Thursday, April 30, 2015

Old New England Glassware in the Home - Part Twenty-Nine - "Grave Digger"

Old New England Glassware in the Home

Part Twenty-Nine

"Grave Digger"

            Annie Pester (“Elizabeth Ann”) (“Mrs. Anabranch Pester”) lived with her husband at the Pester Farm when I first visited her there in the late nineteen sixties.  I was in high school.  I had repeatedly encountered Annie at local ‘yard’ and ‘tag’ sales.  From these encounters we had first ‘spoken’ and then ‘talked’ and then

            One Saturday morning as we were both leaving an unresponsive ‘SALE’ she invited me to come to the Pester farm to ‘see it’; the ‘broken’ ‘barn cupboard’ she’d “FOUND”.  The farm was less than a mile away... ‘at the top of the hill’
            From the top of this hill, in Sweden, Maine, one looked “back” toward ‘the (White) Mountains’.  That morning I paid no attention to this for I was ‘very used to’ a ‘that view’ from the ‘Lakes Region’ of southwestern Maine (southern Oxford County).  I did pay close attention to the Pester farm.  This was not the first time I had done that:
            Paid attention
            To the “Anabranch Pester Farm”.
            “Was Branch (Anabranch) there?” was my primary question.  “Branch Pester” was a local ‘reason with’ (avoid) for ...local teenage boys.  Anabranch and Annie had two ‘teenage’ daughters.
            “YOUR THAT YOUNG ANTIQUES MAN SHE TALKS ABOUT” he said to me... in the Pester farm’s yard while I stood next to my... mother’s... car.  Then he left us (Annie and I).  He walked over to his truck and then across the yard to the barn.  Then back to the truck.  He got in that and drove away.  That was all in about two minutes.
            We (Annie and I) then walked to the barn, went in the open-door front, turned to the left; the ‘far side’ of the barn and... came upon... there... the ‘broken barn cupboard' she’d 'found’.  I...

            Knew that what I “SEE” was not a “THAT”.  It was a ‘once’ ‘built in’ corner cupboard that had the bottom door ‘there’ but ‘off’.  The top of the cupboard was ‘always open’; it never ‘had a door’.  It had been ‘built in’ ...somewhere... once.  I was quick to configure that... and that
            “FOUND” means Annie FOUND this cupboard... pretty close to where it “IS NOW” at the far left ‘front’ of the ‘barn’.  She ‘drove around’ in a ‘car’ like my mother’s so... “she didn’t load this somewhere”.  I could figure.  Also... the cupboard was ‘too good’ to have been “FOUND” any other way... or place... than “IN” the “FAR BACK” of the
            Anabranch Pester Farm’s... “OLD”... barn
            Where, for some historic reason... IT
            After ‘being taken’ “OUT” of ...perfectly obvious to my sweet seventeen self... the “OLD HOUSE” that was the center of the Anabranch Pester
            On the hillside top... looking west... at the White Mountains... near Sweden, Maine.
            I offered, as the minutes ticked by, ‘twenty-five dollars’.
            “IT’S BROKEN YOU SEE?” Annie said.
            “Yes.” I said

I sold the cupboard; the eighteenth century built-in corner cupboard from the original homestead house of the (Anabranch) Pester Farm... inclusive of I promoting that sale by lying the cupboard down in my family’s barn yard to “SHOW” the “FROM THE COAST” “antiques dealers” the... BURN MARKS
Underneath the shelves
In the top section of the cupboard
Where the candles... when set in the cupboard... “BURNED” the ‘underside’ of the shelf above it; ‘little burnt spots’ (“you can’t miss them:  They MUST be there” and ‘always are’).
“Oh aren’t those wonderful!” and... he and his wife ‘bought it’.
Do I look back on all of this right now and ‘wish’ that ‘no way’ did I sell that?
Of course.
But that “THAT” is ‘part of this’ TOO.
I sold ‘it’ for one hundred and twenty-five dollars.
I ‘made’, I figured, ‘one hundred dollars less twenty for hauling it around’.
I made ‘eighty bucks’ the first time I visited the Anabranch Pester farm
In the late nineteen sixties.

            Ralph Waldo Emerson was never heard quoted at the Anabranch Pester Farm although ‘Branch’ verbally fumed ‘self reliance’.  ‘Branch’ never quoted Whitman either.  That I know of.  Nor Hawthorne.  Annie had a red letter “A” on a blanket... she kept neatly folded on the porch swing on the front porch of the front addition, circa 1830, of the farm.  I am confident that I am the only person who ever connected that “A” with Hawthorne and that connection was for no other reason than it being a big red “A” before my eyes and that following on an eight grade English class forced reading of ‘that book’.
            At this point-in-time... of the blanket on the porch swing, I did not notice then (age seventeen) but did shortly discern (by age twenty-two?) that a ‘center’ Greek Revival ‘pillar’ of this porch attached to the front of the ‘front addition’ ‘circa 1830’ of the Anabranch Pester Farm was ‘gone’.  Not therefore ‘missing’.  I discerned.  IT was TOO ‘in the barn’; down the far left side to the rear ‘leaning up’.  That’s the way it always was for every one of my visits to the
            Anabranch Pester Farm
            Branch and Annie’s granddaughter ‘sold it’; the ‘missing’ pillar.

