Thursday, July 28, 2016

Bee Balm







Bee Balm

            This morning I came out our front door and walked past a clump of bee balm (Monarda Didyma, Bartram’s Owego Tea).  I walked past the tomatoes ripening at the far end of one of the gardens.  I dumped the compost bucket on the compost heap.  I walked back to the front door past another clump of bee balm.  Clumps of bee balm are always around every Maine farm yard.  I have never lived anywhere that did not have clumps of bee balm in the yard.  I did not try to have this happen.  It is the way it is on old Maine farms.




            When I was first an antiques dealer I was allowed to vend my wares in the back of my grandmother’s barn.  I was in “junior high school” (middle school) at first.  Then in high school.  I was open “after school most days”.  Except in the summer.  During school summer vacation I was open all the time I wasn’t out “getting more stuff”.  Midway through summer vacation; Maine’s “High Summer”, the bee balm in my grandmother’s yard was in full bloom.  It was filled with bees and hummingbirds.



            I had a very strictly defined area in the barn for my “store”.  I went from …the wall by stairs to the second floor of the barn… along that wall toward the rear of the barn but stopping at the “door to the (horse and cow) stalls” with no allowance on the back wall past that… but here right angled out onto the open barn floor space to a barn post with… an old floor size electric lamp my grandmother …tied to the barn post and plugged in saying “You’re gonna need some light”.  The space then again right angled and went back up toward the front of the barn an equal length to match the stair-stall wall length.  Then it right angled a final time straight across to the stairs to form in total a large open rectangle. 
            As the space filled, the stair-stall door wall became “full of stuff” “for sale”.  This “full of stuff” went out to the light at the post with diminishing density along the back line of the space.  By the time the stuff got to the light it was sparse.  I had a small table and two chairs at the light as my business office; check out, lighted inspection area and …sit and talk.  This last rarely happened because I sold to adults who always paid up and left real quick.  The whole empty half of the space toward the front of the barn was my sorting area where all new acquisitions were placed, sorted, inspected …and often sold… before being placed in my “store stock”.  Quickly my customers made it clear by their actions that the stuff in THIS area of my store was of greatest interest to them because it was “fresh stuff” that I had “just found”.



            To announce to the world that MY store was open, I hung an old United States flag on a pole out a window on the second floor of the shed & summer kitchen between the main house and the barn.  Once the flag was out I would sit in an old blue metal porch chair in the shed doorway and look up the drive way toward the street.  There were several other old chairs there too for additional “customer” seating.  Before me and just outside the shed door was a large clump of bee balm, a lilac bush and another large clump of bee balm on the other side of the lilac.  At high summer I had to look through the bee balm to see the street.  The bee balm was always full of bees at work and frequently enhanced its interest to me with an equally busy hummingbird… or two.  I sat and waited for a “customer” watching the …birds and the bees in the bee balm.  The “customers” always came.



