessories.  Her grasp was both mental and physical.  She... I fully understood, could... and would if necessary... kill me with an American Federal handmade wrought iron and steel bladed ...ash shovel... ‘with brass handle’.  No one ventured “toward” Every.  Even during the last Indian raid on the village... a raid of legend only... no “Indian” “tomahawked” the front door of Every’s home... “down”  (That last; the door chopping, comes from the primary and flawed ‘Deerfield Raid’s Indian Door’ legend ... the New England... taste maker.  It is.

            So the reason I bring her into this ‘Wicker Dale’... is for two reasons.  Every had (she IS dead now) very concise feelings about what is good taste in china in, well... New England and... she, after discerning, studying, ruminating and... postulating... became ‘very jealous’ (my title) of ‘Wicker Dale’... “china”.  And poked this... that... herself so as to be helpful to my essay for, at the least, Every ‘never shut-up’ about this (Wicker Dale).
            So I’d go in the front door on what was expected to be a... clear and concise... American Federal antiques... business... ‘visit’.  After that entrance... with the front door closed behind me... ‘things softened’; that subject restriction became a... ‘lightly’.  Don’t worry; Every was not one to take her clothes off and jump on one.  No.  American Federal; a gilt gold eagle reigned[1] but I as a guest antiquarian... was “privileged”.

[1] :  The best read to define this gilt gold American (New England) Federal?  I feel the “introductory” essay of “The Custom-House”; the first fifty-two pages of the ...New England classic THE SCARLET LETTER by Nathanial Hawthorne does this task best.  Never... ever consider this “introductory” to not be a fundamental part of the novel but also understand that applied here to Every’s home and china, it ‘explains that all’ (New England Coastal Federalism).

            What that means is that somewhere along the line Every had decided that I probably did... as I appeared to did... know considerably more ‘about antiques’ than she did.  This took care of the ‘all that’ the any others (visiting villagers) had to endures.  So we always got along fine... especially if I was gracious enough to understand that most probably Every was ‘not going to buy anything’.  Ever.  She...:  “MY FAMILY” of ...American Federal merchant men who ...long, long, long ago a “fortune” “MADE”... and... for me to always understand... filled this Federal mansion full of “all the antiques I need”.  For us in this essay this bring us to ...observing that Every ‘married in’ to ‘this’?  Or she married ‘out’ to “stabilize”?  Both, actually.  She and He were BOTH an old... New England... American Federal... so their marriage formed a... corporate merger.  A ‘merger’ to ‘stabilize’ “what is left”.
            If you understand what I mean.

            So that brings us to her china.  Every actually... and always... offered food to me.  I remind I arrived unannounced... but she did always “have something try these” “made them”.  I tried not to hear that last too clearly.  Keep the crumbs to a minimal was the true test of her ...brittle... old... sugar... “cookies”... she called them.  “WADDING FOR HER CANNONS” and “muzzleloaders” I’ve heard those cookies called... out loud at public holiday fairs in the village.  So they’d come out to me on a plate.  There we go:  come out on a CHINA plate.  Every’s CHINA plate.

            It took a few paragraphs but now we, before our eyes, have a china plate and... Every holding it.  I couldn’t help but notice.  That IS what I do.  So of course we talked about ‘it’ and then ‘her china’ and... the rest of ‘china’ in the home... on the street.  In the village.  In the state.  IN NEW ENGLAND.  Outside of New England.  Around the world.  And in England.  That last keeps ‘order’ to ALL of this (china).
            Every’s plate was, too, relatively new “marriage” china.  It was too, part of her “SET” of Copeland Spode... “I PICKED OUT” “India Tree” pattern.  American Federal clearance approved?  Yes.  Going backward:  American Merchant Class.  Men.  American Federal urban ...northeast coastal seaport... trade... China trade... “fortune”... dock side “imported” china... English blockade... War of 1812... Men.  Barrels of molasses full of ‘dinner service’.  China?  NO.... ENGLAND.  Proper... dining service.  Brilliant color.  Fancy but ‘severe’ pattern.  EAST INDIA COMPANY.  Asia.  Pacific Ocean.  MEN.  SHIPS.  MONEY.  “A fortune”.  So Every... from her world of mental American Federalism... picked, properly, “India Tree”.  Hold the plate up and look at it... in her dining room.  IN her American Federal mansion.  She did just fine.
            Didn’t she. 

