There’s Just Something About The Way They Look

People ask me all the time how I choose what to buy for my store. There are always

certain pieces that sell well for me: cupboards, tables, daybeds and interesting

accessories. But why this old wooden industrial drum?

It certainly wasn’t an easy piece to load and as more things were added to the trailer,
the decisions about how to get it all on became more serious.  The long trip home was
accomplished at a slow crawl, with constant stops to correct load shift and tighten straps.
Fortunately, this sweet, fat hitchhiker was spotted before we hit the road. I would
not have minded at all, though, if he ended up at my house.
And, why all the old car fronts?
Below, the  1930s Dodge Rum Runner…as evidenced by its bullet holes…is an all-time favorite of mine…
And the old, fabulously-patinaed truck doors…
A 70s Volkswagen Bug trunk with a nicely color-coordinated license plate…
What about this one with its cool Cuban license plate?
A refrigerated rail road door…
Why this table, with its divine storm of colors?
Or this one, in shocking orange?
And speaking of color…
Below, the long, bleached out tavern table (wonderfully lacking in color and a perfect match for the
practice balls in the box beneath it) was something I wished I had room for at home…
So, why do I buy these things?
There is something about the way they look that makes my heart sing. I know that this is my intuition
speaking, reminding me that if I love it, so will someone else. Happily, my intuition has never steered
me wrong.
Most items pictured above are/were in  The Hudson Mercantile.

What’s New In The Hudson Supermarket?

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MORE SPACE = MORE FUN.
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That’s what I keep telling myself as I gobble up more and more space in the world’s
most super market, the Hudson Supermarket.
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I love it here. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
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And even though I have just added on again, I still look past my now-very-long run
of booths and see how much more stuff I could put in here if I only had just another
30 or 100 feet.
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I could have more factory cart furniture. I’ve been making upholstered seating from
carts for more than 10 years and I never get tired of them. I don’t have one myself
because I  have to replace these faster than I can have the upholstery completed. But,
someday….
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I could have more chickens!

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And, more of the world’s largest flags.
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More French chaises. This one is upholstered in a vintage heavy linen, embroidered
French sheet, natch.
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There would be room for more deconstructed American chaises. This one
started out as a fainting couch…covered in that  fancy-schmancy shiny stuff,
stuffed with uncomfortable horsehair. It had one of those upholstered curved
things (to keep fair maidens from toppling as they fainted dead away, I
suppose) along what is now just an open side. The thick, hand woven linen
and piles of down invite cat naps and other activities that don’t necessarily
require passing out.
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And, another few Frenchy day dream daybeds.
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I designed the pair of fireside benches (the frames are built from the ground
up) and had them upholstered in the most beautiful ca 1900 Swedish drop
cloth material, complete with all the markings and fantastic hand worked
repairs and patches.
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They’ve already been copied by a well-known retailer. Whom I shall not
name.
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Their mass-produced fabric is unusual and really wonderful.
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But not as nice as mine!
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The 1930s steamer chair is upholstered in the last of the drop cloth material.
The grommets, old rope and other parts of the drop cloths are left intact and
look  incredible….so there, big international retailer!
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I really like small stuff, but only if it is old and different from the run of the
mill things that are everywhere. These jars, new-old stock with wonderful
labels, are sure to be reproduced and will show up in a retail store near you
very soon!
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These fabric sample books, ranging from 1887 to 1912, are loaded with
pieces of wool and the most wonderful old hand-written notations and
labels. They are real treasures and are hard for me, a lover of textiles, to
let go. The wavy pages of the book in the middle of the table is like art to
me and, thus, even though it is the newest, is my favorite.
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Other textiles, samples of linen and cotton duck.
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And an old artist’s apron.
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Piles and piles of old bags…
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of all different kinds.
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I have dozens of old Swiss Army bread bags, perfect for slinging
over a shoulder. The leather loops were meant to hang on the handles
of a bicycle.
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Canvas of all kinds gives me a thrill! The thermos cover is full of buckles
and ties and do-dads, including the owner’s initials.
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In a departure from my mostly masculine look, I couldn’t resist a load of pretty
1920s-40s lingerie and jewelry bags from a stone house in Vermont.
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Old advertising, there’s nothing like it anymore. Here, a heavy paper
electric light! I wonder if anyone really believed that the Easy Washer
and the Easy Ironer were  easy?
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 A 1950s paint bucket! I love the embossed numbers and the
happy housewife.
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Even old oil cans looked better back then.
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The window at my post office is nowhere near as good looking as this one
with its gilded lettering, patterned glass and lack of junk mail.
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I have a hundred cultivator parts that make perfect little shelves now that
their farmer has gone modern. The 1937 orange paper “license plates” in
the chrome holders are fillers, merely meant to show how they would look
on a brand new Chevy.
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A see-saw turned bench. Something fun for a front porch.
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A pair of 1800s iron rabbits.
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And a mid century papier mache panda.  Animals. Still the loves of my life.
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But, best of all, paintings by my friend and the greatest living artist,

