Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer Place - Part Twenty-Four

Summer Place

Part Twenty-Four

            ‘Buyer beware’ should always occur to a purchaser of antiques whenever that ‘they’ plops down disappearing cash and pounds four hours of labor, with the ‘at own expense / at own risk’ clause ‘tied’ to those hours, ‘into’ the venture… ‘too’.  But I did not ‘think of (any of) this’ for I be hardened to the process and that hardness be… a skillful not ‘thinking of (any of) this’.  (?).  So… just what was I… am I… will I… and WHEN I thinking here, there, everywhere about this all anyway?  Were my brain bound light boards… starting to glow?  Showing a glow?  POPPING WITH GLOW?  Did I have a local historical inter-mind fireworks display of old sea captain’s stuff in old… sea captain’s attics?  And barns.
            The barn… at another summer place… is where the chest was found that came from THIS sea captain’s estate (Part Two)… where the …sealed attic crawl space CHAMBER is found… now… too.  That chest was “mine”… sort of.  It had ghosts watching it very closely and these ghosts were… so close that it was easier for I-the-owner to… ‘not think of this’.  This chest WAS in MY barn… with a sheet over it.
            This newly discovered old sea captain’s mansion space; a sealed time capsule, an archival jewel… a historic dig… a ‘peel back the layers of time’… was destroyed by me in an hour and a half… due to the ‘foundation of the trade’ mantra of ‘get the stuff out of there’ ‘NOW’.  Did I know THAT?  Of course… or better titled… ‘of curse’… for THAT be ‘reality’.  “OUT” came all of the ‘stuff found’ in the chamber… “NOW”.
            Into the yard.
            Into the truck.
            Three loads later; ‘all done’.
            And that ‘all done’ included a divvy up as I go professional ism that I cocksured myself  with as the… I… ‘high test’ ‘toasted’ …that site.  I did… ‘do that’ boths; cocksure and toast.
            The chamber by measure is bigger than ‘it (actually) was’.  The roof angle condensed the space to a central ‘around the chimney’ with ‘stuff’ there and ‘at either end’.  The joins-the-mansion end… was stepped down about thirty inches… or a yard … with a wide and three steps below old board ‘down’ where the door entered from the mansion.  Hence, I determined, the kid’s just-inside-the-door freeze up and grab poise at my arrival.  I bandoleered (my verb) ahead of him; down the steps and UP thereafter I PASS the ‘to him’ as much as I could WITHOUT LETTING HIM HAVE …any ‘good stuff’.  This aspect I had to figure out during field combat conditions; the ‘good stuff’.
            That is a:  Not hard to do… for I.
            The chimney with the chamber fireplace was the oldest ‘undisturbed’ part of the site.  Simply… no one had done anything there since… like… 1818.  By that date the new mansion was ‘done’ and the old grandparents; Compass and Sophia… were dead.  (?).  It didn’t matter if I had my dates right because I WAS UNDER FIRE NOW.
            This left ‘the stuff’ at each ‘end’ of the chamber where there were ‘entrances’.  The entrance from the mansion we have discerned.  THIS entrance datelined… ‘sealed up 1936’… behind the wall board to a bathroom.  Therefore last in through that portal was at that date WITH the ‘prior to’ of it being a sort of dump all attic bound stuff (with ‘dump’ actually meaning… maneuvering the joins-the-mansion steps with the ‘put it in the attic’ stuff… so this qualifying the usage AND the actual placing of… stuff… ‘in there’).  The household result was old “where can I put this I-don’t-want-it” from… the old rooms on the second floor… only.  I got that figured real quick for that …crud… gave me PLENTY of ‘make the kid carry it’ stuff… leaving me free to… THE CHIMNEY.
            And the further far end… ‘dumpered’ right away FOR:  This far end ONCE WAS the stairs to and from the original house… now kitchen-summer kitchen-shed… below… but THAT had been ‘closed off’ (meaning the stairs from below was REMOVED… probably during the first 1962 SUMMER PLACE renovation… the when all renovations… began… for it showed a ‘new wood’ boarded up with new floor board finished and… closed up then and made into CEILING from below… with, therefore, whatever was there, near there, around there (the old chamber stair top and stair opening) simply having been ‘pushed back’ and… AND…:  That pushed back stuff was NOT that OLD anyway; sort of ‘about’ Civil War era… and… mostly ‘shed stuff’ (not fine things from the home).
            ARE YOU GETTING THIS?  Because I have ZERO TIME and one crummy barrowed-from-the-contractor light way, way, way ‘up there’ (by the mansion entrance) to ‘see’ therefore ‘get this figured’.  And sorted.  And OUT OF THERE.)  ARE YOU GETTING THIS?
I figured the chimney just fine.  I… fumbled and bundled the back end stairs-are-gone… pretty well.  It was dark there.  Black.  I had the kid A-OK on the mansion doorway but… that stuff ‘ran out’ so I switched him ‘on to’ the “that stuff BACK THERE in the dark I know it’s a bitch”.  So he had to walk by… in the dark… the chimney area that had “ALL MINE” status because I KNEW… and had had a hands on reward of ‘finding’… a teapot that was… I knew… in so, so, so… so… micro second slightest glance was a ‘1760’s creamware Queen’s ware King’s rose decorated colonial English teapot… THAT “had to be theirs”; Compass Parker’s and…. PROBABLY specifically Sophia’s so… THIS (the chamber chimney fireplace area) was a “THEIR STUFF” 18th century SITE… that I was “MINE” and … AND… “GET IT OUT OF THERE”.  “NOW!!!!!!”.  Get it?
            No bats?
            YES… there were bats… at the rafter’s head.  The kid asked if I heard “that squeaking”.  I ignored that but when he asked again I said “bats” in low tone and shined my tiny flashlight at the rafters to… ‘show movement’.  He didn’t say anything at all and… actually moved right along after that.  Bats can really help me out in an old attic.
            The teapot went in my truck cab by my hand WHILE I ‘balanced’ the kid’s hauling AND the ‘get a grip on this’ AND the…scan for more… treasure.  ANYTHING I found and/or sensed SLIGHTLY to be ‘of that ilk’ (18th century Colonial era Americana) went ‘truck’.  I ‘meanwhile’ had to scan the piles of the kid’s stuff for any ‘good stuff’.  Too.
            Does anyone care about this?  I AM REMOVING THE ENITIRE CONTENTS of a COLONIAL NEW ENGLAND SEALED UP FOR CENTURIES crawl space chamber AS FAST AS I CAN and the only help I am getting in this ‘AS FAST AS I CAN’ is the inner me ‘what I know’ about setting, site and stuff deployed at… ‘as fast as I can’ rates AND JAMMED into the front cab of my truck to be sure it is on the FIRST LOAD OUT OF THERE.
            “Like the helicopters taking off from the roof tops in Saigon at the ‘end’ of the Vietnam War?”  YEAH:  LIKE THAT.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer Place - Part Twenty-Three