            The reason they always came was NOT because of ME.  They came because of my grandmother and HER store.  Her store was actually smaller than mine but… she had been an antiques dealer much longer than I so was “well known”.  Her store was at the far rear corner of the shed.  From where I sat at the shed door it was straight back from me in the “dark end” of the shed going back to “the cold table” and the stairs to the second floor crawl space.  Her “stuff for sale” was on a free standing table down the center of this space.  More “stuff for sale” was found down the left hand side of the space on top of and under a large and long table… with this region having more “stuff for sale” on the wall above that table and even more “stuff for sale” hanging or resting on the stair steps leading to the second floor.  On the right side she had more “stuff for sale” on a board placed on a table high wood pile.  By late fall this board table was gone and the wood pile was full to the ceiling with “stove wood”.  At the back of this space  was “the cold table”.  This was where my grandmother put recently prepared food like a whole roast chicken still in the roaster, fresh pies, bowls of eggs, picked garden vegetables and fresh baked bread.  This is because the space was cool and dark with a light breeze from the stairs; perfect for that day’s food “keeping”.  Often “customers” viewing my grandmother’s store had trouble recognizing that things on “the cold table” were NOT for sale.  Especially the pies.  They always asked “How much are the pies?”.  I’d say “That’s our food it’s not for sale”
            “Oh.  They LOOK really good”.
            “Yep.  My grandmother made ‘em”.
            This “the cold table” problem was enhanced by my grandmother hanging “stuff for sale” up above the table on the wall AND leaning up “stuff for sale” like old axes against the bottom of the table.  It confused “customers” on their first few visits but in the end it always worked out.
            The key note above is ME being the one selling from my grandmother’s store TOO; in addition to selling from MY store.  THAT, in hindsight was what my grandmother got out of this having me have a store in the barn.  Right off the upper end of HER store and behind the blue metal chair I sat in at the shed doorway was a door to the barn that stepped right down to present my store in full sight.  So… for me… when they first came, the “customers” would always shop all through my grandmother’s store first but when they got up to the doorway to the barn they’d say something like “Let’s go out and see what YOU’VE been finding” and walk right down into the barn and over to MY store.  Before they did that I’d help them with anything in my grandmother’s store including things like going way into the house and finding her to see if she’d “do better” on a price or a “could they pay but have a man fetch it?”.  I did all that all the time and my grandmother would never come out to the store.  Ever.
            As I said above, I “opened” my store by placing a flag attached to a pole out a shed crawl space window.  In the shed I would go back through my grandmother’s store, up the shed stairs, over to the third window that was always open on the bottom, slide the flag on the pole out that window, weight the pole down to the floor with an old iron farm bench vice and …look out the window.  Then I would look DOWN from the window right on to the top of the second clump of bee balm by the lilac bush by the shed door below.  The flag flapped above the clump.  The busy bees buzzed in the bee balm.  Any hummingbird flew off until the flag placement disturbance was over.  After the flag placement I’d go sit in the shed chair and wait for a “customer”.  No one ever talked about the bee balm even though they all walked right by it .  The only exception was that every now and then my grandmother would speak about it to herself or actually speak TO IT; address the bee balm.  On a hot day she’d say “You want it to rain too don’t you” and sometimes go get buckets of water from the barn corner rain barrel nearby and dump it at the bottom of the bee balms.  That included a third far clump down in the “hot corner” of the house’s ell.
            One day, late in my high school days, I found and bought a six foot long double swing leg country Hepplewhite “harvest” table …in perfect original condition and old surface… for one hundred and ten dollars.  It was a wonderful table and a wonderful find.  I was ecstatic.  Until I got home.
            I brought the table into the barn and put it front and center in my store space.  Then I went and got my mother and grandmother.  Both didn’t seem to want to be bothered but came along.  I showed them the table.  They showed no interest.  I told them how much I paid.  They both told me right away that I “had paid too much”, that the table was “not worth that much”.  I defended myself by pointing out it was a “LARGE” “harvest table”.  That did no good.  I actually went up to my grandmother’s store and carried a standard size Hepplewhite swing leg table from her stock down and put it on top of the harvest table to show “how much bigger it is”.  They didn’t care.  I’d “paid too much”.
            Although confused and discouraged by this, I still “opened” the next day.  I put the flag out, looked down at the bee balm and sat in the shed doorway.  Bees buzzed in the bee balm.  A hummingbird visited.  After a while a truck parked at the head of the driveway.  The truck had Vermont license plates on it.  A couple got out and walked up to me in the shed door.  “Is this the antiques store?” they asked.
            “Yes it is.” I said and pointed out my grandmother’s store to my left.  Into the shed they came and carefully browsed my grandmother’s “stuff for sale”.  They didn’t buy anything.  When they got to the door to the barn, the man said “Is there more out there?”.
            “Yep.  That’s my stuff; my store”.
            Out they went.  I got up and followed them.  When I got there they were already looking at the table.  It was still right where I’d left it the night before.  They looked at it.  Walked around it.  Looked at it.  Looked at me.  Looked at it.  Pulled one leaf up.  Looked at it up.  Put it down.  Did the same with the other leaf.  Looked at me again and then said “How much is the table?”
            I said “Would you pay one hundred and ten dollars?”
            “Yes we would.” the woman said right away.
            And that was that:  I got out of that fix by selling the best twenty-five hundred dollar country Hepplewhite harvest table I’d find for a decade by selling to the first people who showed up in the yard for cost just so my mother and grandmother wouldn’t be angry at me for “paid too much”.
            I was so happy to make the sale I even sold them a perfect original condition old red painted with yellow floral decoration comb back Windsor arm chair rocker that I’d bought the week before for twenty-five dollars out of a barn and been asking one hundred and twenty-five dollars… for forty dollars… too.  They paid me and we loaded the table  and the Windsor right into their truck and they drove away.  They never mentioned the bee balm either.















