Before and After: "The Sameness"
"So you're FOR Buttercups"
Seven years ago I started this antiquarian ‘writing down’ with a five post block presenting the antique New England pickle bottle. I presented it as it is to me... now, then, back then, before, generations before, these days, those days and in my days... now. Where, when, how, who. Too. And... the constituent antique pickle bottle collectors, including their ‘must have – go to’ reference book... too.
I have ‘gone back’ and read over the posts and so may anyone by pursuing the labels ‘old bottle’, ‘pickle bottle’ and ‘pickles’. I did not change (edit) anything. That I did not need... or want... to do. I found the error that I had ‘occurred to me’ that caused me all this retro reading right away and then, too, found it to be a solid ‘error’ throughout all five posts. The error is simple enough: I never serve notice that the reason I choose old New England pickle bottles as the subject is because... it is easy.
I felt then
And feel now...
That they (the antique New England pickle bottle) captures and encompasses all of what I have been writing down ‘ever since’ about New England antiques. Their collectors, dealers and pickers. The old New England homes, houses, homesteads, sheds, barns, outbuildings. Stonewalls, ‘dumps’ and ‘hoard’. Attics, cellars and summer kitchens. Back stairs, windowsills, cellar stairs, woodshed windows, dirty barn windows. Boys and girls playing in barns, sheds. Wells and their well houses. Old women and their preference for old pickle bottles in their windows. Old men who tied bailing twine around a ‘pickle’s’ neck and ‘hung it’ in the center of a barn’s window.
Dirty wooden boxes...and old cardboard paper boxes full of old dirty pickle bottles in the back of old rusted pickup trucks... hauling them to my yard to “SELL”
I never said why I picked that topic. The old New England pickle bottle, when it is applied to my ‘subjects at hand’; the core directives of this blog; it is a very fine and easy choice...
For it ‘covers all of it’ and
“Never changes” too.
In the original five posts I did, ‘pretty much’ cover... the all of it (about ‘pickles’)... without saying that; that ‘pickle bottle’ is an easy choice that covers. The ‘never changes’ I bring in today. To ‘bring in today’ I graciously say... in a reversing way... that the old New England pickle bottle
It stays where it is and that ‘stay’ comes from where it... was.
As a candidate for exemplifying old New England decorative taste (“good taste”) of objects, designs, places, settings, inclusions, exclusions and... ‘sending the right message from the corners of the room’, the old New England pickle bottle ‘is that’. In the posts, I notice the difference between the ‘cathedral’ pickle bottle and the plain pickle bottle as decorative preference and clout. None the less... “BOTH” are “PICKLE BOTTLES”. Choose a ‘one’ or the other... or one ‘may have’ a ‘both’. TOO. Dirty in boxes in a picker’s truck. Washed and “windowsilled” or “Manteled”. The top of refrigerator is a popular spot too. And there is too... the old back stair’s hoard that I ‘grew up with’ in my grandmother’s home. “That long ago” still stands today... and ‘started’ in the
Old New England pickle bottles were used as window decoration in the Civil War. They were not ‘thrown out’. They are a solid benchmark of ‘not trending’ ‘old New England’ decorative ‘taste’.
The old pickle bottle is a shelter of old New England we may all ‘get to’.
Today, all old pickle bottles and their various etiquettes are unchanged. They are a little more ‘scarce’, a little more ‘hidden away’ in homes and collections, a little more expensive, a little more “not (for sale) today”. A little bit more.
Not a lot more. No... everything there (“with pickles”) is ‘just fine’. And no one ‘with pickles’ notices the ‘nots’. No one brings their old pickle bottle that ‘came from my grandmother’ to ‘display’ at the Historical Society’s annual ‘Discovery night’. The pickle bottle stays home... and guards the home. They are still there when a ‘you’ gets back. They are still there after an “I” (an antiques dealer) leaves the home... after a ‘visit’. ONLY now and then when the inheritance is declared and the distributions ‘made’ do they falter and, briefly, ‘go in motion’. I am always around to ‘catch them’ if they ‘fall’.
The plain pickle may be the best ‘starter’ for the ‘home’. It is a little less of a dollars and cents commitment... though that price gap has narrowed... so that ‘good ones’ ‘shadow’ the price of the cathedral pickle bottles. These days. I remember being ‘undone’ by a sixty dollar price on a ‘plain pickle’. Now I encounter ‘one (hundred) twenty-five’ “stickered can you believe it?”. Yes I can believe it. That is cheap for a true ‘shelter of old New England’. And it is too... a shelter that may be ‘passed down’ for generations. One may count on doing that. I already stated: Old New England pickle bottles are not trending. Neither is old New England. In case you haven’t noticed. Old New England is just as crouched down behind its stonewalls and Indian (chimney) stairs... as ever. Old New England continues to ‘escape capture’. I know because I fight in this war everyday
Of my whole life. I notice lots of old pickle bottles in this war.
A strip mall based mowing – landscape ‘lawn care’ (weed whacking, leaf blowing, [“bark”] mulching and round-up defoliation) services with “HEY GUYS” guys riding the mowers, whacking, blowing, dozing the mulch, and squirting the ‘killer’ pose as the semblance of order standard for the
New New England . Semblance of order. Pose. Taste. Declaration of taste. Demonstration of taste. Etiquette of taste.
“If it runs on gasoline they have to have one”.
“We just don’t do any of that”.
“So your FOR buttercups?”
That does not seem to have a lot to do with an old pickle bottle hanging by its neck in a shed window? This is right. It does not. An old pickle bottle hung by its neck in a barn window is an old way of old New England decorative use of an old pickle bottle. MOST ALL of those old pickle bottles have been taken down from their window and sold. It is very rare to encounter ‘one hanging’ ‘anymore’. But the “LAWN” is “PERFECT”.
In old New England
So to speak.
And so is the pickle bottle. If there is a ‘stoic’ and a ‘suggestion’... the old pickle bottles make them. Are them. Welcome to the eye and only ‘spotted’. If one sees one then one is ‘a message from the corner of the room’ receiving. If you do not see it... it is not there. One must look for a ‘better spot’ and ‘try again’. All this will make sense when one does see one ‘in the (old New England) wild’. Stop and compare it to the ‘one’s I have at home’.
If everything I do (with old pickle bottles) is done over and over... then I never have to do it ‘again’. Over and over I have ‘old pickle bottle’ my life. Fours years old. Seven years old. Thirteen years old.
Now over six decades have passed. Pickle bottles have not passed.
Not even slightly. They are an absolute of old New England ‘sameness’. No: Not even ‘utterance’ has come from them. To me. Simple only... ‘sameness’. Ever even where they are; on a windowsill... a china cabinet’s top. A box in a truck. Tied by its neck and hung in a window. “LET ME WASH THEM FOR YOU.”
I want them dirty with their old dust dirty bailing twine nooses. Soldiers in a war hung until dead from
From their barn window on every caller greeted at the front door. Caller greeted at the shed door. Even the barn’s door. “USUALLY WE KEEP THE DOOR OPEN BUT THE NEIGHBORS CAT’S BEEN CATCHING THE
Didn’t think there was going to be a tomorrow did they. I was going to take them down and let them breath again? No... “NO... NOT TODAY I GUESS. I WOULD MISS THEM YOU KNOW”.
“How long do you think they’ve been (hanging) there?”
“Oh those were there when I was a boy”.