            “Soon” or “somehow”... Every ‘heard of’ “Wicker Dale”.  “IS a PATTERN TOO?” she “didn’t KNOW”.  That.  “Them” “Well” “She died you know.  Breast cancer you know”.
            “Well I’ve always liked the pattern.” I qualified.
            “It is...” and Every did not say.
            Then a visit or so later she mentions Wicker Dale and her... dinner plates.  “I DON’T SEE... well... MY PLATES are Counting House” (Northeastern New England coastal urban merchant men accounting room offices by the docks) china.  “Pattern”.  “SHE” (of breast cancer and Wicker Dale)... “hers... has a little FARMING POTATOES to it”.  She said.  As a critical summation of ...her discernment... of taste... of New England home contemporary service ‘china’.
            There we go; here is a little PACKAGE for the eye.  Did not Every do justice?  I’m not sure of her ‘potato’ but she catches the New England farm; its ragged weeds of Queen Anne’s Lace and milkweed pods bursting.  The Chicory blue and Indian’s Paint Brush... rusty red.  The twine.. vine... bramble.  Such a long way from a ‘counting room’ on the second floor.  And the third floors too.  Stodgy... stuffy counting rooms... of merchant men at trade.

            Wicker Dale bothered Every.  I know that because it was she that was always bringing it (the subject of Wicker Dale... pattern... of ‘Copeland Spode’) “UP”.  She’d been fine... American Federal Fine... until she discovered Wicker Dale.  The pattern actually ‘caught her eye’.  She liked it?  She liked it:  “Does someone else KNOW what they are DOING?”.  Every; “That old bitch”, found a little bit of herself that she never let out... in Wicker Dale.

                    “She died standing up.” Every said about the woman with breast cancer and the Wicker Dale ‘service’.  That is a very high Yankee commendation particularly when said from one Yankee woman about another Yankee women.  Yankee men say it ... and do it.. all the time; “die standing up”.  Yankee women ... to a Yankee woman.  Think about it when going around the New England village.  It doesn’t happen.

            Every died standing up too.  That was never in question.  “Of course she did”.
            “What happened to her china?”
            The breast cancer woman with the Wicker Dale pattern china... I’ve never seen her china again... almost.  The home of the Wicker Dale coffee service... has kept its door closed ‘ever since’.  The husband “lives there”.  He did not re-marry.  The children ‘grew up’ and ‘are around’.  Let’s see... how many years has it been?  When I look toward the house when I drive by I... always expect to see the top of the Wicker Dale coffee pot in the window.  That has never happened.  That is, almost, where this Wicker Dale china ‘stands’.

            Every’s India Tree china, too, has ‘domestic lockdown’ as its status?  “MUST.” I am able to ...garner.  No waiting around the front door for that home to open.  It will not happen (the front door will not open).  Even if I knock.  Somewhere... in there...:  It is (Every’s India Tree pattern china) there.  Too.

            Both homes... with both ‘service’ china sets... all closed up... on the village streets.. remain a perpetual punctual ponderance that ...purely... define ‘good taste’ ‘of china.  In New England.
I will, now, tighten this up a little bit and then leave the reader to ponder how they ‘may get into that house’ ‘too’.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wicker Dale - Part One - "So Ridiculous of You"

Wicker Dale

Part One

"So Ridiculous of You"

            It has been quite a bit of time passed since the incident that prompts this essay on
            In New England
            For old china
            Came through.

            What ‘came through’ then came after quite a bit of time had passed about what it is that prompts this incident to be about
            In New England
            For old china.

            Let me say that it is forty years?  No: It is more accurate to say fifty years.  And that does not include me considering ‘the first time’ and ‘touch my lips’.  What does that mean?  It means that before the times of the incidents (I’ve noted TWO incidents) of my essay, I had, myself, long before, had my ‘the first time’ with fine English earthenware china.... NOT ANTIQUE fine English earthenware china... but actually (and back then) rather new ‘fine English earthenware china’ ... ‘touch my lips’.  I am actually ‘be sure’ that I may say that I had that (first time & touch lips) well before (“from birth”) these two incidents.  Is that how I “know”?  It... could well... have something to do with it.
            But maybe not.