Summer Place

Part Twenty-Three

            I move slower… these days… when an opportunity opens to inspect a discovery of ‘antiques’.  Jaded?  “Getting old”?  Over forty-five years of ‘such-same’, plural, over & over, again and again?  Or be it a cool calculated emotion-never-shown Salmagundi of hard won professionalism… deployed?  Or all?  And more?  Hiding like hidden magician's cards in the slip of my shirt’s cuffs… to be pulled from behind a “YOUR EAR”?
            This does not mean that I did not ‘show up’ ‘right away’.  THIS GUY…I show up right away for it’s ‘an easy’.  BEEN THERE DONE THAT OVER AND BACK ‘while they watch’ BOTH of US ‘have been’ so “HEY”.  And I parked on the side driveway next to the ‘his truck’ and… see that the estate is being painted white again.
            And see that there is a big ole contractor’s dumpster between the side door portico and the first shed.  That shed was… and still is… “The … Wood… Shed”.  Door open.  Old with new ‘firewood’ inside… I see…
            AFTER I ‘see’ (denote) that there IS ‘old furniture’; chairs and small tables lined up NEXT to the dumpster AND extending to an odd old wooden dust covered gathered… pile… of ‘old stuff’ AT the front of the wood shed door… appearing; these items, to have been designated to be “PUT THERE”.
            I digest these glanced observations from thirty to forty feet AND:  OUT of the portico door pops an… eighteen years and four month’s high school graduated ‘kid’ carrying two more… crummy seats-punched-out Victorian stick chairs… to the dumpster pile.  I… “don’t know the kid”
            “HE’S INSIDE?” I say.
            “UPSTAIRS.” he says.  He stops, holding the two chairs, looks at me and… seeing that I make no notice of him or the ‘it’; the “ANTIQUES”… he puts the chairs by the dumpster and follows me into the …Captain Merritt Kimball Estate.
            At the head of the top of the front stairs I find a giant contractor’s style mess of ‘ripped out’ everything with rubble, saved stuff, electric cords, power tools, bright lights, removed bathroom fixtures, new bathroom fixtures, white dust on everything and… a modest and low ‘old door’ open dead center on the back wall of all of this that shows as a big black dark spot; a black hole… at the rear of this well lighted white ‘bathroom job’ contractor’s wasteland.  The ‘kid’ goes into the dark hole of the doorway and… doesn’t get very far and… starts to pull on something I can not see while I can see him bend slightly and…
            “WAIT, WAIT.” I say toward that human form in the hole AS my acquaintance, the “Mr. Contractor”, releases his attention from his trim molding craft cutting at his waist high positioned with his back to me chop saw and… starts to greet.  We both turn and proceed to the …black hole.  The kid ejects himself willingly from the entrance to the hole.  I am deploying my… tiny shirt pocket flashlight.  Mr. Contractor… has white dust all over his bare forearms and… sort of wipes his hands on his (blue jean) pant’s front.
I’m at the black hole doorway first.  My light shines into this darkness.  The light ‘hits’ old stuff ‘all over’ ‘full’ ‘everywhere’ …right away.  “Jesus.” I say.
“That’s what I said.” Mr. Contractors says.
“Got a lot of it huh.”
“FULL all the way BACK.”
“I can see”.
“Opened this door to THAT.  Found the door UNDER the WALL BOARD”.  We both look at the sides of the doorway now bare old wood wall at an angle showing where ‘the ell’ (the original house) “JOINS” the “MAIN HOUSE”.  “OLD.  What do you think?” he continues.
“CRAWL SPACE.  Full.  Just closed it up.  Been that way.  WAS that way.  When they made the… what is this?  An old bathroom.”
“Well.” Mr. Contractor says.  “Not THAT OLD.  Always BEEN a BATHROOM.  You know:  KEEP REDOING IT.  Doing the WHOLE THING now.  We are.  SEE.” He says gesturing to the white dusted and well lighted contractor’s site MESS.
