“What Are Those Things?”
A customer came here the other day, a set decorator I’ll call D, who I really like
a lot. She was looking for mostly workbenches and industrial pieces for an up-
coming movie she is designing. She brought her friend along, another set designer
from California, who I will call S. After my house, they were continuing on to the
Finger Lakes where they both have family.
As we wandered through the house, on the off-chance that something for the movie
was lurking around inside, S asked “what are all those things you have everywhere?
I love them!”
They were, of course, grain sacks.
But why had she never seen grain sacks before? A set designer! From California!
Well, she just hadn’t! But, now that she had made this miraculous discovery, she
wanted two for some chairs. So, while D and Ken went out to the barns to check
out the big stuff, S and I went to work picking out the two very best sacks in the
This was no easy task given the hundreds of choices and, at some point, S said “I
wish you only had two!” We started with the new-old stock (like the ones above),
which most people who are new to grain sacks prefer for its less well-worn presence.
And, graduated quickly to the old-old sacks. S is a set decorator, from California,
after all, and was thrilled with the old hand-worked repairs, the darnings and
patches that I love.
We tried different ones on the back a chair, made piles on the floor and, in what
felt like no time ’cause I was having such fun, found the perfect two.
Customers always offer to help put the grain sacks back on the shelves and I always
decline. There’s nothing more relaxing than being alone with my grain sacks, folding,
stacking on the correct shelves : wreathes with wreathes, plows with plows. A bonus
that day was finding Mitten, sound asleep and not even pretending to help. I guess I’m
not the only one who relaxes around grain sacks.