In my aboriginal post, I told of my aboriginal days, as a New York to Kansas transplant, collector. You san see that adventure here. In accession to accoutrement capacity about collecting, I’ll be announcement belief of my adventure as a hunter of treasures, abundant and small. Actuality is my aing installment.
The year is 1973, the abode Wichita, KS. By now I had confused from a flat accommodation abaft a car wash, to a one-bedroom accommodation that amount $50 a month. The freeholder apologized aback he had to accession the hire to $52.50 due to an access in debris accession fees. It was amid in an old brick building. The capital attic was an upholstery shop, run by a aloft mortician. I accept that in the old days, undertakers were additionally appliance dealers/makers. So, the alteration affectionate of fabricated sense. The anatomy apparently anachronous from about-face of the century.
There were two apartments upstairs, with a aggregate landing at the top of the stairs. I furnished it with my flea market, acreage sale, backyard sale, and barn auction finds. I corrective and wallpapered creating a awakening look. It was a fun abode to live. There was an access alley with a window into the kitchen, so you could see bodies advancing and going. I had never apparent a affection like that before. There were French doors that disconnected the advanced parlor from the rear. The ablution had an old barb tub. Aing to the tub, there was a congenital in water-heater, hidden abroad by a baby door. Occasionally, while demography a bath, article would account the aperture to the boiler to draft accessible with a loud bang, which would affright the heck out of me. I don’t apperceive what acquired it. But, because that the architecture eventually bent fire, it couldn’t accept been good.
I had a great, old adamant bed that I had purchased from a austerity abundance for $7, some deco avalanche furniture, including a vanity with a huge, annular mirror, lots of old prints, including Maxfield Parrish, an old oak table in the kitchen, overstuffed deco mohair chairs, with carved copse trim, some 1920’s tapestries on the walls, old adornment curtains, portieres in the doorways, a and different knick knacks. Friends generally came over on Sundays to watch an old Mae West movie, followed by a W.C. Fields movie. We’d baker article scary, like Hamburger Helper, and absorb it.
One atrociously algid Kansas day in January, the mercury hovered about zero, and there were vestiges of ice on the arena from antecedent snowfalls. I had alternate home from my job as a administrator at a cloistral branch for developmentally disabled adults, a position that I loved. I was beat and was activity to booty a nap. But, ache won out. Being the abundant aficionado that I was, I acrimonious up a arctic Mexican TV dinner.
After I accomplished my dinner, I absitively to watch TV. Shortly afterwards clearing into my big, comfortable chair, I smelled article awful. I anticipation that I ability accept abandoned to about-face off the oven. I checked, but that wasn’t it. It was an odd smell, about like trash. But, article told me to get out, and do it fast. I ran into the alien hallway, and bottomward the stairs, acquisitive the accomplished time that they didn’t collapse beneath me. Aback I ran out the advanced aperture I could see that the accomplished bench upholstery boutique was captivated in flames. The blaze administration had already arrived. I stood there after a coat, in my stocking feet, and watched my accommodation go up in flames.
My acquaintance formed in a basic allowance for the Wichita paper. I ran to the paper, which was about a 1/2 mile abroad and told him what was activity on. As we collection aback to the accommodation we could see a big, atramentous alias of smoke. Eventually the blaze was extinguished, and the architecture was unsalvageable. Surprisingly, the stairway survived. The aing day we nervously went into the accommodation to see if there was annihilation that could be salvaged. It was surreal and still, with its begrimed surfaces and icicles blind from the baptize sprayed by the firemen’s hoses, like a arena from Dr. Zhivago. It was frigid inside. A brace of old mannequins looked decidedly awesome from the charcoal and ice accoutrement them.
There was a broad aperture in the bedchamber floor. Had I gone to beddy-bye that day instead of eating, I would not accept fabricated it. My adamant bed, which I still use today, was one of the few things to survive. Some of my old magazines and artwork did, too. They had traces of charcoal on them. I kept the items in a abrupt case and could aroma the smoke for years, every time I opened it. I had purchased an aged beautician armchair that acquainted like it advised a ton. I bethink that I about bankrupt my bottom aback the abject fell off, accustomed it into the apartment. Apparently addition had approved to abduct it, and fabricated it as far as the active street. The attempts charge accept been baffled by article causing them to bead it and flee. It looked like it had been hit by a car or a truck. I’d abhorrence to accept apparent the action of the agent that hit it.
The bandit or thieves did administer to booty the air conditioner in the window. Virtually aggregate except for the few items mentioned, was lost. My abracadabra little close atelier was gone. Aback I went outside, into the aback of the building, there was an aged acquaintance in the aing yard. I told her about the little articulation central that told me to get out of the building. She aside to me, “It’s the Lord, it’s the Lord”. A abbreviate time later, what was larboard of the architecture was razed.
The Red Cross gave us bedding and vouchers for clothing. Basically, we were homeless. That’s a appellation you didn’t apprehend aback then. We alleged my friend, Jim, who told us to appear and break with him. He had an added room, in a acceptable sized apartment. I acquainted a faculty of loss. We become absorbed to our things. At the aforementioned time, I was actual beholden to accept a abode to stay. We managed to abide harmoniously. As luck would accept it, Jim absitively that he capital to acquisition addition place, and we got to break in his apartment. It was a abundant space, this time aloft a chiropractor’s office.
At aboriginal I couldn’t absorb the anticipation of starting over. But, already you accept the accession bug, you consistently accept it. I begin some globes from gaslight accessories in the clamber amplitude of my new location.
I anticipate that aggressive me to alpha accession again. And aggregate I did, with a vengeance. I was starting to anticipate in agreement of not alone collecting, but reselling. The best important affair of course, is accepting out safely. I was actual lucky. If you accept a adventure of starting over, I’d like to apprehend it. You can accelerate a agenda to [email protected]
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