“Yeah.  So.  WE FOUND THAT.  We gotta put THE WIRES from the kitchen UP TO HERE.  STRING ‘em THROUGH THE CEILING we figure NO PROBLEM.  But we didn’t know about the door and this STUFF.  ANTIQUES RIGHT?”
“Guess so.  Looks like ANTIQUES to ME.”
“YOU WANT THOSE?  We gotta get ‘em OUT OF THERE.  The electrician’s COMING.  Like I need THIS MESS IN THERE.  Gotta get it out.
“Right now?”
“Right now.  I called the owners.  I said we got a problem.  I told ‘em I got where I gotta go FULL of OLD JUNK.  They didn’t know about it.  NO BODY knew about it I said.  GET IT OUT OF THERE If IT’S IN YOUR WAY” they say.  OK.  Where do I put it I say.  Throw it out they say.  Do whatever you want.  I make him (gesturing to the ‘kid’) start to carry it out.  And I see those are ANTIQUES.  So I called you.  YOU WANT ‘EM”.
I shine the flashlight into the darkness.  I shine it on the old chimney half way back.  I see the small chamber fireplace.  There’s stuff piled all around.  There stuff all the way back.  The space, including the under the eves, is, about twenty-four wide by, maybe, thirty feet deep.  My flashlight beam roves around.  Fast.  “Three trucks” I say.
“Three trucks?” Mr. Contractor says.
“Truck Loads; three truck loads”
“Truck loads?”
“With the stuff already outside.”
“Truck loads.”
“Right.  Three hundred cash”
“Three hundred?  For THAT?” He says gesturing into the black hole.  “You can HAVE IT.  Just get it out of here”.
“No.  Three hundred.  I’ll get it out”
Mr. Contractor looks me hard in the face.  Then he turns to the kid who is as far away from us as he can get without leaving the site. “HELP HIM GET THIS JUNK OUT OF HERE!” he says to the kid.  The kid startles to a state of alert… sort of.  He turns, walks towards us and… Mr. Contractor says “Help him.” as he walks back to the chop saw.
“We’ll take it ALL outside first.” I say directly and in a defining tone to the ‘kid’.  “Take EVERYTHING out of here and pile it in the YARD”.  I reach into the dark as I pocket my flashlight.  I retrieve two more …crummy Victorian stick chairs… and hand them to the kid… who takes them and walks away to the front stairs.  “LET ME USE THIS LIGHT” I say toward Mr. Contractor’s back as I lift one of his lights into the …old eighteenth century …long sealed shut… crawl space that was once… ‘the chamber’ of ‘the original house’.
GET THAT STUFF OUT OF THERE … became the ‘number one’.  I did that and on my return from my first ‘haul out’ load I did… hand three hundred dollars as a wad of folded twenties to Mr. Contractor who… glanced at it, stuffed it in his rear pocket, said nothing and continued to work at his chop saw.
It took an hour and a half to ‘empty it’; the chamber.  The electrician came about an hour into it.  I didn’t say anything to him at all.  I saw him looking at the large mound of ‘old stuff’ we’d made by the dumpster.  I watched on the sly.  He didn’t touch anything.  But did actually look longer than I liked.  But.  He didn’t touch anything and didn’t say anything.  “IT’S ALMOST EMPTY” I said as I returned to the doorway.  The electrician, peering into the darkness, was blocking the doorway but he moved when I said that.  He stood back.  I was hauling from way down beyond the chimney by then.  When I came back from my next ‘haul out’ load the electrician said to no one in particular
“I GUESS I’LL GO DOWN AND START COMING UP FROM THE KITCHEN BOX.  YOU’LL BE DONE BY THE TIME I’M READY DOWN THERE.”  It was obvious the electrician had spoken with Mr. Contractor about …the stuff… me and … what was happening to the stuff.  He went down to the kitchen and I never saw him again… except from across the yard when I was loading the truck loads and… he was going to his truck.  He looked pretty hard at the truck loads… I felt.  I could hear him in the kitchen during the last of the haul out.  Nothing happened but I kept ‘on guard’ for him the whole time I was there.  The ‘kid’ helped me but never showed any interest in anything.  At all.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Summer Place - Part Twenty-Two