Monday, July 25, 2016

Careless and Callous - Accumulation of Inherited (Antiquarian) Art - Part One - "Admiration"


Careless and Callous

Accumulation of Inherited (Antiquarian) Art

Part One

"Admiration"



Accumulation of inherited (antiquarian) fine art
And
Accumulation of inherited (antiquarian) decorative art
And
I won’t touch the rare books
In the domestic library.
            Those are not ‘rare’
            Anyway.



            ‘Careful’ is always my first step, when offered a chance to admire.  I suppose it is ‘admire’.  That is never said (stated).  Admire... that is quite the word to use... ‘of inheritance’.  So that is another ‘issue’ I notice right away:  There is ‘the stuff’ and there is the
            Admiration of ‘the stuff’.  A fork in the road
            That is careless and callous.



            Okay so that doesn’t look like it could be fun... does it... should one be
            “Called to carpet”.  Especially if that (old) carpet was “upstairs in that room I never go in who would have thought (that by preserving) the carpet in there (from pet pee et al)”:
            “I knew it was there and I want it.” retorted one of the heirs”.  They didn’t get it in the end.
            I did
            They... “wouldn’t pay THAT for it”.  They retorted.



            Are we having fun or a raucous?  “Damn if I know!”  Or care.  Except for... the consideration of ‘accumulation’.  If they don’t buy the good rug then they are choosing their inherited rugs between ‘leavings and scrapings’.  The other old carpets in the rooms ‘are nothing’.  But their ‘value’ seems low enough that they could be... almost... ‘free’.
            “I thought inheriting art (fine and decorative) was free.  I didn’t realize that it was appraised.  And I didn’t realize... that is I thought... when it was said ‘to be appraised’ that this was anything more than denoting the ‘things’ that are ‘nice’
            In the house
            (Estate).”
            “Oh... that’s too bad.”



            Yes:  “Free”.  The collection ...one has... was “free”.  I know... it is no longer free.  The ‘collection’ is ‘valuable’.  Or is it an accumulation
            Of inherited decorative and fine art
            Of modest merit and monetary value that
            Due to consideration of those aspects, one has
            “Got them” (the inherited art ‘that’)
            And keep it
            To foist an ‘admire’
            Here, there and “I am where?”
            That.... to the knowing (art trained) “I” (eye)...
            Is careless and callous.



            “OH GOD:  We are STUCK in the MUCK.”
            “Oh... now... just back out graciously and shut-up.  Everyone has had enough of  the ‘admire’ of the ‘inherited’
            Anyway.



            It was so much easier when the ‘call to carpet’ was still upstairs in the ‘guest bedroom’ where the dogs never peed on it.  “I DIDN’T KNOW”
            Is careless and callous
            (Crass and tacky)
            “Yikes”.
            “Oh just hang it in the front hall”.  No one will ever think that painting actually shows off what you know about ‘art’ (your taste) (unqualified) and antiquarian fine art.  “English gentlemen do not accumulate old fine art”  They collect?  Hardly.  One time; it was whimsical, “he bought that”.  It was after lunch and the painting was in the gallery’s window.  He ‘liked it”.
            Slow down is what I do.  Next.  One day one time one painting bought once... there... hanging there.   (I) Don’t say anything.  They will never know.  “Let’s look around at ALL the OTHER paintings (you have in your
            inherited
            Collection”).




            You know; a ‘good’ painting should take your breath away when you first see it.  It’s not an ‘oh THERE is ONE; an old oil painting... in its frame.  Yes:  THERE.  About halfway down the hall on the left.  Or on the wall of the ‘first floor stair landing’.  Or... “they put it way back up in the attic after he died we found it”.  That’s always fun... to find.
            But keep in mind
            It should take one’s breath away.
            If it doesn’t do that then it is an ‘is one’.  No question about it:  It IS ONE, an inherited fine art awaiting the ‘your accumulation’ that I am shown to... ‘admire’.
            And spend the rest of it (tour of admiration) hoping I can ‘get through’ without the “WE ARE
            THINKING
            OF SELLING
            IT (the inherited accumulation).”
            “I am NOT thinking of BUYING
            IT (the inherited accumulation).”
            So I admire it a little more
            And step out the door
            “So careless and callous of you.”
            Yes... but it works.