            What is there to ‘know’ anyway?  There isn’t much, in fact, to ‘know’ if all you know IS ‘fine English Earthenware china’.  One’s lips... touch nothing else.  Of course then there’s a problem.  Do your lips... touch... what?  And you do not know what lips touch?  Your lips touch?  Or is it worse?  One’s lips touch what one
            Is fine English earthenware china?  Yes there is a problem there.  Just because, for example, it (a specimen of English china) says ‘Made In England’ (often shortened to simply ‘England’), this does not mean... “it is”... fine English earthenware china.  The English will be the first to support my... suggestive observation.  If the reader is worried about what is ‘in the breakfront’ that they ‘have been using’... meaning that one ‘does not know’ (“for sure”)... one should be: “Is this a problem?”.

            When the first incident of this essay took place... it was so long ago that it now seems to dream.  Things are different now then ‘back then’?  Not really... as long as one stays in New England... in the to dream.  What does that mean?  It means that the ceremonial overrun of New England taste for fine English earthenware china by southwestern cowboy boot wearing glue gun welding gum snaps hair dyed ‘blonde’ (Yes... we all know they’ve “bought property” “here”.) and their “china” (usually “porcelain”) is not part of the to dream... or this essay.

            I didn’t quite know when I first was sitting sipping coffee with her.  Her ‘she made’ percolated coffee.  We sipped.  It was afternoon.  I had ‘come by with’.  That is an antiquarian dealer sales ploy:  “WHO can I sell THIS too?  I know (who) and she is HOME right now (probably) so I will use the “going by” to “come by with” SOMETHING  (a real antique in fact) “You may be interested in (want to buy... from me... NOW).  I... do that all the time.  “Now, now, now”;  I haven’t offered the reader ANYTHING (no ‘real antique in fact’) so do not go to... ‘going on’... at me.  

And so... there I am with it ... and her and she and I and the percolated coffee that she pours from the coffee pot that matched the coffee cups upon their matching coffee cup saucers.  She pours that coffee with a pattern matching cream pitcher beside of she was not ‘half and half’ back then... cream... with sugar in a sugar bowl that, too... matches the whole it of this ‘in a to dream’.
            But very real.  Some days it (the antique for sale) could be a Rockingham (English mottle brown glazed stoneware) dog or a marble based Girandole set or a brass fireplace ember guard or a lead glass English ‘wine set’ or a pair of silver plated grape (snip-cluster-to-serve) scissors or a coin silver spoon set (of eight or twelve).  “Maker marked; made in Portsmouth (NH).” I promote.  She... didn’t always ever just ‘that’.  NO.  She pretended to know... but no... I know... she... didn’t always ever just ‘that’.  What that means is she didn’t know I know; a ‘dealer know’... but know, she did, to pretend she know and what she know and how she know was ...just fine because everything she’d ever done... did... do... is... has... ever... is ‘just fine’ and of impeccable ‘good taste’ too.  “I know”.

            That’s right; THAT kind of people pouring coffee for me when I ‘come by with’.  And she always bought a something and often a “think I’ll get that too”.  She didn’t ‘think’... she ‘did’.  And we finished sipping our coffee.  And spoke very well to each other about ‘antiques’ (a vast subject).  Then I would take my leave and she would write my check.  Always... when I left.. . the coffee service of fine English earthenware china would be ...setting... on it’s tray on the antique ‘tea table’ (actually an original surface rosewood stained New England Birch Hepplewhite cut corner Pembroke drop leaf side table) “that was my mothers” (even though I knew ‘where and from whom she bought it’) against the wall with leaf up.  She put the leaf up before bringing the coffee tray ‘in’ and ...setting... it there.  She did not have a ‘coffee table’.  The coffee tray was always the same ‘old family’ “English” “Sheffield” (silver on copper) “plate”.  With...; set upon it... the coffee service of... fine English earthenware china.  This was “We were married in 1947” (“or was it forty-eight?”) Copeland Spode “Wicker Dale” pattern.  Exactly that and nothing else.  Ever.

            The woman was dying of breast cancer.  One could do that back then.  With very little ceremony.  She knew that and I knew that and she knew that I knew and I knew that she knew that I knew so we
            Absolutely never spoke of it
            No... “you don’t do that”.  We sipped coffee and ‘discussed’ “antiques”.  Today they snap their gum and get out their glue gun when one “has” “breast cancer”.  Back then; ‘to dream’, we... sipped coffee poured in English earthenware china coffee cups... rested on their saucers. 