Summer Place

Part Twenty-Two

            It is back by Rufus’ old bedroom that this tale appears again.  Rufus’ bedroom was originally ‘across’ from his older brother’s (Merritt’s) bedroom.  In… about 1936… and the details and dating of all this are not important… “A BATHROOM” was “put in” …at the back center of the ‘landing’ fronting the front stairs top and between the two boy’s bedrooms.  This ‘new’ bathroom was fitted into this awkward for a bathroom space.  It was entered only from a single door at the head of the front stairs landing and… was just as frustrated in fact as it appeared to be and… as frustrated as are all ‘old bathrooms’ that were ‘put in’ to much, much ‘before bathrooms were invented’ older New England homes.  Complicating this ‘new bathroom’ was the forced need to ‘electrify the upstairs’ because this ‘new bathroom’ had no windows so was ‘dark’ until ‘wired’.  Rufus’ bedroom was ‘wired’ at the same time.
            Merritt’s bedroom was ‘wired’ ‘too’.
            The front bedrooms were not ‘wired’.  They were ‘never wired’ until ‘after the summer people bought the place’.  Merritt and Rufus’ ‘wired’ rooms consisted of having one outlet each and that outlet being ‘back’ against the bathroom’s wall ‘that was wired too’.  I note this to remind the reader that ‘electrifying’ old New England sea captain’s homes was… a ‘not that long ago’ ‘slow and steady’ ‘here and there’ sort of process that is FORGOTTEN in our all-electric-all-the-time world of today.  TODAY, I assure, Rufus’ old bedroom not only has a flat screen TV and the remains of a ‘hard wire’ computer-internet set up but ‘is’ “WI-FI” …too.  But… when Rufus’ bedroom was ‘wired at the same time’ it was also:
            NOT THAT RUFUS CARED because… he didn’t ‘use’ ‘electricity’.  The one outlet in his room …eventually… had a single ‘electric lamp’ ‘plugged into it’.  It took the ‘eventually’ because Rufus had to ‘get’ (BUY) an… electric lamp.  That was a ‘not on the top of his to-do list.  But by the end of WWII and by the 1962 date when my grandmother bought the sewing stand from his bedroom, Rufus ‘had a light’ ‘in there’.
            Then… my grandmother looked into the bathroom from the bathroom door.  Turning on the light by the switch by the door she ‘saw nothing’ she ‘wanted’.  She turned the light off and closed the door.  That would probably have been the last time that bathroom was so curtly treated.  From ‘then on’, ‘summer people’ were perpetually ‘renovating it’.  And everything else in the main house of the ‘Captain Merritt Kimball Estate’.
            This upstairs bathroom was hit hard and first.  New fixtures (‘modern’), more wiring, more lights and …two small and curious windows up and off to the sides of the back wall were ‘put in’.  This ‘curious’…was because… if the windows were lower and centered… they were blocked by the roof line of the roof of the ‘ell’ that was actually the ‘original house’ ‘behind’ the main ‘Kimball mansion’ that ‘joined’ the ‘mansion’ right there.  Note and remember the word “joined”.
            Every few years and assuredly with each new ‘summer people’ ‘summer place’ this bathroom ‘got hit’ (was renovated… i.e.… “modernized”)… always within the boundaries of its frustrated space … centered at the back of the second floor landing.  The whole holy wholeness of the holy whole of the whole estate kept pace with this upstairs bathroom’s make-over timeline and included both the downstairs bathrooms (plural) and “THE KITCHEN”. These nether regions surpassed the upstairs bathroom with their own ‘never finished’ ‘renovations’ “on-going”.  Meanwhile the outside of the house was being painted white again… too.  WHERE could Rufus’ ghost find a place to hover in the all of these home decorator exorcisms of the “all old” “all” of the true “Captain Merritt Kimball Estate”?  The renovator’s active action policy of exorcisms was a concise mantra of “ALL OLD BE GONE”.
            By the … ‘after Columbus day’ of 2012; a ‘four months’ after I had purloined the old chest of drawers from the old barn on the property of the summer place of Mr. Simon’s spawn… the exorcisms of “all old… be gone” at the Captain Merritt Kimball estate were… well… well… well ‘advanced’ and decades ahead of the original D-Day invasion of the “soooo OLD” tragic start state… of that estate.  SO FAR FROM the “that start” of the ‘that all’ of today’s ‘good’ ‘summer places’ ALL started ‘as that’ ‘at first’… and… ‘they’ ‘are never done’.  Too.  So far that… Rufus… wouldn’t know his own bedroom?
            SO:  WHEN …I arrived at the Captain Merritt Kimball… on that nice fall day to notice that they were painting the outside of the estate white… again… I… had never been to ‘the place’ ‘before’.  I drove by it all the time.  But that was it.  Until I was contacted by cell phone on my cell phone.
            By a local carpenter-builder who enjoys perpetual employment by the village summer people at their summer places because… he can ‘read blueprints’ ‘from their architects’.  He says.  He called me up.  That never happens.  Neither of us call ‘anyone’ ‘ever’.
            “WHAT …can you possibly WANT.” I said in jest into my speaking phone and heard him laugh at his speaking phone.
            “I’m DOING WORK for the SLATTERNLY’S.  At their SUMMER PLACE.  YEAH:  That one… the… AH… KIMBALL’S ESTATE.  You know:  THE BIG PLACE.  Up above the RIVER ROAD.  IT’S WHITE.  BIG.  RIGHT?”
            “Yes.  Right”.
            “OK SO:  We’re doing THE BATHROOM.  We just took it ALL OUT.
            “WELL:  WE TOOK THE WALLS OUT”
            “That’s nice”.
            “YEAH:  WHAT AH MESS.  ANYWAY…  OK… so the BACK WALL… yeah… we RIPPED IT OUT.  BACK to the FRAME.  But the OLD HOUSE joins the WALL.  SEE?  UNDER IT; THE OLD WALL.  That’s like 1930’s; THAT OLD WALL.  The OLD HOUSE is BOARDED INTO the building’s WALL.  IT’S FLUSH.  AND IT HAS A DOOR THERE.  WALLED OVER.  THIS OLD DOOR.
            “A door? Under the wall?”
            “Above the ell?”
            “YEAH ALL THE WAY.”
            “Above the ell?  A door there?”
            “Calling me?”
            “YOU found ANTIQUES behind the DOOR?”
            “Your cleaning it out now?”
            “YEAH.  COME LOOK”
            “Is there a lot?”
            “I’ll come right down”.
            “YOUR COMING?’
            “RIGHT NOW”.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer Place - Part Twenty-One

