Tuesday, April 29, 2014

"It's Been Two Years" - Part Five - "Antiques Store" - (B) - "The Front and The Back"

"It's Been Two Years"

Part Five

"Antiques Store"


"The Front and The Back"

            What is happening at the ...antiques store; The Gallery...?  What is happening RIGHT NOW... at The Gallery...?  To be understood... one finds (denotes)... a ‘double meaning’ (a duplicity) to every ‘said’ and every ‘action taken’... by ALL the... ‘people’... involved.  I shorten the active list of ‘people’ to... ‘the owners’; a middle age... ‘WE HAVE A’ ‘small business on the coast of Maine’... couple and... to... ONE antiques picker; James Hutton... who not only ‘sells’ (antiques) to the ‘store owners’ but also ‘watches shop’ (or ‘shop sits’) for them ‘a couple of days’ (Monday and Tuesdays... sort of) each week.
            The way I will report the ‘what is happening’ is that I will report a statement or action by a ‘people’ and then... report... what that report actually means... and... then... report the next... report... following with... THAT report’s meaning.  It is the ‘front and back’ method, I call... it:  I’ll show you the front... and then I’ll show you the back.

            Hutton, in my yard... at the edge of the summer season (March 31st) said “I don’t know WHAT’S going on down there.  With them.  This year.”
            This means that Hutton has had contact with The Gallery, inclusive, and... has denoted by FEEL... the SENSE... not stated... that... ‘it is not going to be the same this year’ ‘down there’ ‘huh’.  Everything... seems... to be ‘like last year normal’ BUT he FEELS... something... something... something... not (yet) being said... AND... not being said to him TOO.
            A few days later Hutton says... “THEY”... ‘are making some changes’ “THIS YEAR” including... ‘not opening until Memorial Day weekend’ (as opposed to the previous two years of... ‘being open’ “NOW” (April 1st... April FOOLS day) and ‘are expanding their CRAFTS’ (having more ‘new’ ‘crafts’ ‘stock’ ‘for sale’).
            The opening day ‘advancement’ is because... ‘no one’ ‘came into’ the antiques store... ‘until Memorial Day weekend’ “last year” so... the owners had to ‘shop sit’ an ‘empty shop’ for “TWO MONTHS”... in addition to making “no sales”.  And I mean ‘no sales’; ‘zero’.  For two months.
            The second means LESS antiques for sale.  Less antiques for sale means “THEY ARE NOT BUYING” ‘any’ ‘more’ ‘antiques’ “from me” (Hutton)... ‘sort of’.  Sort of means that IF Hutton offers them ‘something’ THEY ‘THINK’ is “REALLY GOOD”... “THEY” ‘will buy it’ but, most probably, “KEEP IT” in their ‘collection’ and NOT have it for sale ...at ‘the shop’.  THIS MEANS that Hutton’s sales ‘to them’ are cut by at least three-fourths for MOST of his offering to them are ‘stock’ ‘for the store’ type (‘grade’) (?) antiques because... THAT IS WHAT... Hutton ‘finds’ MOST OF THE TIME JUST LIKE EVERY PICKER does.  SO:  “They are not buying” ‘anything’ ‘unless it’s good’ and THAT last means an “I’D BUY IT MYSELF FOR THAT” grade ‘antique’.  Said Hutton.
            This extends to mean that they (The Gallery) “didn’t buy anything from me” THAT DAY.  THAT is a “FIRST TIME”.  THAT is a ‘major warning sign’; picker take notice (heed).  Hutton... RIGHT NOW... ‘stops’ ‘offering them’ ANYTHING... ‘until things settle down’.
            They do not.