            Do this bother you:  She ‘has breast cancer’?  “It is really very sad isn’t it.  But I understand:  This is the way it is.  Anyway.”  That is all she ever said about it.  And we sipped.  I said nothing.  To say something?  “You don’t do that”.

            For the purpose of this essay, it is the Wicker Dale that stays.  The rest is naturally on its course.  I didn’t say I “like” Wicker Dale... ever ...back then.  Wouldn’t have even considered it.  We, together, sipping, were ‘all antiques’.  And Wicker Dale is not antique.  It is the “was” the ‘her coffee service’.  On the tray.  On the table.  With one leaf up.  But I... with my eye... did... and still do... see it.  That’s right:  “I” and “eye”.  And of course I handle it too.  It comes around... in my antiquarian travels.  Here and there... a ‘piece’ and, occasionally, a whole service.  “Of Wicker Dale”.

            Some of it isn’t very old.  I can tell right off.  It is ‘made different’ than the earlier (1940-1960) Wicker Dale.  What is different?  The earlier’s earthenware clay body is more ‘toward’(that is a subtle word an antiquarian must learn ...and use)  the earlier (antique) English earthenware.  The mold casting is finer.  Thinner; the rims are thin... when they touch my lips.  The ‘color’ too is not ‘so white’.  It ...hints... (that too... is a subtle word an antiquarian must learn ...and use) at ‘eggnog’ (a color) (“creamware” is the traditional antiquarian dealer / collector title of this color.  Be careful using ‘creamware’ unless one is ‘sure’).  

I haven’t spoken of the pattern yet.  And do not have to.  Everyone who is anyone... understands that ‘Wicker Dale’ “is nice”.  Yes that is so true but takes on a ‘considerable more’ when one discerns the kingdom of ‘taste’.  In New England.  That kingdom I will poke... but:

            Staying with the clay body, its cast molding and its subtle color; do I ‘know the difference”?  I have already told; there is no difference for the ...only this... touches lips.  ALL the others are... not... “this fine”.  ‘This fine’ is NOT the decoration and NOT the forms.  I am speaking of... here... the blank... mold cast... English earthenware (with the emphasis on ‘earthenware’[1])... clay body and “how THIN that is” when ...:  Yes just a glance of my eye through the breakfront’s glass doors and I denote that ‘that’ ‘in there’ is... “not” a:  “Very fine” “earthenware” “Made in England” “a service”.  No:  I never even need to touch it “to see” for I do dearly ‘know’ what ‘touches my lips”.  I have just said that if it (a service) is not of a fine cast fine earthenware clay of the best old style English earthenware (“Staffordshire”)... I know ‘at glance’.  They know.  Everyone who know... knows and

[1] :  The “Earthenware” ‘clay body’ is ‘low fire’ ‘semi-porous’ “soft” (hence ‘soft paste’) and opaque (“cannot see through it”)... middle class by intent and design... ‘china’.  “Porcelain” (a wide variety of ‘china’s’) is a ‘high fire’ ‘non-porous’ and an often ‘transparent’ ‘clay body’.  “Soft Paste” (English earthenware china) was... used, broken and thrown out by the middle class... in New England.  That is what makes it ‘rare’; the broken and thrown out.  Down privies in town and ‘over the bank’... on old New England farms.  That is why the little pieces are ‘found’ ‘there’ “in my garden”.  It is... also... ‘why’ English earthenware is.  In New England.  And is... good taste.  Meaning too...:  “Porcelain” is “No.”.  That is right:  In New England... taste... all those “porcelain cups and saucers are awful”.

            Taking that poor (tawdry) service out of the breakfront and putting it in cardboard boxes and “donating” “it” to the “a church sale” is a... fine first step... of ‘good taste’... in the New England home.

Once the cupboard is bare
And the visitors stare
After asking where...
And how could you dare
To leave it so bare
Or “so ridiculous of you”
To even care

            One may begin.

            “Wicker Dale?”

Friday, October 2, 2015



            I was standing in conversation with another antiques dealer one morning when a third antiquarian, a collector, joined us.  Conversation continued and this collector introduced the subject of ‘keeping’.  She turned this antiquarian gun barrel on my dealer friend:  “Do you KEEP anything?” she asked.
            He replied “Yes; of course”.
            “What do you keep?” she asked.
            “I keep... what I haven’t sold yet.” He replied.

