Oh how we love our antiques. We eye-ball those treasures with the greatest intensity. We study the sculpture of their design, the quality of the material, the absolute exquisite craftsmanship. Oh yes, we love our antiques. They can stir pleasures, desires, memories, and overt emotions. They are priceless in time and soothing to the soul.
As I tour the antique stores and gaze at the Patty Playpal dolls and reminisce, I am caught off guard by the actual notion that I too am an antique. I was there when Patty made her debut, I was there when the Mickey Mouse Club took center stage and yes, I was there when Davey Crocket made his coonskin hat a household name. At any time during my rifling through the antique shops, I can find any one of the many items that I or my friends, played with, or listened too, or watched on TV, (in black and white) or saw at the drive-in. Which by the way, drive-in speakers can also be found at the antique store.
So as I gaze in the mirror, looking for virtues that will carry me back to a time when my skin was smooth and soft, wrinkle and sag free, I wonder how this antique will stand up to time. The image that sees me as I am can count the wrinkles and each gray hair and probably attest to how each one got that way. Funny how the mind doesn’t seem to think of ourselves as an antique. We are the same that we were decades ago but with an enormous amount of wisdom, a testament to a life that has hit some rocks along the road.
The best I can do is recall the road that brought me here, making this journey worth while and the things that helped me as I grew. Those things, beside myself, that are now antiques and some almost forgotten. Like the ladies hats with fish net and alligator handbags, real silk stockings, Buster Brown shoes, paper dolls, cap guns and Jerry Mahoney. Don’t forget the things that made life a little easier; Trolley Cars, water hand pumps, and how about the backyard outhouse and chamber pot?
The antique stores are full of memories for those of us that could sit on the shelf as a star witness to the making and breaking of many a product that we now call-an antique. So the next time you browse through a fine antique shop, think about the people that made and used those items, the hands that held them and the eyes that saw, the delight that some things brought to a child, that was probably us.
I don’t think I can look through an antique shop again without recognizing my place among the many wonderful items that stretched our imagination and brought us joy, and if I am lucky, I will get to take one or two home with me and let it reach far into my memory and take me back to a simpler time.