The Silver Twin's ...Place...
In New England Decorative Art
If... I have an itch... do I scratch it?
If... I scratch this itch... is this itch then... the same itch...
This ponderance became an antiquarian ponderance for I...
Or do I ponder that too?
I have the itch and scratch it; the antiquarian itch.
Old attic itch.
Old thing itch...
“You know how people gather up Bittersweet berry vines and roll them into (decorative) wreaths? Then, like, hang them up? I tried that; cutting the vines out, rolling them up. And selling them. They sold. But, like... the berries were never dense enough on the vines... to me (her eye). And they (the berries) were always falling off the vines. Like... REALLY. So I’d get, like, one good vine wreath and the rest (of the vines) were not good. To make wreaths out of and sell. So like... I finally figured it out: The bittersweet berries and their vine is best (looks the best) where it grows; is growing. And I was just destroying its natural beauty... by trying to make some dumb-ass wreath... that all the berries fall off of. So I don’t do that anymore. Like: I like it (bittersweet) better growing in a snarl along the road. It’s invasive you know. I just leave it alone.”
That itch is no longer scratched, she says?
I did not ponder much of any of this that day that I stood
“FINALLY” inside the Silver Twin’s Place (homestead). It had been a very long and hard to ‘get in there’? Sort of. The ‘place’ was ‘abandoned’. Actually... several descendents “lived nearby”: The homestead (“place”) was still “owned by the family” and was, by their description “CLOSED UP” (not ‘abandoned’). No one ‘lived there’ or ...cared about that; no one living there. We all went by the place. It was ‘closed up’. For as long as I could remember.
And I can remember a long time... about these things. It is an itch and I ponder... ‘should I scratch it?’. And... “HOW?” to do it; scratch
The first thing I found out about that itch was that I was not the only one who knew about the Silver Twin’s Place, its antiquarian itch and the ‘scratch it’. Someone did that:
This old bitch.
She wasn’t that but she was. Okay? That kind of bitch. And she was up there (inside the Silver Twins Place) before I could even know someone could do that; go in there and ...scratch that antiquarian itch. She was in there twenty-five years before I...
And she ‘got stuff’; real antiques from the Silver Twin’s Place. RIGHT FROM THE SILVER TWINS themselves. That’s right: She ‘bought’ from the ACTUAL Twins. They were “very old then”. Neither ever married and both ...had “lots of cats” “in there”. The old bitch got in there way before twenty-five years ago. She was “always in there” when “I was growing up” she... always told. She only went to scratching the antiquarian itch after she, herself, GOT the antiquarian itch and... discovered she could scratch it
In the Silver Twin’s Place.
She didn’t know what she was doing. Meaning that I know what I’m doing. She scratched the itch in there... but not like I would have. The Twins didn’t know what they were doing either. So... that was ‘some scratch’ in there... then. The only thing that was good about it was that old bitch did actually (in fact) “KEEP” all of the “ANTIQUES” she “GOT OUT OF THERE”. She did.
I saw them. All. Over and over. Eventually I owned them. That’s another story. Why can that be another story? Because... those antiques were ALL antiques that were brought up hill to the Silver Twin’s Place “after” they “settled” (Part One). SOME very few were actually “OLD” (Colonial settlement era) but... “VERY FEW”. And ...stuff like... the old sap spiles and sap yoke... “weren’t antiques” back then. Nope. This first scratch of the antiquarian itch in the Silver Twins Place’s ATTIC was ‘just antiques’... so... by today’s standard of New England Decorative Art... “a lot” “was left” ...behind.
That does not hide the first scratching. A (six drawer) Chippendale chest (of drawers). Two (bow back) Windsor chairs. A “cricket” (foot stool). Pewter (“old pewter”). A... no... no paintings. No early china. No glassware. No. All that; the early fine antiques of colonial settlement... had to come up hill to get there (Part One). That didn’t happen. No one who lived in the Silver Twins Place ever had a silver spoon. Ever. A silver spoon had to come up hill to get there. A silver spoon and such... never went up hill there. The only ‘silver’ up there... ever... were the ‘spoken of’ (“it is told”) small trade broaches (Part Two)... ‘it is told’. So... this ‘settlement’ contents, with its ‘antiques’ taken off... actually left a lot of ‘stuff’ “in there”. Undisturbed. Most of this was still there when I ‘got in’.
Getting in was not like visiting your living room. For Example:
When I looked up and against the wall of the shed and discerned the sap yoke hanging there on the wall of the shed... in the light, I could turn and face the opposite wall with its ‘hung there’ contents too. Many objects hanging there that day had hung there a very long time but... ‘in the light’? Well... there was light... in this connecting shed... between the main house’s kitchen and the barn because... above where I stood the roof of this connecting shed “had collapsed”. And “been that way for years”.
So.... what was preserving the old sap yoke was that it had been always hung up high enough ‘under’ the roof line that... when the snow collapsed the roof... where the yoke was hung up... the roof above ‘there’ was “still there” so sheltered and protected the hung up sap yoke and... many other objects.
Of course the collapsed roof made quite a mess on the “floor” of the shed. That floor now TOO was collapsed after becoming ‘rotten’ of its too “been that way for years”. So I had to step around carefully while I bought the old sap yoke and took it off it’s wall for “five bucks for that” (I paid cash right then).
The center key words are “took it off its wall”. I did that. I knew I was doing it. What was I going to do? CALL YOU on your smart phone and ASK YOU what I should do? Your never around when I need YOU when I’m doing this... I promise. So now we have advantage of expectations and qualifications (Part Three but starting in Part Two) but that day I just had my antiquarian throttle wide open. I dispensed with the wander and wonder. I had ‘the family’ there. They were not wandering or wondering either. Every time I gave one of the women a five dollar... ten dollar... twenty dollar... ONE dollar... bill...:
And don’t fall through the floor either.
The wooden sap spiles were clustered in their ‘bucket’. I bought them. I sold them. I sold the bucket separately. When the bucket with the spile cluster tried to hug me with conscious observation of its precious state of art; of it being ‘old New England design’; an old New England Decorative Art. In place. In... that... PLACE. I... what?
“Are not we in a Bastard after all.” I said to you already (Part Three). I put the sap spile cluster, separated from it’s bucket ...in my mind... back into that separated-in-my-mind bucket and, never touching the spiles and only thumb gripping the full (dry white pine so ‘light’) ...whole of this... old New England Decorative Art object... I “SAT IT” ‘up’ in the truck bed with the sap yoke there too...
That morning, as I “TOOK OFF”
“ALL THAT I COULD” from the shed
I did not “GET IN” “THE HOUSE” that day. It was... and remained
That day, my antiquarian eye was ‘smitten’ with the Silver Twins Place and its
In New England Decorative Art.
There was no one around to talk to about ‘that’. I was alone? I was in a dream?
Each everything was rolling in my mind. My truck ...full... reached the bottom of the Silver Hill Road. I crossed the intersection and went ‘up Mill Hill’ and
Everything in that truck
Was hung on the wall
Of my mind. I just could not get away from the GALLERY SHOW
Of old New England Decorative Art
I had just ‘taken down’.
As I drove away
The truck load was not yet a coiled up vine... with its berries falling off...
Made into a wreath
“It’s invasive you know”.