            From that I learned about my own ‘keeping’.  I am, I discovered, always “keeping things” I find simply because they haven’t sold yet.  It has proven to be a most redundant explanation of the old things I have around.  They have not sold yet and I am keeping them.  Collecting from this vantage is very easy and I enjoy it.  Of course I don’t want to become one of those awful hoarders but fortunately the old things seem to sell off just well enough along that I do not have that happen.  I do not want be a hoarder.  I am, though, a keeper.  That I am.

            The other morning I stopped by a thrift store.  I was out rambling so I happened to ramble by.  I went in and rambled around.  “Oh” she said (the woman in charge) “All the GLASSWARE is HALF PRICE today”.
            “Thank you.” I said and rambled away to the back of the church basement’s catacomb of old rooms filled with this and that, bric and brac and their iota... too.  That’s beside the abundance of women’s and men’s clothes.  And, of course, shoes.  They had a remarkable number of shoes.  “They are keeping those?” I thought.  No:  They were all for sale at “one dollar a pair today only”.  “But they do seem to be keeping them, don’t they”.  They did seem to almost have enough shoes for a hoard.  I passed by the opportunity for shoes and rambled away.

            At the back wall of the back room was a folding table with the “GLASSWARE HALF PRICE” on it.  My eye rambled over the offering.  I didn’t even scan.  Just rambled.  Of course you know what that means.  Whenever I ramble; just ramble, in the antiquarian trade, I find something.  And that is what happened here.  What could I be bothered with on an old folding table covered with old “GLASSWARE HALF PRICE”?

            Well it wasn’t a bother at all.  No.  I snapped it up; an old piece of glassware.  Didn’t I just reach my hand right past the person next to me and snap that up?  No I did not for there was absolutely no other person around anywhere even near this table of glassware.   No one saw me snap anything up at all.  I just carried my treasure away.  Up front I went... to pay.

            “That will be fifty cents today.  Glassware is HALF PRICE today”.  I was out fifty cents and outside the church basement, carrying a plastic shopping bag with my glassware treasure.  It was poorly wrapped in old newspaper from an old suburban shopper throwaway.  No one has any real old newspapers any more.  Have you noticed that?  It’s the computers you know.  The only people who have real old newspapers are hoarders.  And they’ve saved theirs for years.

            When I got out to my car I had to unlock the hatchback to put my glassware in.  I took it out of the bag first.  And unwrapped it from the newspaper.  I liked what I saw in the late morning light on the hillside road with the church across the street and two oak trees fluttering their leaves in the breeze above me.  I liked what I saw so much I decided to take the poor old thing up to the front with me so I could look at it as I drove home.  I picked the one dollar price tag off with my thumb nail.  I only paid fifty cent.
            Up front I put the vase; that’s what it is, a vase***.  I put it on my sweater.  I started out wearing the sweater but it warmed up so I took it off.  The vase nested in the sweater beside me.  I could see it.  While I drove along.

*** It is a Pillar-Molded “bar ware” or “riverboat glass” eight rib blown clear flint glass table vase with a hand formed glass disk wafer supporting a pedestal base made in the Pittsburgh, PA region (“Midwestern”) between 1840 and 1860, possibly earlier.  In one’s mind picture a riverboat’s dining room with each table having a vase like this upon it.  Also understand that, too, these vases were used, one at a time, in settler’s log cabins on the western frontier AND were exported ‘east’ to be sold and used in New England homes.  Too.

            It is chipped you know.  I mean; I knew.  Just a little old chip on the very top rim edge.  I could feel it easier than I could see it.  It’s been there forever.  And it’s not as bad as the bruise down at the bottom of the vase cup.  That’s an old bruise too.  It’s been there forever.  Someone a long time ago must have knocked the vase on something when they were washing it.  Probably they didn’t even notice they’d done that; bruised the vase cup.  No one can see it.  You can’t see it unless you really look.  Or know to look.  That’s how I saw it when I first picked it up.  I know to look.

            When I was driving along I said “Oh I can probably put fifty dollars on it.”  Then I said “Well maybe not”.  “Well what about forty-FIVE?”  THAT sounded more reasonable.  But really.  It’s quite a rare piece of old glass.  Really.  If it weren’t for the chip and bruise... oh it would be quite good:  Two hundred fifty.  OH and IF it were AMBER (colored glass) I’d make a little fortune.  They are known in cobalt blue too.  Those are worth a SMALL fortune.  This one I found is clear glass.  That’s the way they usually are.  And to find one; even a clear one.  It never happens.  So I was very pleased with myself.  As I drove along.

