To find my grandmother’s obsession…; her exact obsession… with the Captain Merritt Kimball family’s estate contents… and to examine that obsession… all the while watching with a critical eye the Kimball family’s sale of the family property to a ‘summer people’ to become, for eternity, a ‘summer place’… is not only a complex weave found on two frontiers… but also ‘dead eyes’ the foundation of my story’s purpose of …showing off… the old scripted pages of the… parable… of the “old sea captain ****’s PLACE has “schooled me” in the very subtle trademark traditions of this whole… Maine… romance” (Part One) and… showing off… why there is forever a canyon of ‘can not be crossed’ depth between ‘summer people’ in their ‘summer place’ and ‘locals’ ‘in the village’ where “old sea captain ****’s PLACE” “is”.
The “is” …is the ‘it’ of all of this.
The two frontiers are the Kimball family’s actions taken in the abandonment of the family estate (Part Two and Six) and my grandmother’s purloining and… in fact… HIDING of an old china bowl from this estate (Part Six). If this appears to be a thickening thicket; a web weave upon web weave… it is and will require the taking of that notice to heart to be followed through to ‘the end’. I, the writer who has been long “schooled me”, finds this whole not only an ‘obvious’ but also an ‘is’. To pass this thick thicket, written out, to others… even including those other’s with strong personal interest and knowledge of ‘antiques’ is a… “well we will see… I guess”. Here we go.
When Rufus Kimball stood outside his bedroom door at the top of the front stairs that flowed downward to the front door… of the Captain Merritt Kimball estate… that is not what he saw. He saw his “room” behind him and “downstairs”. He had always “lived in my (his) room”. Merritt, his older brother, had always “lived in his room” “across the hall”. Their parents had always lived in their rooms (plural designating two ‘front bedrooms’ of …evolving with parental aging… usage). The male parent; the seventh Merritt Kimball, had originally ‘had’ the current room of the eighth Merritt Kimball. He ‘had that room’ until ‘he married’… Rufus and Merritt’s mother. He then ‘moved’ to the ‘front rooms’. Rufus very rarely had ever been in those rooms and, when in them, had only ‘been in there’ ‘for a minute’. Merritt too.
The sale of the estate, to Rufus, was a simple thing to understand. “HE” was “SELLING THE HOUSE” and would therefore have to “MOVE” “OUT”… of “MY ROOM”. What Rufus felt he “had” was “in my room”. This did not included much of anything because… Rufus did not need much of anything because… the Captain Merritt Kimball estate already “had” “everything” he could possibly need. BUT: Since “they” were selling the place Rufus had become aware that “getting rid of” “a lot of it” after a “talk this all through” conversation here and there about the village “was” taking place. Sort of. The ‘sort of’ is the horrific …to antiquarians… reminder that in 1962… ‘a lot of it’ was NOT ‘antique’, ‘valuable’ or of ANY NOTICE to ANYONE… AT ALL. For example, Rufus did not ‘notice’ the furniture “in my room”. No one else did either. Except my grandmother… who after a slightest glance… did not want “any of it… except that stand by the bed two dollars”. Rufus wrote that down in pencil on his paper slip. Charles carried the stand out of the estate and brought it to my grandmother’s barn. What ever did happen to that ‘old sewing stand’. If we are patient… we will find out? Rufus and the ‘et al’ including my grandmother, simply did not notice the vast abundance of what today would be “valuable antiques”. This ‘a lot of it’ simply was ‘left’ when the estate was ‘sold’ to the ‘summer people’. The only person who did anything about ‘that’ was my grandmother who ‘bought everything I wanted” out of the “main house”. She did not buy “much of anything” out of the TWELVE (!!!) ‘other buildings’. The ‘a lot of it’ in those was ‘never touched’ even AFTER the ‘summer people’ “had owned the place” for …at least… a decade.
Rufus’ solution to the ‘move out’ and ‘sale’ was to ‘get a room’ ‘in town’. He “got a room” at Eunice Tissdale’s. She ‘let rooms’. Rufus was accommodated promptly with a room located exactly like his old room. Eunice kept both front upstair bedrooms for ‘let’ to ‘people coming through’. Rufus was fine with this ‘let’ room. It was “just the same” as his old room, already had furniture in it and was “a little smaller I guess but nice”. Too. Rufus’ move out of the Captain Merritt Kimball estate …was done. When he came downstairs from his new room Eunice “always has my breakfast ready”. Rufus paid well for this care from Eunice but… to him… it was “not very much”. He always said. In fact Rufus and Eunice “always got along pretty well”.