            Wasp etiquette is what happens next.  It (the inherited accumulation) just sits there.  Like it always has.  No one ever collected.  They accumulated.  When it was free.  “KEEPING THAT” they did for seven generations.  “Now we’re cleaning out”.  “Down sizing”.  “Getting rid of some THINGS”
            “We don’t want”.
            “Didn’t ever BOTHER with this before.  Suppose we should have.  Quite a SURPRISE.  There is an old INVENTORY.  We gave it to the lawyer.  He’s having it looked into.  Suppose to be someone to come along and look.  Cannot suppose you’ll be the only one.  Several opinions will show the better value I’m SURE.  FATHER always said THAT ONE was an especially GOOD PAINTING.  It doesn’t feel right to just take it down from the wall like that watch you just walk out the DOOR with it.  Better we look into it some more.  Really:  Most of the artworks are quite good you know.  ‘LISTED ARTISTS’ they said.  The inventory has that typed in bold.





            Do I get through this?  Or does it get through to you?  Or both.  Whenever?  Hard to say isn’t it.  Why?  Because you don’t know.  Careless and callous is the knowing one of inherited (fine and decorative) art.  They “like” “that” and “want” “that” and show me “THAT” and “were wondering if” “THAT” is “if we talk to my brother, I THINK it is actually HIS WIFE who WANTS...
            “Well we don’t really know what to do since the appraisal was done.  We didn’t KNOW.”
            That we would
            BUY IT
            (actually)
            FROM the estate.  WE THOUGHT WE ARE the estate.  But that (the estate) is actually right here and WE have to come HERE  to it
            “And admire it?”
            “Yes, I guess that is a way of looking at it isn’t it; admiration.  What happens next?”
            Distribution.






Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Maine Critters. After the Fourth of July


Maine Critters

After the Fourth of July



            Maine Critters:
            You don’t know what I mean by that and you don’t have any contact with them.  You could have seen one.  See one.  Think you see one.  Wonder if ‘that’s one’
            “There”
            “That Fella.”  You wouldn’t even say that.  Out loud.
            “You’ve been BY ‘em; been CLOSE to one?  You say?
            I don’t think so.  Mister.




            They don’t like July.  “Too hot”.  So they are ornery.  And circulate amongst themselves.  They don’t “do anything like that” (“put the boat in”) (“crap”).  They “GO UP TO CAMP.”  Mostly... if they have one.  A camp.  But MOST of the Maine Critters... do not have a ‘camp’ to ‘go to’ and
            LIVE IN a ‘camp like’.... NO IT AIN’T ‘camp like’:  Those are OTHER camps other people “OWN” that are... ‘camp like...’ sort of ...like a Maine Critter’s
            HOUSE (HOME).
            There we go:  NOW we are starting off the trail and into ‘the brush beside that trail.  NOT that you’d KNOW THAT (you going off the trail) even when
            YOU SMELL IT.
            So we’ll go back and walk through again.




            Maine Critters do not like July.  It is too hot.  They stay home at what fancy folk try to emulate and title their “camp”.  But Critter Camps are THEIR HOME.  What does that mean?  Well we start with “no power” (electricity) “except”.  That last word, when linked to “power” is a whole ‘on-going’ subject.  That I don’t have to touch.  Because it is JULY so
            A Maine Critter “doesn’t need it” (power) “Now”.
            Then there is “water” (at a Critter’s home).  Explanation words include “well”, “spring”, “carry in” and “don’t have it” (“running water”)
            No bathroom (in the B, B and Beyond) sense.  Or in your mind’s eye “camp” sense.
            Nope:  There is a ‘shit house’ (outhouse) that... in July... is not seeing the same usage it sees in January.  “IN JULY... I GOT THE WHOLE DAMN MAINE WOODS to SHIT IN so what do I want to USE (mess up) THAT (the outhouse) FOR?”.
            Food:  Crackers.  Peanut butter.  Cheese.  And:  “There IS a LOT of food around” for Critters... in Maine... in July.  They probably are not as “interested” in a salad dressing  you “I MADE” and would probably eat ALL the radishes on a “BUNCH” without your notice or comment until “AFTER” “THEY WERE GONE”.  YES they (Maine Critters) stew Dandelion greens but that was
            BACK IN THE SPRING.
            This is JULY.  “TOO HOT” to stew anything.  Or is it?