Jennifer Lanne (JenniferLanne.com). This 6 foot x 6 foot depiction

of country life is the way we would all like it to be.  As much as I would

like to keep it for myself, I have it on 1st Dibs for all the world to see.

(1stdibs.com  >   click “Hudson” in the “Cities” column on the right  >

type “Stephanie Lloyd” in “keyword search” on left.

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I think this one is my favorite with its farm animals, barn, baskets and view.
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But what about this one? The color! The sheep! Is that a Swedish drop cloth
I see on the chair? Picking a favorite is hard for all of us. We really just want
it all. In the end, I guess it comes down to space. We always need just that
extra 30 or 100 extra feet.
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All photos and written materials are the legal property of Stephanie Lloyd
and Stephanie Lloyd At The Hudson Supermarket.  Please do not copy,
reproduce or in any way use without express written permission.

‘Cause Doesn’t Everybody Need A Price Tag Room?

I think that deep down, no matter how lackadaisical we might be, we all
really crave organization. It just feels better when everything is in its place,
when the scissors are in the drawer where we need them, when the car keys
are there when we’re ready to roll.
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Even more, many of us want special places for doing the things that give us
pleasure: a place to wrap presents or to paint. And, in truth, we are so
affected by our surroundings, that we  experience a better time in spaces that look
nice than we do in chaos. Who wants to do laundry squeezed into the corner of a
damp basement when an attractive, sunny place would be so much more appealing?
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Trends come and go but the most interesting and, to me, astounding one a few
years ago was the advent of Costco Rooms. These large, expensive additions were
purely for stockpiling purchases made at the discount store, Costco. I still find it hard
to believe that the savings gained by the bulk purchase of discounted paper towels
would ever off set the price of the room itself.
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However, my own recent brainstorm for using a small barely-seen room in
my house has made me see that maybe I was too quick to scoff at the Costco Room.
For I am now the happy owner of a Price Tag Room…..
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Tucked in a cranny, under beams in the 1790 part of our farmhouse, the space has
been an unused bedroom, an unused sitting room and an unused writing room in our
time. One day while I was dragging my price tag bag around the house, trying to
decide where I should set myself up, I got the idea that this nice little room was the
perfect place to be. All I had to do was find a perfect table in the barn and I’d be ready
to go. Everything else was already there: an old wicker waste basket, decorated with
papier mache swags and fruit, paintings and other decor that I love.
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Store display cow heads, organ pipes with the most amazing patina. Beams!
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A commodious and oh-so-comfortable English wing chair…
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The walls were painted a few years ago to look like a forest by my friend, artist Jennifer
Lanne.  They are covered wall-to-wall with my favorite paintings of farm animals…
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Below, a study from Sweden…
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And this sweet-looking trio…
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But, what is going on here? Where are these barnyard friends going by the light of the

moon? Are they off to a seaside vacation? A night on the town? They say every picture

tells a story but this one, delightfully, leaves me with many questions left unanswered.