Summer Place

Part Twenty-One

            Although it is always wonderful to purloin an 18th century chest of drawers from a neglected state in a neglected New England estate… this has happened to I with such frequency over decades of ‘antiques hunter’ actions taken… and will continue to happen (antiques are NOT ‘running out’) with only my own dead body closing my roving (raking?) eye for… ‘them’… that I casually, cavalierly and …compostly… put the old chest into one of my own barns and… put a sheet over it and… ‘forget about it’.  Sort of.
            Composting my plunder is usual.  Its easier to ‘forget about it’ as a research tool than any other method.  Hidden away I certainly do remember ‘I have that’ AND ‘it is high and dry’ AND ‘no one bugs me about it’.  My life… and antiquarian life… went on without concern for the ‘old chest’ ‘under the sheet’ ‘in the barn’.  Even the haunts of Mr. Simon and my grandmother gave me no tension to suggest that THEY were not satisfied with the EXACT treatment I had given THEIR chest.
            Complimenting this was my full failure to comprehend in any way that this chest was a ‘the chest’ from way back when I was eight years old…. onward from there to when I was twenty-eight years old… that my grandmother was …along with the Pittsfield platter… ‘thinking about’ when ever she relentlessly mentioned “the poor man… poor Mr. Simon” (Part Nine).
            From her vantage… she assumed the chest… that, as she knew well, Charles (starting Part Two) had helped Mr. Simon move after his purchase of it… “was given to Mr. Simon’s wife”.  SHE did not know that they only ‘put it in the barn’.  Under an old table cloth.  (Part Seven).  I did not know that.  I …assumed from ‘was told’ ‘that’ is ‘what happened’; “was given to Mr. Simon’s wife” so ‘is in the house’ so… it was NOT in the house because there was no chest in the house so… ‘the family took it?’ with this… affirmed by the ‘finding the platter’ ‘from the behind the my grandmother’s sofa cupboard’ …that was part of my grandmother’s twenty year mantra.   The chest in the barn… therefore… “I FOUND”… and was THAT; a chest I found.  Right?
            “I think”.
            This is a splendid moment of where “I think” should not be used and “I FEEL” become the SOUL source.  That’s why I ‘instinctively”, (?), “compostly” my antiques.  Sometime, somewhere… somehow… ‘out there’… in old neglected New England estate realms… I stopped thinking (“no one cares what you THINK) and went ‘all feel’ about ‘antiques’.  My feelings about this think-feel transition?
            “I’ll see you around?  Maybe?  Don’t bug me; go THINK over there.  Thank you for doing that promptly.”
            The first sign of ‘feel’ was Charles.  Charles was dead.  He died in 1994.  His wife continued to live alone in their modest village side street home.  Eventually she, I began to hear sort of… was ‘getting too old to live alone’.  “Assisted Living” rose, loomed and transpired.  The house was empty of humans but ‘still just the way they (Charles and his wife) lived in it’.  I heard.
            Then was told by one of the family.
            Who said ‘we are going to sell the house’
            “We are going to clean out the house.”
            “WILL YOU COME BY AND LOOK to see if there is anything ‘good’ in there”.
            Nothing happened.  I didn’t think there was anything ‘good’ ‘in there’.  The family didn’t think there was anything ‘good’ in there.
            WE, casually; the… a family member-here-or-there and I… probably bumped into each other and “COME BY AND LOOK”… a dozen (?) times from, like, ’06 on.  Nobody really cared.  And the house “isn’t for sale yet”.  Anyway.
            But Charles was a ghost.  Too.  He was compatible with my grandmother’s ghost.  AND with Mr. Simon’s ghost.  As ghosts, they shared a common experience.  Part of that shared common experience was under a sheet in my barn.  THAT is a very powerful state of affairs if one does not THINK but has learned to FEEL.
            Meanwhile, and plowing ever steadily along as a summer place containing its fourth or fifth or sixth family-from-away owners (“WHO CARES WHO THEY ARE”) and …having its ‘twenty-sixth’ (‘since ‘62’) new white paint job on the ‘exterior’… along with every and any renovation or ‘improvement’ one can think of including the “JUST RIP IT OUT’ again “NEW BATHROOM”, plural, but always “keeping the barns and outbuildings the same” and “LOCKED” because “someone has been getting into them”…:  A litany that NEVER ENDS and was defined succinctly from the River Road in front of the … “Captain Merritt Kimball Estate”… by a fisherman’s wife as “FIRST IT’S THE FLOORS… THEN IT’S THE CEILINGS.  THEN IT’S THE CEILINGS AND THEN… IT’S THE FLOORS” meaning that they are, forever again, ‘done over’ ‘again’.  Along with painting the whole exterior of the estate ‘white’ ‘again’.  And… “fixing” “the driveway”.  Et al.
            Forever coming down the front stairs during the ‘LONG WINTER OFF SEASON’, were the ghosts of Captain Merritt Kimball and his wife Sophia, ‘the wrecker’s daughter’… along with the ghosts of ‘grandfather’ Compass Parker and his wife, the first (?) Sophia. (Part Twelve A, B & C).  THEY, these ghosts, STILL LIVE THERE… most of the time:  “I went by that house one night last February.  Cold as a bitch.  But I swear I see a CANDLE in the window.  I swear by it I see that.”  Are there also other ghost there too?  OF COURSE; what does one THINK?  IT’S NOT ABOUT THINK; it’s FEEL.  Rufus’ (starting Part Two) ghost is on the loose upstairs back by his old bedroom.  WHERE ELSE WOULD HIS GHOST BE?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Summer Place - Part Twenty - D