            When I know ‘critters’ are ‘about’ during the heat of July mornings I know because I am told.  They say to me, for an example...; a come forth from the mouth of a retired barber from ‘around Boston’ (a ‘Masshole’):  “YOUR MAKING ME HOT JUST LOOKING AT YOU”.  He means the wool cap I am wearing.  The cotton bandana (old Boy Scout neckerchief) I am wearing.  The wool “FILSON” shirt I am wearing.  The long leg ‘old chino’ (Bean’s) VERY LOOSE (“too big”) fit (and field use dirty) “pants” (Critters do not wear ‘blue jeans’) WITH SUSPENDERS... and a belt... (all critters wear them both) and... wear the, traditionally, tall  (full standard lace) Bean Boots... I am too... wearing.  For the record this is too... a... standard... ‘not worried about ticks’ outfit.
            HE (the barber from Masshole) is wearing... “camp moccasins” with no socks, faux Madras shorts, a shirt that suggests he plays polo and an up front belly the size of a small beer keg ‘hanging over’ “his balls”.  No hat.  That ‘this’, then, is the separation of church and state of...
            Maine Critters.
            I ain’t taking my shirt off to please that guy.  NO I am not taking my BOOTS off.  I don’t care if you ‘get bit’ from not wearing a bandana.  YOU can get the damn tick at your hair line off.  I don’t want to... and never do (find one) “ON ME”.




            So at five in the morning one critter confided to me that he’d “started a fire’ when he got up.  That morning.  It is a ‘hotter than Hell’ July ‘didn’t go below seventy last night’ morning in Maine and this guy (critter) ‘started a fire’ in his woodstove to KEEP WARM.  Okay now we’re getting somewhere.  RIGHT?
            How many layers is he wearing?
            NOW we’re getting somewhere.  RIGHT?  Five layers? (shirts).  DOWN from seven layers a “MONTH AGO”.  Oh you don’t think so?  Yeah well when you get to ‘peel off’ layer FOUR your gonna know by nostril your getting into ‘old’ territory.  His bare chest has, simply, NEVER seen daylight that ‘anyone can remember’.




            In July, Maine Critters... “come out from camp” (leave their remote home) and “of course” (as always, year round “anyway”) attend the flea markets.  July offers ‘outdoor’ flea markets in addition to the year round ‘indoor’ flea markets.  Critters attend both in July.  And.
            It’s the ‘and’ I nuance.  Foremost, understand that in July (and year round for that matter) a ‘flea market’ is not only considered a safe haven to appear in public for a Maine Critter but is also a sort of dock in the ‘out and about’ world of a Maine Critter that they may, at any time of need ...paddle over to and hold on to when paddling their canoe upon the lake of ‘out and about’.  NOW that may be of little consideration especially if one views the Maine Critter’s world as being socially misfit, miss begot and ...just simply (you) missed (it).  Maine Critters are very sensitive to NOT attracting your attention.  So a “beat ass back to the flea market” is the full blown game plan ‘emergency evacuation route’.  NOT that you’d notice.
            Until we get to the “It’s the ‘and’ I nuance”.




            The Maine Critter’s world view includes a heavy view value placed on ‘food’... notably ‘bear bait’ food such as cookies, donuts, breads, breads filled with anything, breads made by farmer’s daughters neatly wrapped with little handmade labels saying ‘what it is’ including the visual support of a big gob of homemade ‘her raspberry jam’...  And...:
            Pie.
            In July
            Rhubarb pie.
            No ‘Rhubarb and’ pie.  JUST
            RHUBARB
            PIE.




But the nuance is the source... of the bear bait offerings:  “Farmer’s Markets”, so called... and often found suspiciously (conveniently) close to a ‘flea market’.  This, applied to the ‘paddle to’ dock denoted above, allows the Maine Critter an irresistible ‘drawn to’ bear bait trap that forges, as a blacksmith hammers a horseshoe on an anvil, a singular world of Maine Critter notice.  These old critters and the farmer’s market farmer’s daughters have a mutual border world they share, inclusive of the ‘known-to-critters’ denotation that the critters “ogle” a bit too.  But the nuance
            Is the Rhubarb Pie
            In July. (“Is she still making ‘em?”)
            I won’t go so far as to say “I SEE” a whole rhubarb pie ‘set out’ in a truck cab for a “MISTER WILLARD WHEN HE COMES BY YOU KNOW HE (can talk with wild ducks he says)”.  Mr. Willard has five shirts on
            In July.
            But he also brought along a little ‘witch stick’ he whittled himself and that ends up sitting on the truck seat when he leaves.  His cash payment for the “He buys one from me every week” pie is always “put in her pocket I watch her do that”.  I said ‘ogle’ above.  “I’ve always liked milk maids” Mister Willard told me once.




