(Click on this link to hear “I Got a Brand New Pair of Rollerskates…You Got a Brand New Key” and join me in a journey back in time.)
It’s really easy to say just why we enjoy these emporiums so very much: They’re each like a stroll down Memory Lane.
For instance, note the picture of the roller skates, the grey metal pair with the leather straps, selling for $35.00 in a shop in Weaverville, NC, despite the fact one of them’s missing the front clasp that holds it onto the shoe (shop owner didn’t realize; for that reason, alone, I know I can negotiate him way down.)
This pair is almost exactly like the ones I wore as a kid in the 50’s.
My father won them in a contest (he was always entering these and some, unbelievably, paid off), and that was the prize. I remember when they came in the mail. He took them out of the box and gave them to me (in that day, roller-skating was considered a “girl thing;” as a result, my older brothers had no interest in acquiring them—at least not one they stated.)
I took them out to the front of the house, sat on the stone wall, and fitted them onto my shoes, with the key that came with them, for adjusting. In those first days, I skated haltingly, and then moved into the longer strides that signify one who’s accomplished in the craft.
Skurrr..skurrr…skurrr…I can still hear me on that pavement.
I skated for hours up and down the sidewalk in front of our house, the only girl who had a pair of the new-fangled things. Because they were metal and had movable parts, I’d often find myself adjusting the undercarriage with the key, for it loosened with use.
Antique shops (or more precisely “Second-Hand Shops”) pique my memory and bring me back to those occasions of youth, which is why I find them so fascinating. In my meandering up and down the aisles, I find a certain style dress my sister or I might have worn, the vanity lamp that looks just like the one I bought with my paper route money (I was allowed to spend a little of it each week) or other items I’d long forgotten.
Seeing them again often produces a chuckle.
On other occasions, I find items I don’t recognize and ask their purpose. In this way, I find out other useful information.
Does it matter where we do our foraging? Hardly. We’ve researched the aisles of shops on the Cape, in bordering Massachusetts and Connecticut towns, in Rhode Island, and now in western North Carolina (Asheville and surrounds.)
They’re all basically the same, and I realize little girls in all those regions were doing pretty much what I was doing back in West Warwick, Rhode Island, in the 50’s.
And I find that thought so very comforting.
Below is an antique shop near Greeneville, South Carolina that recreates a kitchen of the 50’s (see the Coke rack aside the refrigerator and the black and white tile floor.) No matter where we travel in the country, we find our journey back in time ‘pleasant,’ for our youthful years were a simpler era, for sure.