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Below, a farm wife in a blue apron pours fresh cool water for her pretty girls. I
place myself in her wooden shoes and feel the joy of her spectacular surroundings.
I know it is work! But just look at the expression on her face! She is providing something
nice for those who provide for her. While wearing cool clothing! All that beauty just
has to make her day brighter.
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Below, all is primitive and perfect, from the ladder leaning on a thatched roof to the
chickens enjoying breakfast in the sun.  Someday, when I become a painter, I want
to be just like this artist who (imagining two suns or just not planning ahead), cast
shadows from the trees and from the ladder from two different angles.
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Cows in art are always wandering down country lanes.
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Wandering down lanes. Drinking cool water. Eating fresh green grass.
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In beautiful places.
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Places we would like to be ourselves.
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It all seems so wholesome, so simple, so easy.
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So peaceful.
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Is it any wonder that century after century artists want to paint these scenes and
we want to own them? They make us feel so good.
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What else makes me feel good? Sitting at my desk, looking at this fabulous
6 foot x 6 foot painting (below), another by Jennifer Lanne. I asked her to paint me
something with a bookcase and a chair. She knows me well so there’s no need
to say more. There are two paintings within this painting: one of sheep
on the middle shelf on the left side of the bookcase and the other a painted
pillow on the chair (the pillow’s scene is hard to see in this photo).
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And, of course, the reason for the room:  the price tags!
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I guess it begs the question, why a Price Tag Room?
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It all goes back to the price tags themselves. I have been in the antiques business
for many years and have always wanted my tags to be as unusual and interesting
as the pieces they represent.
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Just like the desire to have my surroundings be appealing, I want the work
I do to please me, to please my eye, to be fun for me and, hopefully, be fun
for the customers in the Hudson Supermarket where I have my public show
room. Writing price tags isn’t a chore for me. It is part of what makes me love
what I do. Having a perfect place to do this enhances the experience in ways I
didn’t expect when I decided to give myself this room.
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In the early years, I made price tags from photos and other printed paper
of heavy stock. There were old tattered hand-made linen maps, restaurant
receipts and anything else that caught my eye.
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When I started selling industrial furnishings, some of the private pickers with whom I had
developed relationships had items, such as the metal machine labels (pictured above),
which I couldn’t resist. I asked for more and now have such a huge collection that, even
if I never purchased another tag, I would be set for life! While a Sharpie does work on the
metal tags, a paper sticker on the back side does an even better job and looks nicer.
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The one above is my all-time favorite. I use it for pricing my most favorite pieces. It has
everything going for it… Money! Trouble! An old car! I just know the waving driver of
this 1940s dream car is having fun, maybe even looking for trouble. The speed lines
behind the car seem to prove me right. I don’t mind at all that I have to reinforce the
string hole. And speaking of string…
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The string is important, too! I use everything from heavy electrical wire to fat cotton fishing
line. The brown waxed twine is from France, the brown with pink at the bottom of the photo
has copper wire inside its cloth webbing. I match the string to the mood of the piece of furniture
and the tag. This is all very time consuming but so much more satisfying, for me, than
writing on the same old, same old, same old little white Office Max tag with its wimpy white
string.
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Storage is a key component of my happy life! Interesting containers make all the difference.
Which brings me right back to that Costco Room which, suddenly, doesn’t seem so weird,
after all!

Winter Walk…Hudson Style

On Saturday Ken and I had the extreme pleasure of attending Hudson’s  Winter Walk.

We started the night in the same way we start everything we do in Hudson, with

something delicious from chef extraordinaire Chris Hebert, whose cafe is right in the

back of the Hudson Supermarket where we have our antique show space. Next, with

the idea of walking off some of our desert, seeing the sights and, for me, the chance

to get some photos, we headed out into the street just in time for the most charming

handmade parade.

    

 

Music was everywhere.

We wondered how those musicians performing outside could make their fingers  

work on this 30 degree night.

You know what else was everywhere? Dogs!

