Well, I am no longer dying of heat stroke! We are back to our early spring, rainy,60 degree, high frizz alert weather. We actually had one absolutely perfect day on Friday, and Sat wasn't bad either, so I can't complain too much. In fact a nice fat package arrived yesterday that cheered me right up, and brought the memories flowing back. My mumsy's dad and his brother have owned and ran a hardware/book/housewares/gift/everything shop in their little Utah town since my grandpa was old enough to take it over. It has been in the family though for at least 90 years, maybe longer. My grandpa is now 83 and though he is more active and in better health than me, it is time for him to retire.
So "The Store" is closing! I spent a huge amount of time there as a youngin' and spent three summers (ages 12, 13, and 14) living with my grandparents and working at the store for 1$ p/h. I made 350-400$ a summer and was taught the valuable lesson of how to work. It has been the driving pulse of my mothers family for several generations. The truth though, is that about 10 years ago a Walmart was put in in the next town over, and business has never been the same. It makes me sad, but that is a rant for another day. I really want to show you the store before I show you the goodies I got yesterday, and before it is gone for good.
It was originally owned by my great grandma's family. She married a nice young man, George Taylor, in the early 1900's and became pregnant. About that time he was called to go away for two years on a mission for his church. While on the mission he fell very ill. She was able to come be with him in his last hours before he passed away. He had a mission companion at that time, Elmer Bert Simmons, who had promised to make sure his wife and baby were ok if he died. The above is the two of them on their mission. While carrying out his word to George, Elmer and my great grandma fell in love. They soon married (about 1915) and had eight more children over the years. Elmer was given a job in the store. This is him in the store, but I am not sure of the year. It was one of those general everything stores that every tiny town needed before the Walmarts and Targets took over. They had everything from paint and fishing tackle to dish ware, fine crystal, furniture and toys. My grandpa, though he worked there while growing up, went to college and got a degree in accounting. But just as he was about to take a job and move his own little family, his parents asked him to please stay and run the store. My grandpa is one of the smartest, neatest people you could ever meet, and his family is ALWAYS #1. So he stayed and except for a yearly vacation, has worked every day but Sunday from 9am to 6pm every day since.
For all these years if there was overstock or something was damaged it would go upstairs into a big storage room, or out into the warehouse. As years passed, several things were forgotten about, and more would be added. Last week, my mom and sister drove up to help my grandpa go through everything. Most of it they threw away, as it was old display cases, packing supplies, empty boxes, defective electronics, etc. But about 10 % was these treasures that had been forgotten about and so preserved for several decades. My mom found things that had been put up there, with notes on them by her, at least 30 years ago. Knowing my adoration for things old and vintage, my mom kept a little corner as they were cleaning, with a few treasures for me. That is the box I received yesterday. Lets have a looksie.
Four kinds of vintage cards, two packages of which haven't been opened.
This donkey one is hilarious. I need to photo the whole thing.
A few of these pretty lady cards, though these are a bit dirty. Perfect for crafts.
Several Caravelle by Bulova men's watches. They are all from the 60's and 70's and are wind up.
About 20 Caravelle by Bulova ladies watches (there are several loose ones not shown). They are all lovely. Nothing too fancy (though some are 14 carat gold) but still very pretty. About half of all the watches still work. I bet the others need a little tune up. None have ever been worn.
These vintage holiday licky stickers. The pumpkin ones are opened, but the others still closed. Some of the glue has come off a few but I just love them in their old packages.
There were also some 1970's plastic grapes that my husband whisked away to hang on our "lovely" macramé wine holder that hangs in the kitchen. I haven't snapped a photo yet but I am sure if I don't, he will soon. They found a few more things for me after they sent this package which will be fun.
The store closing leaves me with mixed feelings. On one hand, it probably should have happened ten years ago. My poor grandpa needs to start spending that retirement of his and have a few lazy days (as if that will happen, wait til I show you his award winning garden). But there are so many memories attached to the place. The memories will always be there though and sometimes change is good. I kind of wish I could see it one more time, walk the sometimes warped isles, smell the key dust mingled with rosy smelling saches. When I close my eyes though I can.
Do you have places like this in your life? What are your memories of the places and times that helped shape who you are? And does anyone need a watch? :)