            I already knew it (the vase) is in ‘Innes’.  I knew it when I saw it on the table.  It was just all down hill from there.  It was sitting there and I knew exactly what it was I was finding.  Right there with no one else around.

            I know the (photographic illustration) plates in ‘Innes’.  There’s an amber one pictured in color too.  “BEST FORM” he says about that one.  Of course it’s the color too.  My vase; its FORM, is a little tight.  Just a little narrow.  Nothing anyone would know... unless they know.  That’s how I know.  Because I DO know.  But I never say anything.  They wouldn’t know what I’m talking about.  Unless they know; really know.  And that’s a whole different thing.  Then.  Of course it is.  I mean:  How WOULD you know.
            But they do know and they will be the ones who buy this; my vase.  This vase; that’s it for them.  You know:  Most people just have a vase.  “For flowers”.  They don’t know anything about their vase.  Or any vase.  If someone knows about this vase then they probably know about vases.  And care what kind of vase they use.  I know because I do.  It’s funny.  This vase is one of the best vases I’ve ever found.  Or offered for sale.  And no one knows that.

            I have other vases.  And they ARE good ones.  But this one:  This one is text book.  Eight rib molded pulled vertical and then the rim snipped and fire polished at the top.  Applied heavy disk pedestal base.  This vase NEVER tipped over.  Big raw glass pontil on the bottom (from holding the vase top in the furnace for the fire polish finish).  Wonderful base wear.  The vase was used FOREVER.  Not that anyone would KNOW THAT.

            It’s really pretty vile isn’t it.  It’s kicking around at a church basement thrift store.  After all of that.  By 1850 it was hand made and on a table with flowers in it.  Maybe I’ll put Purple Asters in it.  When I get home.  I said that day.  Yes:  I remember saying that.  And that isn’t funny either.  That’s real New England; doing that.  You can see it can’t you?  Just looking at the vase teaches you its qualities.  It’s very fine to the eye.  Purple Asters are fine to the eye too.  In my old New England home, the vase is exactly right.  So are the Asters.  When in their season.

I didn’t do that.  I just looked it (the vase) all over and put it out for sale.  I’ve kept it ever since.  Oh it’s for sale.  But no one has asked.  I’ve had if for sale for... let’s see... four days now.  So far it hasn’t sold and I’ve kept it.  It’s a keeper!  Isn’t that funny?

            It’s not funny is it.  No.  I rescued it.  I saved its life.  You know that they do there (the thrift store) with the old glassware that doesn’t sell?  They recycle it.  They put it all in cardboard boxes out on the street curb.  A man stops a big truck and gets out and throws all the glass into a big open steel box.  Everything breaks.  That’s how the old glassware ends.  Unless someone like me rambles by in the nick of time.

            Don’t worry:  I don’t mind keeping this vase.  I’ll tell people I’m stuck with it.  That’s right.  That’s exactly what I’ll say.  They don’t know what I’m talking about.  The best I can expect is one of them will tell me it’s “pretty”.  “Yes it is pretty isn’t it”.
            “I don’t know what I’d do with it.”
            “Why don’t you put flowers in it.”
            “I don’t have any flowers”
            “Well snip some from the DITCH out on the road in front of your house.  That’s what your great-great grandmother did.  She actually enjoyed the flower choices changing with the season.  That’s why the vase is so worn.  Back then they actually used flower vases.”

            But I don’t have to apologize for the old vase do I.  It knows.   And I know it knows.  And some of them who come by know too.  Not that I ever point these things out to anyone.  No:  If you don’t know then you don’t know.  And then there is bad taste.  Of course.  That can become a problem.  “Pittsburgh Glass.  I didn’t even know they MADE glass in PITTSBURGH.”  Yes that’s really what you want to be heard saying?  What if you packed up all the old glassware in your grandmother’s home and gave it to the thrift store.  Wouldn’t THAT be especially YOU:  Giving away a glass vase that was one of the very first glass vases ever made in America that had been used by every generation of your family until you... well... that is rather sad.
            Isn’t it.

            And then you say I’m a hoarder?  Keeping this ‘old thing’.  Poor old thing.  Aren’t you dear; a dear old thing that I’m keeping.  “No one is going to buy you” I told the vase.  “But your safe with me.  You’re my ‘keeper’.”