Hudson is a dog-loving town and there were almost as many bowls of water on

the sidewalks outside of shops as there were tasty people treats inside.

 

Move over Amsterdam! We’ve got the windows!

  

The hula-hooper, belly dancers, balloon-twisting clown and ballerina worked it

without a break and drew admiring crowds all night.

      

Windows,  fine…..

 

funky….. 

 

and Dickensian.

But, what happened here? The bad monkey wrecks the joint and then just sits there

contemplating a piece of broken crystal while in the background, a bird, obviously

an accomplice, flies around doing who knows what on the carpet.  I just love this

totally unexpected Christmas crisis window.

Below:

Our first stop was at 3Fourty Seven. As soon as you see The Chandelier, you know that

these people are not afraid to say who they are. Housed in a big old garage, this place has

Bold! written all over it.

  

They just opened, but with their ecclectic mix of modern, factory, textiles and oddball

artwork that just works, I know they will be enjoying a long, successful run.

  

They are a super-friendly group of architects, set designers and style-makers. Check

them out at 347 Warren Street. 518-291-4780.

www.3FourtySeven.com.        info@3FourtySeven.com.

  

 

Below:

Next, we headed into Hudson Home.  Again, we were met by friendly smiles and given a

tour of the beautiful shop with its stylish, comfortable-looking  furnishings, plush bedding

and unusual accouterments.

     

And, again, dogs! I wasn’t kidding when I said Hudson is a dog town. A dramatic orange

room sports a few dozen photos of white-framed white dogs and the theme of orange

and dogs is carried out on the table of Christmas decorations and in the two

Chi Chi Chi Chia-looking poodles in the front window.

Be sure to ask about the unusual modern fireplace and the checkerboard rug.

  

It is no surprise that Hudson Home just had a nice blurb in Vogue.   356 Warren Street.

518-822-8120. www.hudson-home.com.     richard@hudson-home.com.

   

Below:

And then there’s Kosa! The home of organic, recycled, green, indie clothing and jewelry.

Even when time is not on our side, my friends and I stop here. I go straight to the

legwarmers, fingerless gloves, spats and skirts all made from vintage sweaters by

Oh Deer.

    

My friends, all artists, like the indie clothing and would love the coat being modelled 

by the accommodating customer below. I hope she bought it because it looked pretty

great on her.    502 Warren Street. 528-828-6620. www.kosa-co.net.

       

Below:

Hudson and Mark Wasserback. Mark Wasserback and Hudson. These names are

synonymous. Mark’s Antiques has been around for as long as I can remember and,

luckily, some things just never change. The inventory is crazy, edgy and heaped to

the rafters in any old higgledy-piggledy way. But don’t be fooled. This stuff is 

fast-moving and it’s not the kind of place where you should say “I’ll think about it”

and then wander off to lunch.

     

The photo on the right (above) is of a section of a fabulous 8′ x 5′ table top that Mark

had made from metal printer’s plates.

  

So many disparate things to see, like the wooden Madonna, above, and the

aluminum light fixture, below.

 

Below, a divine blue-gray tack cupboard that I really love.  Apparently,

and for reasons not understood by either Mark or me, alfalfa was placed in

the top part of the cupboard. Something to do with cleaning the tack.  I did

go home…happy!…with the factory board in the photo on the right, below.

     

Mark’s factory presentation of party snacks induced me to step away from my

no-sugar routine long enough to enjoy one or two cookies.   612 Warren Street.

528-701-5382.       wass1@nycap.rr.com.

   

But, there’s more!  At the back of Mark’s store, steps, like a stairway to heaven,

lead to another of Hudson’s long-standing gems: Larry’s Back Room.

 Chock full of treasures, some traditional

period pieces, some not traditional at all, you’d need some time to poke around

in here.

 

I spotted a pair of  tall silver factory molds that, to me, are just begging to

be wine tasting tables. Larry’s walls are lined with collections, backed with

burlap, interestingly mounted and accurately labelled.