            It’s a special relationship, now quite common in Maine... at flea markets and farmer’s markets:  Critters and local baked goods.  “Coffee” is another ‘plus’.  Yes, Mister Willard and his fellows know a ‘good cup’ of “her coffee”.  They retreat back to the flea market to “eat” and then
            “GO BACK”.
            Yep... the whole damn morning is filled with what I just... it is NOT a ‘five minute deal’.  The critters know who, what, why, how and ‘did she MAKE’ “THIS WEEK”.  They know.  They hunt.  They track.  They sight in.  And don’t get their belly too full for then they don’t shut-up.  And that includes the ‘ogle’.  You can see it coming.  Send in the tow truck and tow the critter away before he...:  “Time for you to go back to camp Mr. Willard.”
            It is a fine line





            But it is real human interaction.  It is not on the cyber space.  It is, too, a mutual fascination.  For example:  What starts as a suggestion that including a ‘strip of bacon’ to go with a broccoli / spinach stuffed “roll” (every baked good, excepting ‘cookie’, ‘donut’ and ‘pie’ is a “roll” to a critter.) ends in a ‘I know those bugs too mine had it I got rid of them with that LAVENDER dish soap the GAL sells down at the WATERFRONT (farmer’s) market”.  You don’t need to understand what they are talking about.  It’s just a couple of Maine Critters chatting at ‘the market’.






Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Painted White


Painted White



            It is very difficult
            To find and collect
            An object
            That is
            Puritan New England

            This collecting of object is
            Not of an object that is ABOUT Puritan New England but is...
            An object that IS Puritan New England.

            Yes:  THAT clears THAT up.  Doesn’t it.
            “Godly”.
            And then “old”; (early) dates:  Sixteen whatever... and keeping both the Middle Ages’ design influence of “Pilgrim Style” AND the “was burned” (primitive English settlement structures ‘burned’ “by them”) (“the Indians”)... at the mind’s eye front...:
            Then back to object.  And dates... relative to ‘settlement’ and the... falling away of the primitive English stock of that ‘early’ (“earlier”) “dirt floor” (object) settlement.  Okay so 1760 is “LATE” and 1740 is “FAIR” and 1720 is five years before English New England settlement was “cleared” of “Indians” and
            1704 was the Deerfield Raid and the resulting
            Deerfield Door to the Deerfield INDIAN HOUSE.  Hatchet marks.  The hole.  The peen nail boards.  The preserved door frame.  The Indian House was torn down in 1848.  They saved the door.  The Indian House Door is a shrine... to this day.






            “DOOR you say.  OLD DOOR”.  Salvaged old door; an Indian door from an Indian “RAID”.  Hatchet chopped hole... or is it tomahawk chopped door hole?  “Belt axe?”.  Is it?
            No... it is not a Puritan door; a ‘godly” door.  Or is it.
            It is a shrine.  One may not collect it.  One may, actually, collect objects about
            This object but I
            Never.
            No.  I always do look at those (the ‘about objects’)... very closely (scrutinize).  No particular reason for doing that.  Just old school fascination.  I gather.  It is not a Godly door.  It is not a Puritan door.  Or is it?  Anyway... it is a shrine.  I accept that; it IS my heritage concisely.








            NOT MANY ‘much of church goers’ in MY family.  That’s that.  NOT many ever ‘stood’ as shadows of their sins.  No.  Not cold winter mornings walking there.  Standing there.  Kneeling there.  Praying there.  No... and that (not church going) is all covered as early New England history anyway.  No:  They didn’t go to church.  My people did not.  And still don’t.  Walked by the damn buildings.  Damned walking by damn buildings?  Of course... but never show it.  Just stick it on the shirt cuffs and walk by.  “Deacon”.







            Door:  Church door.  The big ones on the front of the building (church)... have long been understood to be outstanding design specimens of early New England.  Their wood.  “Fitted” wood.  Their hardware.  Hand forged wrought iron ‘door’ hardware... preferably of extra effort scale and craftsmanship.  “Prominent Feature”.  “ART”.  But hard to collect.  Too big to ‘take home’ and “hang” in ‘the collection’.  The big hole upon the building from doing that would leave the front of the old New England church... wide open... to have ‘em chasing you down the street... right away
            Anyway.
            And anyway...
            Most of those doors are not old enough
            Anyway
            To be Puritan New England...
            Anyway (“too late”).





