Cold Black Coffee
Cold black coffee: Rambling-round.
Cold black coffee “So black a spoon ill standup in it”.
“YOU STILL GOT THAT (early New England – Maine made - lead glazed earthenware) REDWARE JAR (‘stew pot’) YOU HAD TO THE FORT (local flea market)?”
“NO.” said again.
“Where is it?”
“Give it to go to PORTSMOUTH (antiques dealer’s show/sale) LAST WEEK.”
“Did it go?”
“You’d think you’d KNOW if it WENT by NOW.”
“Not this time of year: Went on to his DAUGHTER’S. She’s NOW moved BACK from that GEORGIA. DIVORCED. MOVING TO NORTH READING (Mass.).”
“Oh... Been there... Some.”
“I picked along there too... Bedford. Arlington-Lexington. Good area. Used to be.”
“Where’d you find that jar anyway?”
“Your neighbor’s garage sale.”
“You still got all your ammo? You still HOARDING it?”
“That new economy trickled down to you guys right away didn’t it. Seems to me you guys might be the first ones to have been screwed by him.”
“Nice of him to get to you first. He drained your swamp didn’t he. What you do’en ‘bout it?”
“Let’s put it this way: I ain’t buying any anymore. I got my lifetime supplied.”
“And the junk guns?”
“Oh I’d gotten rid of most of those this last summer”.
“Old ten dollar guns not worth ten dollars anymore”.
“Right. Where’d you find that jar anyway.”
“I told you: Two doors down on the right.”
“That place don’t even HAVE a garage”.
“Nope. PORCH SALE actually. I always like them PORCH SALES anyway: Halfway into the house when you start. Been asking ‘em for old guitars, records and ‘cook where’ I’s CALL IT. That’s working. They all got it: Got that COOK... WHERE. Jesus.”
“Cookware? I seen you with all that. That sells?”
“Who cares. Just throw it out if it don’t. But. Jesus. They all got it. Boxes of the old shit. Every which way in there. Downstairs-backstairs-cellar-attic-garage-shed out back-sister’s house up the street and THEN they take you through their grandmother’s place too.”
“Works huh harder than your lazy ass ever has.”
“What’s that then... you find that jar along doing that?”
“That’s the whole point: Get in and GO. LOOK AROUND STUPID. I don’t know what they got and THEY DON’T KNOW EITHER. Next thing I’m back in the truck cab with that old pot and a sip of cold coffee.”
“How much you gonna get out of that?”
“The coffee? It’s cold but black as tar. I like it that way.
“No. What you got on that jar?”
“Just a here and there. I don’t want too much; buy a MESS. Don’t make ‘em a MESS. Get a little goodies along and get out. I come back a month later and ... ‘low and behold’... they DO ‘got more’. I said to one of ‘em “WHERE’D YOU GET ALL THIS (cookware)?” . The fools BOUGHT IT.”
“Christmas is on SUNDAY this year.”
“Yeah I know.”
“So that does that.”
“Does that for the whole damn WEEK. Be TUESDAY January THIRD before I can do anything.”
“I won’t even TRY. Just sit around at the FLEA (flea market) and eat cookies. They got that New Year’s day (antiques) show. You ever do that?
“Some say they do pretty good”.
“I don’t think so; not too much money around that morning (New Year’s day). Same old – same old. Seems to me.
“Didn’t you do something with that Mildred Calihanny’s place one New Years.”
“Yes. After the fire.”
“She had a chimney fire New Years eve. Nothing. Stomped all around her place pretending to be putting it out. I went in the attic with Bud. Shined the flashlight all around in the attic. No fire there but Jesus was it FULL. So I went right to her and talked cash. Went back the next day. That was New Years. I’ve known her along time. Since her sister’s DOG drowned at Kettle Pond. We were just out of high school then.”
“Her mother lived a long time at the Benjamin Hardy place. Housekeeper for the Hardies. She out lived ‘em all. Tough birds that family.”
“Didn’t make cookies?”
“No: No cookies there.”
“What’s happened to all that stuff anyway”
“Last I heard it was still in Hastings’ barn over across the river. Sold the (Hardy) place couple years ago. Wouldn’t ever let me in.”
“You can’t get Hastings to let you in?”
“I can get in but it ain’t his to sell. Was piled right up there; the whole kit and caboodle. When I seen it. STILL ALL THERE as far as I know.”
“You’d think they’d do something.”
“Oh they will SOMETIME. Not this week. Turned cold too. Can’t get ‘em to stand in a barn ten minutes unless your handing ‘em hundred dollar bills. I’m not gonna do that. Wait it out. Plenty of stuff around. Anyway.
“What do you think: Santa’s gonna come and make it all right?”
“If he could just put them louvers in my new shed I be happy”.
“You didn’t stick those in?
“No... the fall got away from me again.”
“Get the ladder and go out there.”
“Yeah... standing on a ladder holding on to galvanized eight pennies (nails) with my finger tips: I’ll just get to it right now.”
“Come on; winters not THAT bad yet.”
“I'd rather go down in the basement and...”
“Count your bricks of twenty-twos. Count ‘em up and send Uncle Donald the bill. You know: ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS from SANTA’!”
“You think he should wear a red suit and go around in a sled? Toss everyone handfuls of money? That ah get him the damn Popular Vote.”
“You gonna be at the flea Saturday. Suppose to snow again.”
“Farmer’s Market will be there. Sort of. Anyways. I’ll be there.”
“BRING along that Bennington (Vermont pottery made blue decorated stoneware) crock: I’d like look at that again.”
“Look at it or buy it?
“You know; talk about it.
“It’s perfect and it’s great.”
“Yeah but you got it priced
It’s gonna sell. That’s what I’ve been selling: Collector grade. Real antiques with obvious quality. Attractive. Perfect condition. Classic heritage, classic history, classic design (art history). Stand alone decorative appeal. You know: “I want that in my home”. Mostly American made; New England. They’re decorating with things that are stand alone ‘real good’. YOU... don’t have anything like that to sell.”
“Now just wait”.
“No you don’t. You don’t. All you got for sale is old crummy stuff. They want ‘real nice’ perfect and real. Collector grade.”