            When he ‘stops by’; goes back to... “CHECK”... MRS. THE GALLERY... mentions...:  MENTIONS... that “did he (Hutton) know... (by any chance) that THEY (The Gallery antique shop business on the main street of a coastal Maine tourist town) “bought seventy-seven thousand dollars” of “antiques” from Hutton... “last year”.  Hutton replied to that ‘No I didn’t know that why would I’.
            “Isn’t that quite a lot (of our money)?” Mrs. The Gallery... then... SAID.
            This means... and Hutton knew this absolutely THEN THERE... “melt down in progress”:  This antiques shop ‘is toast’; ‘is closing’; is ‘going out of business’ FOR REAL meaning that even though to Hutton’s concise vantage they were going out of business before they ‘opened FOR BUSINESS’ two years ago... they are now... “GAME OVER” ‘going out of business’.  Soooo... on Hutton’s business book it’s... ‘time to go... bye-bye’.
            “OUR INVENTORY IN THE STORE IS ONLY (cost bases) TWENTY-THREE” thousand dollars.  She said.  To Hutton.
            THAT MEANS that... MOST of ‘the stuff’ they bought from Hutton they either  ‘sold’ from the store... (?)... or (in fact)... “KEPT” in ‘their collection’... because it “IS” (was?) “SO GOOD”.
            “Oh.” said Hutton.  “That makes sense”.
            That last means that ‘of course I was selling you my best stuff I’d keep it too if I were not an antiques dealer so (RULE FIVE) ... I sell my best stuff... TO YOU.  If YOU don’t sell it... “That makes sense” AND it is STILL ‘the good stuff’ so... YOU... have no complaints against ME.  “You are hoarders.” Hutton actually observed to her.  She did not observe... his observation.  She is occupied with the... big numbers about HER money:  One hundred thousand spent with Hutton... at least... and probably nearing TWO hundred in the ‘whole time’ (three plus years of business relations to date).  Then add... one hundred thousand dollars ‘spent’ on the... antiques store over the now entering year three time elapse.  SPENT means money GONE (painting the walls of the store, vanity printed shopping bags, advertising, etc., et al.  ET AL).  Then add the twenty-three K of ‘stock’ ‘on the floor’ of the store.  And it’s ‘more’.  There’s always MORE stock in these ventures then ‘made it on the books’.  (The ‘store’ is “FILLED WITH CRAP”...meaning, again... ‘hoarders... hoarding... their hoard... management?’).  So there is probably about fifty K actually ‘on the floor’ of the store’.
            “NONE” of this ‘stock’ is Hutton’s; he does not OWN any of it.
            “NONE” of the amounts of money spent and ‘tied up’ are Hutton’s.
            He... in amassing the sales totals with The Gallery... probably did those impressive numbers... rolling between two and five thousand dollars... as his capital block; money-to-work-with... over and over and over.  That’s right; he, an antiques picker, probably can put his hands on about... two thousand dollars... at any given ‘day’.  And that is all he... ‘needs’.  That is what pickers do; buy and SELL.  They are not hoarders.  They are... particularly adept at determination and evaluation of hoarders... who, as one discovers, come in many, many... MANY different formulas and... plateaus of ‘quality’.

            “I don’t think I’m going to be down there much this summer.”  Said Hutton.
            This means “I AM GONE” meaning Hutton will no longer be ‘sitting shop’ and has already told ‘them’ ‘that’ right away so ‘that’s been done’ and... they probably barely noted that ‘departure’ for they are so number stunned when it comes to Hutton that... they don’t really want to see him anyway.  I mean... their own house and store is FULL of Hutton so... everywhere they go so... they see ‘enough of him’... so... don’t actually need (or want) to ‘see him’.  Hutton knows this.  He becomes a regular ‘no show’ “down there”. “They’re getting a lot of CRAFTS people in there this year anyway.  I don’t want to have anything to do with that.”
            Hutton says.
            That means that he knows very, very well that one is going to have to sell ‘one Hell of a lot of crafts’ to ‘clear’ the store’s inventory cost bases ...or ‘even get NEAR TO the.. “It’s a KEEPER!” ‘our collection’ (hoard?)... cost... base.  And... all that is ‘above’ the ‘cost of running the shop’.

            “What will happen to The Gallery?”
            What will happen to it?  Well... it has ‘another summer’ ‘to go’ before there’s a ‘find out that”.  “Huh”.  “Stop by the store when your... going by there”.  As is said.  That means... if one is a professional antiques dealer-picker in Maine.... ‘stop by’... when you are in a ... way out down a long coastal peninsula land finger... to the... small village at its end with only tourists and ‘summer people’ there but, too, with some... open summer only tourist businesses and... a few not so good... “lobster rolls” and... ‘chowder’ ...served by a sixteen year old girl (“I DROVE MOM’S CAR HERE TODAY”) who... never... ever... get the serving ladle to the bottom of the chowder pot to ‘scoop up the good stuff.  (“Probably they don’t even ‘serve’ FISH chowder ‘anyway”.)
            Soooo...:  WORD of this “THIS ALL” spreads very... very... very quickly... and concisely ‘through the trade’ (local Maine antiques pickers) and is especially... poignant... for Hutton is ‘someone who would know’.  The Gallery... in less than three weeks of ‘this’ April time... is completely cut off from the ‘current trade’ and are ‘on their own’ ‘down there’.  “Probably close at the end of the summer.”
            “What do you think will happen to their stuff (store stock)?”
            “Probably keep a lot of it and auction the rest.”
            “Is this really what happens to antiques stores on the coast of Maine?”
            “Yep.  And... it happens to ‘antiques dealers’... ‘on the coast of Maine’.
            And ‘we’ (antiques pickers) all... know this.
            Yes we do and we also know
            That there is... an... endless supply... of more...
            “WE ARE OPENING an ANTIQUES STORE” and “I AM AN ANTIQUES DEALER (here’s my card call me if you... have anything to sell... or just stop by and see me at... the store)”.
            “Another one” DOES “pop right up” just as soon as ‘that one’
            And ‘we’ (antiques pickers) all... know this.
            We can count on it... to make a living:   “That one (an antique) is SO GREAT I can’t believe he SOLD IT (to us).  That guy is a GREAT picker!”
            That is the front
            There is a back.

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