Thursday, March 17, 2016

(Yankee) Hoarding - Part One - "You Think So"

(Yankee) Hoarding

(Part One)

"You Think So"

            I do not get tired of the voracious usage of the word “Hoard” (“Hoarding”) (“Hoarder”)... so “trending” these days as I come and go about
            My business as an antiques and rare books
It is sovereign... this five letter word.
            MOST... of the times... that I hear of these five letter worded ... it is to declare a defined (“definite”) defile of that... those... five letter ...spearhead stabs from
            Its very own community agreement ...shaft (verb).
            Who is shafted?  Or is it crucified?  Lanced while crucified?  Actually that (the lancing) is called  “did” (“done”) “something about it”
            “An intervention”.
            “You think so?”

            Then everything is cleaned out:  “What a pile of junk he (she) HAD
            In there.”
            That is a fair appraisal.  “Filth” (“filthy”) is a part of a fair appraisal:
            “Filthy (Yankee) Hoarder”
            “Everything... has been cleaned out... now”.  Cubic feet.
            Metric tons.
            “Dumpsters” filled
            Automatic solutions... to an ‘obvious problem’
            Remedy:  “Counseling over their ...
            (“NOT ME”)

            When the British burned Washington.
            When the farm’s content auction is over
            When the space is empty
            “NOT ME”
            Has already started to
            Check your pockets
            Your are doing it too.
“It is a keepsake...  I don’t know why.”

            Hoarding is a keepsake
            In old New England.
            I don’t know why.

            I had a finite discussion with another dealer a while back.  It was very specific and ... very specific about hoarding and... the reach to touch the “I don’t know why” of the fascination of a hoard and its hoarding.
            In a dish on a dresser top was a hoard of ‘out of pocket’ keepsakes spanning the fifty plus years of one man’s trouser pocket keepsake found, find and ‘kept’.  In this dish.  There in... was an old political ‘button’.  Understand that I mean it to be old enough to ...there in... become good enough to stand alone as a single item a “Political Collector” (including old political buttons) would “WANT”.  Fingering this button gently in this dresser dish... including no comment or attention (specifically) to it... just a commercial ‘note to self’... this dealer continued on with the “INSPECTION” of “THE ESTATE”.  A very common
            Practice this is.
            “I didn’t forget it (the button) but I did just leave it there.  Why?  I couldn’t change my gut feeling toward that stupid button.  It was more interesting... and valuable... to me in its setting of being in the old gent’s lifetime trouser pocket hoard.  I like the button better in the hoard.  I like the hoard better than the button.  I like the dish on the dresser better too.  I liked the dresser better with the dish with its hoard with the button in the hoard.  I had a complete breakdown over it.  All I really like about the whole was that is was a hoard.  It was a genuine, real, assembled, kept, protected lifetime hoard.  It screamed humanity to me.  I completely froze up.  I haven’t been the same since.  I have the button in the dish on the dresser... all just the same.  But it is not the same.  Its cold.  Actually it’s not cold.  Or dead.  It’s just not a hoard anymore.  Back in the bedroom it was that guy’s old hoard.  One of many he had.  They were wonderful ...they must have been... when he was alive and running them.  His hoards.  Without him his hoards perish.  That button is just in someone’s collection.
            If I ever sell it....
            I don’t know what to do.  I mean:  I speaking for myself here.  I haven’t gotten past it yet.  You know... the ‘everything’s a hoard and we are all just hoarders’.  What a pile of crap huh.  Literally.”

            Do I have your attention?  Or are you just walking by this?  If your walking by this... then you walk by a whole lot of really great stuff.  All the time.  And you’ll never make it in the antiquarian trades.  Walking by really great stuff.  All the time.  You, too, will be ‘one of those’ who say, regularly, that a ‘so and so’
            “Is a hoarder”
            “You know”.

            “You think so?”

            The first time I ever heard about it or understood I heard about it (hoarding) I was still very young.  Like... six... years old.  Maybe younger.  I know now one may be really young when one first, personally and privately... encounter hoarding.  It comes from the “clean up your room” thing merged with the “this is my stuff” thing... usually in the “my bedroom” ...thing.  It goes from there... with undisclosed (or discussed)... passion.
            “Oh... you are still just walking by.  Aren’t you a DEAR”.
            Yes... your bedroom was ‘spotless’ (stuff-less).  Just as spotless as you are to this day...
            I bet.
            So the rest of us are over here in our bedrooms when we are six years old hearing about ‘hoarding’ for the first time and being...
            Totally interested “in THAT”.
            What they (adults) said to me then was that a “THEIR HOUSE” is “SO FULL” that there are “ONLY LITTLE PATHS THROUGH THE ROOMS” and that “ON EITHER SIDE OF THE PATHS THE STUFF IS PILED UP TO THE’
            ONCE... WHEN ONE OF THEM WAS SICK... THEY WOULDN’T (couldn’t?) LET THE DOCTOR IN SO THEY DRAGGED HIM OUT ONTO THE PORCH” so the Doctor could get at him.
            I was six.  OKAY?  LIKE.... “PATHS THROUGH THE ROOMS” filled to the ceiling with “STUFF”.  THIRTY years later I bought the entire contents of the estate – property.  It was just like they always told me “IN THERE”.

            You’ve never done anything like that.  I know:  Your life is a Zen Garden and you’re the rake leaning up that tends it.  Your emptiness IS your hoard.  It is your
            Pile of crap.

            Now... the reason I prefix “Yankee” on to hoarder in this essay is because ...that is what I know about; Yankee... Hoarders... .  I have seen other hoarders and hoards outside of New England but... they left me cool.  They “aren’t old enough” and are ‘too clean’ (with those expressions meaning nothing) and are ‘not what I know”.  I am confident someone can find a ‘great hoard’ (“hoarder”) in New Jersey.  I see the newspaper notices of ‘a Hoarder’ ‘crushed’ by their magazine hoard... it is just that the magazine hoard is never “YANKEE” or “DOWNEAST”.  I mean... You find a hoard of “YANKEE” magazines filling a shed room off of the chicken roosts... YOU ARE in a Yankee’s hoard.  One needs very few “YANKEE” magazines to have a hoard... these days.  The one “OLD ONE” that you have .... IS... ‘your hoard’ “OF THEM”.  You... are a Yankee hoarder.
            You are.
            “You think so?”
            Buck up.


  1. When she dies the death of her hoard will be mourned.

  2. The entire hoard may tell something of the hoarder. An item from the hoard, although perhaps having some high form of antique value, may not provide a clue of the hoarder.