  

 612 Warren Street.  528-248-2643.      Lforman1@nycap.rr.com.

At this point, Ken, who had been really patient while I took almost 300 photos and

talked a blue streak, looked like he was getting weary.

So we headed back to the Hudson Supermarket…..

to check up on our space….

straighten the grain sacks…

and the mountain of lavender bags…

and the big pile of pagent wings I brought in to sell…

and to watch the fireworks that call an end to a very happy night.

It’s A Guy Thing

Ok, so we’re driving along and we see this thing (below) on the side of the road.  Knowing

it will make an incredible table base, we pull over and we buy it.  The guy says “I’ll get my

fork lift and put it on your trailer.”

So, what is it about machinery that attracts guys like a magnet and causes them to stand

around watching as if Something Really Amazing were going to happen ?

Not that I’m complaining. It would have been way less than amazing to load it ourselves.

It’s the same thing with cars. 

I guess there’s just something about the power of an engine and its ability to make things

happen that draws those fellas in and keeps them looking instead of, like me, saying

“uh huh” as I walk on by.

Then And Now

Over the weekend, we happened upon a small antique car show which we couldn’t just

pass by. We used to have some of our own, a ’60 Studebaker,  like the one below,  and a

’50 Hudson, so it is always fun to stop and admire someone else’s dreamy wheels while

we point to the ones we’d like to drive someday when, once again, we have free time.

One of the cars was a beautiful Buick with a rumble seat, very much like one owned

by a beau of my mother’s in the 30s.  It was a gift from his father but, not being the

convertible he wanted, he took it to a garage and had the top cut right off.  Inclement

weather? No problem!  A bunch of umbrellas, conveniently stored under the seat, did

the trick back in those days of raccoon coats, bathtub gin and boola boola.

One day the Buick boy came to see my mother and said “We have to get married!”

It turned out that his family, long-time residents of an old stone house in Englewood

Cliffs, New Jersey,  were actually Canadian citizens and, in those days just before

our entrance into World War Two, were about to be deported.  My mother, always

accommodating and caring about others, ran upstairs and packed a bag and off they

went to find a justice of the peace. Somewhere along the way, my mother realized

that it would never work and called the whole thing off. So, they went to the movies

to see “Bringing Up Baby” instead. I don’t know what happened to that boy and his

family, but I always loved this story of choosing movies over marriage.

Shortly after this, my mother met a real man!  With a real convertible (top and all).

And, a real citizen, too!  There he is, my father, the one on the left with the pipe,  

high hair and his pals by his side.  Below, with his dog… who could

resist such a cool guy?

He showed up at a party at my grandparent’s house in 1941. It was love at first sight.

They eloped (what else?…it’s a family tradition) before he went to France with the

army.

Cars have always played such a huge part in all of our lives; I guess they always will.

Here I am (below), sitting on the back of another convertible in 1950, next to my

always-glamorous mother.

 Snooks is at the wheel, looking like a Bazaar magazine cover girl in her chic scarf,

sunglasses  and, of course, the ever-present cig.  She sucked in her cheeks to get

the high cheekbones that everyone wanted.  Below, my mother (center), and her

beautiful sisters, Liz (again with the cig) on the left and Florence on the right,  reading

Bazaar.  Check out the cover. See what I mean about Snooks?

Then and now. Our love affairs with fashion, the automobile and love itself  are ones

that never let us down.

  

Then …………………………………………………..and now!

Riding Along In An Automobile…..

Riding along in the middle of nowhere through central New York’s Leatherstocking

district looking for antiques, we spotted an old milk truck  grill  languishing in the

weeds on the side of a fabricator’s shop.    We love old cars as much as old anything

else so, of course, we u-turned and headed back to see if it was for sale. 

The owner was not only willing but was ready and able……

  

ready to cut out the radiator and other unwanted (by us) parts.  And able to roll out

some stories about cars in particular and life in general.

 The grill now graces the wall of our barn reminding us of antique cars we have owned

and loved but don’t have time for right now and how lucky we are to come across

these treasures…the stuff and the stories… that make life so much fun.