Summer Place

Part Twenty - D

            ‘Time’, ‘buy time’, get time, find time and …HAVE TIME… ARE NOT… EVER… a ‘there’ when… purloining antiques from old neglected settings in old neglected sites in old New England villages that are lost… among the large ‘do not know’ what an ‘antiques’ is.
            “BUYING” an antique is, simply, “OUT”.  Offering a reasonable money sum for forlorn cast away will only… and with this option acknowledged to be a moral hygienic high ground… ‘set off the smoke alarm’.  Offering a HALF WAY reasonable money sum will set of the smoke alarm even FASTER then the ‘thunk-wallop’ of a ‘big offer’.  That’s because there is no ‘stun factor’; just the tip-off that ‘it’ ‘is worth money’.  Pivoting from these two points... I… simply look at the fixed shield of the plate glass window protecting the object of purloin and… throw myself right through it.  It is the only process that works.  Passing the porcupine’s drop, roll and scamper, I must here turn BACK toward my adversary, re-engage in intercourse, succeed and… GET OUT.
            Absolutely as fast as possible.  So…:  NO TIME.  Just one hundred percent ‘go’ at G-Force rocket sled sped with no plan past raw years of experience, ‘wing it’ with rocks and stones found ‘at site’ as primitive tools and staunch gauntlet running physique.  Touching the pole at the end is… one half mile down the road checking the rear view mirror with, in this case, the chest of drawers in the back of the truck “GOOD LUCK TRYING THIS AT HOME”.  It cannot be practiced.  This is because not only is there ‘no time’ but what time there is goes faster and faster as the whole… antiquarian intercourse takes place.  Then suddenly one has smashed through the window and is ‘done’, one way or a... another way.
            At the stairs top… with an I know that the ‘time; buy time’ request is ‘zero’ I… actually scan the space in search of more gold but, as I had surmised on my downstairs ‘blow by’ of the stairs the first time, it ‘leads to’ …only more old hay en masse.  PERHAPS at a secreted hidden corner an antique has been buried after having some …fanatic… actually carry a ‘that antique’ out to the barn, back through the barn, up the stairs to the second floor of the barn …all full of hay… and… buried it ?  EVEN THOUGH that chest below is of that same scenario cloth cut… it is not probable that there is ‘more’.  ?
            Anyway… the humdrum of that enigma was cancelled by Mrs. Summer Place …making the noise of someone carrying an armload of crummy old dirty china found at the site of a fifty year old kiddy’s picnic ‘up and out’ of the barn …to the open front barn door we came in.
            I hear the armload of china deposited on the ground.  ‘Jenny’ reverses and returns to… get more?  I’m down the stairs and upon her just as she hooks ahead of me with a ‘just a few more pieces’ armload saying “LOOK HOW MUCH THERE IS!”.  I follow to the front of the barn.  I am already scanning the ground for rocks and stones to use as …primitive tools.  I don’t see any.  Yet.
            “WE” she says and stops, turns to me and “I DIDN’T KNOW THERE WAS THIS MUCH!”.  Bending down she slides the small arm load on top of the first arm load’s ‘includes’ platter, teapot, sugar, creamer, cups… saucers… and; ‘that’s enough’.  “Yikes” I say looking down upon EXACTLY WHAT I DO NOT WANT:  a fragment crummy 1950’s faux ‘old blue’ ‘Staffordshire’ …machine made ‘TRANSFERWARE’ ‘OLD CHINA’ ‘SET’.  The ‘yikes’ is internally a ‘yuck’.
            “NOW:  How MUCH will you PAY for ALL OF THIS!” she says…
            I am about to…
            And then…
            I find the rocks and stones
            To be used as primitive tools
She has laid before me:
            And so actually act to stoop and point finger tip COUNT the cruddy china up “ONE TWO THREE…yeah, yeah, yeah SLOWING DOWN in my whirlwind haste to… enunciate the numeration, ad the word “pieces”, stand erect and mutter number noises and then… my fingers look at… and then… look back down on the china mound below and say:  “Four HUNDRED twenty-five dollars for the CHEST and the CHINA”.
            “CHEST?” she says.
            “Back in the hay.”
            “Oh”.  she says and looks at the china.  Then she counts the china in imitation of how I did that.  “Oh.” she says again and continues:  “There’s a chest?  What kind of chest?”
            “Back there in the hay.  By the wall”.
            “Want to see it?”
            “Oh… OK.”
            We walk back down the corridor of hay bales to the wall, turn right and walk into the ever darker back space.  We pass the stairs to the second floor and …come upon in the dark… a cloth and hay covered ‘chest’.
            “This?  You want this?”
            “That’s all I found.”
            “With the china?”
            “What is it?”
            “Chest.  Of drawers”
            “I mean; this; out here?”
            “Chest in the barn I guess”.
