Friday, May 20, 2011

Vintage Friendship

My home is a combination of layered ages and eras. I love the eclectic mixture of old, new and everything in between. I have purchased historical books, paintings, furniture, jewelry and even vintage photographs from places as far away as Notting Hill England to the closer region of Canton, Texas.

Although I have had the pleasure of perusing quaint antique stores in the earliest settled cities of New England, one of my favorite getaways happens in the piney woods of East Texas, the first of every month.

There is just nothing like the fun of Canton Trade Days. Most newbies are overwhelmed and just mindlessly walk around in awe amongst the main arbors. But our "girl posse" has Canton down to a science. We rent little motorized scooters so we can hit as many vendors as as possible, quickly. It also enables us to be free from carrying our purchases and instead store them in the basket and bucket attachments. The main arbors have all the polished, North Dallas home interior stuff most people come to see. But not me. There are few favorites that I know will have something I like but I go to Canton for the uncovered outer reaches. This is where the dusty treasures are discovered. The flea market region of Canton holds all the unforeseen items I didn't know I would find, but find that I cannot live without. At one point a few years ago, I got on an empty antique frame frenzy. I came home with more than fifteen dirty vintage frames and a husband who looked at me out of the corner of his eye.

"You spent your money on these?" he'd say in a semi-disgusted tone.

He thought it was a bunch of old junk, until he saw what it was I planned to do with them. I have various vintage collections for which I am always scouting. Vintage hats are one of my favorite finds. I know that everyone doesn't share my love of authentically "old" items. Lots of folks love vintage replicas made with artificially applied designer dirt. But I love the mystery of the story behind a truly vintage treasure.

A year and a half ago, I was able to accompany my grandmother on a Autumn tour through the fall foliage of New England. My mother, my aunt, my grandmother and I were in history heaven as we milled through antique stores, lunched on clam chowder and drank pots of sweet, hot tea.

One particularly wonderful part of the trip was the opportunity to reunite my grandma Hayes with her best friend of nearly seventy years! We laughed, cried and basked in the wonder of a beautifully aged, vintage friendship. I like new things as well as new friends. There is something special about a shinny new relationship. But there is no way to replicate or replace a vintage friendship.

I don't mind restoring old, dusty and worn-in, vintage purchases from a flea market. So perhaps I shouldn't mind getting my hands dirty, if that's what it takes, to restore a vintage friendship. The joy on my grandmother's face tells the tale.

The picture at top of this post, is my grandma Hayes with her best friend at their High School graduation. The picture on the left is the same two friends, in front of their High School, sixty-five years later. In the top picture my grandmother is on the left and Mag is on the right, they are switched in the bottom picture.

I would love nothing more than to uncover my vintage friendships and put them in a more prominent place in my life.

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