Returning to my office that day… with the Compass Parker punch bowl riding upside down and loose on the top of my soft canvas briefcase… with the “tomorrow morning” appointment… WITH the dressing table and sewing stand ‘in the back’ and …WITH …very little introspective thought to the ‘big picture’ (the forty year 1962-2002 …encompass… of THE Compass… punch bowl)…; that day DID kickoff the last decade of this tale.
I… did not know that… and would not for a decade BUT I did manage to act out the correct historical tradition of one who is an antiquarian and DOES return home with a ‘Compass Parker’s punch bowl’. I abandoned all thoughts-about-‘this estate’ for the day and… quietly without notice or mention… took the bowl into the office, put it on a business paper cluttered shelf, tossed some minor but convenient found at that spot paper into the bowl and… turned the King’s rose decoration… to face the wall. ‘Well hidden’ therefore I went on with my life… for a decade?
The dressing table suffered a similar fate; it went into a storage shed, had a sheet tossed over it and ‘got buried’… for a decade.
The sewing stand was hidden by being put into a dark spot against a dark wall where ‘no one can see it’… and was just about exactly where it had come from; a Maine home’s television den… for a decade.
None of this was done ‘intentionally’. It was done the way my grandmother had “show you”. This was NOT a process of thinking out. It was a process of doing once, quickly and ‘never more’.
Except for the punch bowl. After about a month one of the coming through – stopping by – actually knows something about antiques- dealers… was in the office with I and us at chatting when suddenly his hand went up to the shelf and turned the bowl around so the King’s rose showed forth. He let go and hesitated. He stared at it. He said nothing. Then he reached back up and turned the rose back to the wall. Roughly translated into antiquarian ‘what just happened’ expostulation: A knowing visiting dealer’s roving antiquarian dealer’s eye spies an ‘old thing’ that ‘is good’ and acts to determine that this sighting is true by reaching for further inspection. That action quickly affirms the quality but also opens the quandary of ‘obviously’ I know the bowl is there, is good, is something this dealer would buy but would also know exactly how to price it (there are six prices; too low, too high and four-in-the-middle-take-your-pick) AND as the bowl is ‘hidden’ on the ‘A SHELF’ ‘in the office’ I must be in the very ‘I know’ on it so… it must be probably be… ‘expensive’ ‘if I should ask’ so… ‘forget it’. There upon he turns the King’s rose back to the wall and we… move on with no further mention or action… ever?
I took action; a ‘not dwelled on’ action. I moved the bowl after his visit. I did. I moved Compass Parker’s ghost. I took it out to the ‘field office’; an old and small shed attached to the large old barn that has a work counter to stand at to do mostly ‘needs to be well natural lighted’ cosmetic actions to antiques ‘coming in’ such as ‘read a mark’, tighten a wire on a frame, scrap something off a glass or …such. I am in the room constantly and… no one else is in it ever. I put the bowl (and his ghost) on a shelf next to the window …sort of… ‘out of harms way’. I put some old paper-to-be-sorted in it and ‘forgot about it’. Again; this was action ‘not dwelled on’ even though it is perfectly obvious from any vantage within this tale that I had… become like my grandmother. I still needed another ten years and a kick in the ass to understand that I realized I understood… ‘this’; the final ‘show you’.
Meanwhile I went on the stupid house call the next day and bought the stupid china cabinet and sold the stupid china cabinet and kept going on stupid house calls to the five homes of the five heirs of my grandmother’s estate who all formed a stupid gypsy wagon train of wanting, suddenly after twenty years… to ‘sell’ ‘all’ of ‘the stuff’ they ‘inherited’. It took about two and a half years and was absurdly stupid. Each had absconded with knowing glee with their ‘stuff’ at the time of distribution and… absolutely… done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING with the crud except put it in ‘sheds’, ‘the back of the garage’ or ‘THE ATTIC!’. Or… etcetera. It was, for I, a going on a seemingly endless ride of stupid with this storied but CRAPPY crud that they… had no idea why they’d even taken the stuff in the first place and NOW wanted ME to “BUY IT”. I did… sort of. I bought truckloads of ‘it’ from ‘them’ ‘cheap’. They were delighted. After two and a half years they ‘ran out’. None of it ‘was any good’… to this tale.
So I forgot about this ‘it’. Most of this ‘it’ went away (was sold) right away so it was even easier to ‘forgot about’. NO ONE ever had a remembering to verbalize about my grandmother, about her being an antiques dealer, about her stuff, about the local (sea captain’s) estates she plundered, about me, about me being an antiques dealer, about anything I thought about any of ‘this’ AND what I thought about ANYTHING for that matter and: ALL OF THE THAT OF THIS… continues …in its abysmal dark emptiness …to this day… ‘no questions asked’ ‘never mentioned’ “EVER”. From that ‘THIS’ I have come to FULLY UNDERSTAND ‘why’ my grandmother quietly slipped Compass’ bowl into her crummy china cabinet that day (Part Six) and, therefore, WHY I too… turned the King’s rose to ‘face the wall’.
That alone would be a ‘good enough’ for all of this telling tale but… after another ten years… several things happened.