            “Why?  Beats me.”
            ‘Jenny’ looks at the side of the chest, touches the cloth, feels the chest through the cloth, peers at the cloth, pauses, turns away from the chest and… looks back up the corridor.  She walks back up to the doorway and looks in there.  She stares in that direction for a quarter minute and then says “NOTHING ELSE?”
            “No.” I say and start to walk up toward her.  I know I can sell every piece of wood in the whole back room but… I also know that doing that… making that purchase… will jinx the chest and china… ‘transaction’… so; ‘No.’
            ‘Jenny’ turns and walks up to the front of the barn.  She stops at the china, bends down and picks up the creamer.  I arrive behind her.  “I remember this.” She says turning toward me holding the creamer in her right hand as if about to pour.  Then she lowers the creamer and… still holding it in her hand, looks down upon the china.  “I think I want five hundred dollars for all of this” she says and… looks up at me… still holding the creamer.
            I… don’t do anything.
            I wait another five seconds longer.
            I look down at the china ‘hard’.
            I say “With the chest?”
            “That too?”, pause… “Yes.” she says.
            I continue to look downward and pretend to look slightly harder at the china.  I bend and move the small plates around on the platter”.  I say “The chips.” and point my finger at …the chips on the plates and platter edges.  Jenny says nothing and does not move.  I continue to stare down but see her right hand rise with the creamer upward… toward… the sunglasses.  “OH… ALL RIGHT.” I say definitively.  The hand stops moving, then falls back down with the creamer as I raise my face to look her …directly in the face.
            There is… immediately… a dangerous giant canyon that opens here called ‘paying’.  It is punctuated by “DO I HAVE ENOUGH CASH RIGHT IN MY POCKET RIGHT NOW TO PAY  FOR… FOR… IF… I …have to ‘go to the truck’ that gives Mrs. Summer Place a whole timeline in our civilization to… ‘think this through’ and ‘back out’.  I KNOW I HAVE THAT MUCH CASH… ‘on board’.  I reach into my pocket for the rubber banded money roll, snap the rubber band off and start counting out five hundred dollars.
            In cash.
            While ‘Jenny’ watches
            She says nothing.
            Not even ‘thank you’ when I hand her the money.  She does count the money.  Then folds it.  Then puts it in the same pocket of her shorts as the one she put the forty dollars in earlier.  I note this.
            The rest of it; this through the plate glass window purloining of antiquities, I ‘go figure’ on the way home.  She didn’t see any difference between the dry sink platter and the picnic china.  At all.  THAT CHINA, acting as rocks and stones for tools, worked for it gave me a “she thinks is VALUABLE” to hide the chest behind.  The chest was nothing at all in anyway to her.  She barely touched it.  Her focus was the picnic china and the memory lane of the kiddy’s picnics in the barn.  That was the barn to her.  This picnic ‘fondly remembered’ was unified with the forty dollars for the ‘that old dish’ under the plant.  There was no chest in her view ever.  She did say, after asking if I “need any help?”
            “I’ll send Beed down to help you move that chest”
            She did.  Send Beed.  I moved fast:  I had two drawers up by the barn door and was arriving with the other two when he appeared.  “Take those to the truck.” I said to him directly while nodding toward the first two drawers.  He did.  I set the other two down and …went right back and carried the …small and light… case of the chest … right up to the truck myself and put it up in the back.  I put the first two drawers in and then the two Beed brought up next.  Then we went back together and put the old china on the tail gate.  “THANK YOU” I said and climbed up into the truck back.  Beed went back to the barn door, closed it and …padlocked it.  He then, looking toward me quickly, walked back to the house.  I turned the chest face forward and flush in the front of the truck bed.  I tied a cord across the back to prevent it tipping.  I put a sponge mat in front of it to prevent it from rubbing against the truck.  I jumped down and then pushed the china as a mound under the bed mat.  I couldn’t care less if all that china smashed before I reached the end of the driveway but… I drove very carefully… looking hard in the rear view mirror.  No one was in sight.  After driving a half mile down the road I looked back again.  No one was following me.
            As I write this Mr. Simon’s summer place has been sold and some new summer people live in it.  They use it as their summer place.  I don’t know who the people are but I heard they’re from ‘New York’.  This is not the end of this tale.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer Place - Part Twenty - C