One of Branch and Annie’s daughters... eventually... ‘took over’ “the farm”.  SHE had two daughters ‘there’ ‘too’.  One of those daughters... eventually... ‘took over’ “the farm... TOO.  She has two sons.  And lives there (the Anabranch Pester Farm) NOW.  When her mother sold the pillar ‘missing’ from the front porch, she and her mother had no connection that this ‘thing’ ‘went to the farm’.  By the time anyone else who ‘would know that’ discovered this had happened, it was ‘too late’.  The pillar was sold, and resold, first in Maine.  Then in Connecticut.  Then on 26th Street in New York City where it was ‘carried off’ to be ‘displayed’ by ‘collectors’ in their ‘loft’.  It is still known to ‘have come from a farm in Maine’.  I have been told.  By the picker who ‘picked it’.  And sold it.

            Annie was “one hundred an one” it is said when she died in 1986.  She ‘got the antiques bug’ as early as 1955 she claimed.  To me.  She had two kinds of antiques... at her home... of the Anabranch Pester Farm.  Kind one was the “THINGS” she “FOUND” in her travels locally to “EVERY SALE”.  Kind two was the “THINGS” she “FOUND” in the Anabranch Pester Farm.  This second group was divided by things “I LIKE” and things “I DON’T LIKE”.  That was the ‘schooling’ that went into her ‘antiques business’.  The ‘kind one’ ‘things’ were always... and only... “things I like”.
            She was ‘inclined’ to ‘keep’ most all of the ‘things I like’.  And she would sell ‘most all’ of the things she ‘I don’t like’.  Therefore... and to my careful notice, ‘things’ Annie ‘found’ in the farm that she ‘does not like’ were the best antiques ‘she got’ ‘ever’ and ‘does not know’...this.  I was not the only one who ‘knew this’.

            Although other... at first usually older... men... who were ‘of antiques’; ‘antiquarians’ (pickers)... ‘went there’ (“picked”) (the Anabranch Pester Farm) AND even ‘knew Branch’ well enough to... stand by his pig pen with him and, too, ‘scratch the hog’s back’ with ‘a stick’... TOO... I... became a regular ‘stop by’... TOO.  Branch avoided me and... I avoided his daughters.  Annie... in her antique bug... gathered.  And gathered.  This gather... for the most part... did NOT appeal to ‘other’.  I... on the other hand... and persistently “doing” the coastal flea market(s) “NOW”... ‘could use’ ‘stuff like that’ soooo... “You two get along fine in your trades don’t you”.  Said Branch.  To me.  That was good for twenty years.  By that time Branch had died and... Annie was ‘moved out of the farm’ and died.  Too.

            The ‘one of her daughters’ ‘moved in.  And ‘cleaned up’ and ‘cleaned out’ and ‘throw out’.  This last was ‘sort of’:  She... for the most part... ‘put it (this throw out) in the barn’.  The ‘farm’ no longer ‘farmed’.  The barn no longer ‘barned’?  WELL... its DOOR became the ‘where you park your truck’ if you ‘are a picker’ “JUST GOING BY”.  The ‘piles’ in the barn were an unstated ‘permanent yard sale’... at the
            Anabranch Pester Farm.

            This daughter spawned two daughters.  They became ‘teenage’ while I ‘JUST GOING BY’ the “BARN”.  Then they, too, ‘grew up’ and... their mother, too, “getting old”.  Too.  Soon one of these daughters ‘moved in too’ ‘with her husband (“HE’S A NICE GUY YOU KNOW”):
            Farm truck
            Ball cap
            Camo pants
            “Bow hunting”
            “Black powder deer”
            “ONE OF THOSE CHURCHES”.
            “HOME SCHOOL”
            “UP TO”.

            He... always watched me.. in my dealings... of my backed up truck... with ‘her mother’... ‘at the barn’... until she died.  Can’t say that I’ve been back since then.

            I bought the EAPG from the ‘house cupboards’ starting with Annie who I doubt ever drank from an EAPG goblet in her life.  The ‘glassware’ ‘come out’ of ‘the house’ “pretty right along” as Annie ‘cleaned out’ the “I don’t” from the “I do” (“like”):  The old New England glassware... in the home.  She didn’t get ‘all of it’ out her lifetime.  IT TOOK A TASTE for ‘plastic’ and (“CONWAY” [NH]) box store design innovation too:  Yeah... we all remember when ‘North Conway’ was NOT and ‘outlet’ destination... do we not?  WELL ANYWAY, they’d go over there and ‘get’
            “FOR THE HOUSE”.
            That “HOUSE?” (Part Twenty-Five) was now... becoming “ONCE WAS” the ‘Anabranch Pester Farm’.  “THE BOYS ARE GROWING UP AREN’T THEY.  GONNA GO OVER TO Meredith (NH) TO SEE THE GRAVE DIGGER”.
            Then they showed me “THE PICTURE” (photograph) of ‘the boys’ and the ‘Grave Digger’.
            They’re ‘keeping that’.
            It’s ‘not for sale’.
In the Anabranch Pester Farm
There ain’t much else left ‘you’d call antique’ ‘in there’ ‘anyway’.

            I do
            Still have some of
            The old New England glassware (EAPG)
            I purchased
            In the (that) home
            It’s “out in the barn somewhere... I’m pretty sure”.


  1. Southern Oxford County, Maine: Last words of a dying farmer, "The left rear tire of the truck gotta' slow leak...hav'ta' keep puttin' the air to it." Antiques were not mentioned.

  2. I wonder if there is a new crop of Annie Pester types today? There may be, but can they be recognized in the current settings?