            So what is a tomahawk mark of the Puritan church... going church?  “Ahhhh....”
“They tore most of those down”.  And built a better one (church buildings).  By the mid seventeen hundreds the old ‘first churches’ were being ‘torn down’ to build ‘better ones’ (the ones with the grand front doors).  “Meeting House”; yes THAT’S the old WORDS for it.  Understand that the old ones were the first ones near the first settlements and those ‘first ones’ then were the first ones to build the new ones and
            Tear down the first ones;
            The ‘old’ meeting house.
            Many (“some”) survived and are... mostly... “painted white”.  That is not the way they were at first (‘painted white’).  I remind... like... who had any white paint
            Anyway?
            Was the white paint a sort of commemorative paint job?  That argument could be pushed.  I’m not.  I know the difference.  The difference?  Early Colonial New England meeting houses that have NOT been painted white are... ‘very rare’.  And... the INTERIOR of the early meeting house that has ...NEVER BEEN PAINTED (white) is...
            Very Rare.  Don’t trust me.  Go look for yourself.  White paint... covers up the shadow of sin that the early New England meeting house... that was the ‘before’ the fine 18th century New England church... was
            Torn down.
            Or preserved; ‘painted white’.
            It is very hard to collect a Puritan New England object that has not been
            Painted white. 






            I did... I do.  Collect.  Puritan New England... that has not been painted white.  Not that I “keep”; I am a antiques dealers so ‘don’t ... keep’.  “It’s for sale”.  And when you do not buy it... then please leave it alone.  Puritan New England that has not been painted white does not need a ‘you’ to... bother with it.  Go paint something else white.


  What I offer are two old doors.  They are very old New England doors that have never been painted ANYTHING ever.  No.  They are both old New England first growth White Pine coastal forest wood... and nothing else excepting the natural oxidation coloring to the finished wood surface.  Only that for two hundred and fifty years (1750) (at least).  Okay... “earlier”; 1740.  Anyway... they are old ‘never painted’ ‘doors’.
            To.
            They are meeting house pew box doors.  Or:  They are old doors to meeting house pew boxes.  Doors... to a ‘box’ in a meeting house.  A meeting house ‘sold’ (at auction) pew boxes in the meeting house.  Each pew box had a door.  That opened and closed access to the pew box.  For the owner.  When the meeting house was built, the pew box doors were ‘hung’.  When the meeting house was torn down, the pew box doors were... torn down too.  And ‘pitched out’.  If the meeting house ‘survived’, it was, most often, painted white.  The pew boxes and their door ‘were too’ painted white.  But going back to the moment of ‘pitched out’... did they; someone... “from the family” “TAKE THE DOOR” to their pew box... take it home and ‘keep it’.  That could have happened... couldn’t it?  Yes.
            Where... did they put it?  Oh how about ‘upstairs’ in ‘the shed’.  “THAT’S A GOOD PLACE FOR IT!”  Then they leave it there for two hundred years until the day I am up there... in the old garrets... and spy it and... purloin it... with very little fanfare I assure you.  And it (the old pew box door)... is never painted
            White.
            The Old Indian House Door was never painted white either.  “NEAT!”













            Puritan New England early meeting house pew box doors.  Never painted.  Original as intended plain New England White Pine Coastal Forest ‘wood’ with a naturally oxidized surface.  Looking for details?
            My eye amplifies the oxidation surface shadow of the once present now removed ‘butterfly’ iron hinges (that ‘hung’ the door) inclusive of their ‘took those too’ handmade rose head nail holes.  One door had a lock.  Now removed.  One ‘locked’ their pew box?  One could and did.  KEEP them OUT.
            One door has its top rail.. for the human hand.  The other door has lost its.  No matter.  BOTH have a single wide pine wood beveled panel “FRAMED” with mortised and pegged.... thumbnail molded... BELOW the open ‘gate’ that includes, on each, two lathe turned maple ‘spindle decoration’.  Those are an absolute last gasp of old English Pilgrim Style:  An absolute last gasp that screams the object title:  “Pew Box Door”.  “THAT’S HOW YOU KNOW”
            One
            When you see it (the spindles in the open ‘gate’).
            Denote that ‘old door’ up in the old garret when your ‘looking around’
            For something that IS Puritan New England
            And not ‘painted white’.

            (“Puritans didn’t paint?”)