Summer Place

Part Twenty - C

            With the platter back in my armpit, let us get my direction and intention clear; ‘get out of here’.  Not even the scampered away porcupine turns around and comes back for more… intercourse.  Here… there were no more ‘antiques’… in sight.  And:  When, as a dealer, I am in an estate where there is ‘no more (antiques) in sight’ and this status is …endeavored to be elevated… by the owner-in-charge anyone… saying any form of ‘there are more like that’ ‘antiques’ …that I cannot see and THEY are the source of this …usually pathetic in-their-mind association THAT NEVER IS TRUE… offering of …more commerce?  This is just ONE MORE impediment to ‘get out of here’… here including, AGAIN, the sunglasses RETURNING to the hair… in an earnest gesture that roughly finalized that I WAS NOT ‘out of here’ until WE did THIS BARN DANCE together.  BUT… denoting the word “barn” bumped me… a little bit toward ‘exit’ for THAT unit of the property was, at the least, OUTSIDE and AWAY from this ‘NO ANTIQUES’ inside-the (“MY”) house so…:
            Knowing that there is ‘no way’ a kiddy’s picnic from FIFTY YEARS AGO in a ‘barn’ and ‘in the hay’ had left a clutter of …American scene historical Staffordshire transferware china… on the barn floor ever since that children’s festival… call it whatever you like FOR there PROBABLY ARE some sort of old ‘dishes’ there but …for the antiquarian… ‘no way’.
            Offering some sort of “Ah… SURE.” articulation of opportunity seizing (?) AND ignoring the sunglasses AND turning toward the FRONT DOOR (‘the way out’)… I ‘back to’ ‘Jenny’ and …step one step ‘toward’ and stop to… get a …sound of ‘your coming too’ from her that was, remarkably, affirmed by her starting to yell “BEAD”.
            This was actually “BEED” and was actually a calling to the ‘fine young man by name but, well, with my ‘back to’ and such I had a “what the?” moment but “BEAD” was told to “GET THE KEY TO THE BARN IT’S ON THE MILLIE’S DOG BONE BUNCH”.  There followed a whole bunch of sounds that included ‘Jenny’ passing by me toward the front door and a …clambering up out off the sofa (?) sound of male-rises-to-attention-performs-task and… appears from kitchen (?) moving toward Jenny-at-front door TOO.  Suddenly I was ‘a follower’.
            Outdoors I did a… from the rear of the troupe… barn scan that showed it to be a mere six steps off that direction to my truck cab door that I …immediately… arched off to …to open and face-down-on-seat the platter.  I mean; no need to carry that around.  Right?  Let us not set off a smoke alarm with that ‘gold-onboard’.  Then I paced up to catch up real quick to the ‘down to the barn’ progress of my …leaders.
            BEED competently unlocked and removed the padlock from the hasp while his mom watched approvingly AND commented the requisite oral utterance of all summer place property owners of “WE NEVER HAD TO KEEP THE BARN LOCKED BUT PEOPLE WERE GOING IN AND TAKING THINGS.”.
            Is there anything left?  I mean… do you think the ‘taking things’ group would leave the kiddy’s …dark blue American scene historical Staffordshire transferware …picnic dishes… on the floor in the hay? 
Obviously… BEED didn’t care about them.  Or the stuff in the barn.  Or the barn.  Or the house.  Or the whole property.   Or even… this… ‘summer place’.  After he pushed open the barn door …sort of… he stepped aside and let ‘us’ go in.  He was done?  Mission completed?  He disappeared.
            ‘Mom’ recalculated back to ‘Jenny’ as she strutted off into the SEA of HAY.  I followed, noting a ‘to the right’ small clutch of ‘old boards’ but otherwise ‘SEA of HAY’ TOO.  Down a left of center corridor of space we ‘between the hay bales stacked’ …we …passed the newest, newer and new hay bales to enter the land of ‘old hay’ that was roughly the same amount of stacked bales but they were ever older the further back.. “WE” ‘Jenny’ said “GO”.
            There was a wooden wall up ahead that blocked the bottom floor hay from continuing.  There was an open door in that wall.  On top; up above, the old hay continued back into the barn above on a ‘second floor’ of ‘old hay’ ‘up there’.  “Huh” I said to myself as I denoted that the FRONT section of the barn was ‘older’ therefore “THE OLD BARN” with this wooden wall being the ‘1860’s’ ‘added on’ ‘new barn’ (?).  “Actually probably older” I to myself and arrived, behind Jenny, at the open door ‘to the back’.  This back ROOM showed ‘full of’... looks like lumber, boards… etc.  “Huh.” again from me to me.  ‘Jenny’ had turned left behind the fore barn hay bale pile and was off toward a barn window ‘off over there’.  I did not follow but stepped into the room of lumber.  It was a very big room; a ‘whole back of the barn’ room… full… of ‘lumber, boards… etc’.  It was this last (‘etc.’) that I searched for but DID start tabulating ‘old lumber’ too.  Yep; ‘I can sell that’ status on… all that.  But I wanted gold.  I did not see any as I moved VERY FAST around and through the lumber jungle.  I KNOW I ONLY HAVE A FEW …seconds… MINUTES(?) to ‘do this’ AND ACT:  “HURRY – YES BOSS” I did.  As I rounded the room’s back corner and headed toward the entry door ‘up ahead’ ‘Jenny appeared at that entry door WITH A DISH IN HER HAND.
            Seeing her I came on even faster.  She sees me coming on fast “They’re HERE they’re the SAME I FOUND THEM” she says as …I arrive at her holding a …chipped dark blue NOT OLD 1950’s era ‘Enoch Wood’ type English “after the war” style… dark blue transferware ‘STAFFORDSHIRE’ …:  “Help me”.
            “NOT the same.” I say.
            “But YES.  SEE.” She say promoting the plate toward me AND:  “NO NOT THE SUNGLASSES!”
            “1950’s NOT OLD”. I say and move past her through the doorway thereby disrupting the sunglasses-in-hair removal.  I turn left away from the window lighted picnic ally. 
            “THERE ARE A WHOLE PILE”. she says.
            “NOT OLD.” I say as I keep moving away from her across the back of the hay.  A stairs to the second floor appears at ‘dead center barn’.  I pass that with a glance.
            “I REMEMBER THESE THEY ARE JUST LIKE THAT DISH” I hear her… CALLING… after me.
            “Help me” I say to myself again.  I continue into darkening darkness behind the old hay bale mounds.  Something blocks my progress; something blocks the path behind the old hay.  Its dark.  My hands feel cotton cloth covered with hay?
            “I’M GOING TO GET THESE.  THEY’RE JUST LIKE THE ONE YOU BOUGHT” I hear ‘Jenny’ saying as I try to get past this ‘what ever it is’ blocking me.  I stop.
I feel a stepped top edge; a ‘an overhang’. “Huh”.  I drop my hand down the side to the floor to feel a ‘base’.  “Huh”.  I bend over and from-shirt-pocket deploy my tiny flashlight and twist it on to …illuminate… on the floor against the wall and ‘buried’ in ‘old hay’ refuse a ‘bracket base’ ‘FOOT’; a ‘rear foot’ that I affirm by micro seconds shine-on the FRONT foot AS my right hand run up the front edge of the …chest… to… by feel… the drawers and their ‘pulls’.  I pull on a pull hard.  The drawer comes out an inch.  I shine-on the exposed edge; “dovetailed”.  My fingers touch the under drawer bottom’s edge; “(it’s) chamfered”.  “Period” I say meaning “of the period”; a …chest of drawers; bracket base Chippendale chest of drawers; I have found.  I stand up straight, turn the flashlight off and…  “Yep” to myself as I step away back to those centered stairs up and go right up them… to the second floor.’ 
“Time.  Buy time.” I say to myself at the top of the stairs.