We’ll Meet Again, Don’t Know Where Don’t Know When…

When the Music Stops

One of my favorite pass times is traveling out to small towns throughout the world, hunting Antique Malls or small antique stores.  Before I tell you why, let’s discuss what those are.

One town not too far from me is Gladewater, Texas.  Gladewater, which is also close to Canton, is known for its abundance of antique malls.  If you travel to the old downtown part of Gladewater, you will see that the place was transformed for tourists.  Yes, there are locals but, the town’s economy depends upon people like me poking through stuff that might ‘charm’ me.

I mention Canton as it is famous for the First Monday sale.  Much of the town turns up to market’ stuff.’

The buildings have been re-purposed after the ‘death of the town.‘ Big box stores wiped out the mom and pop shops.  If you go into these ‘malls’, you will see that the edifice has been divided up into areas dedicated to rental property.

The owners of the building or perhaps the lessee has divided the total square footage of the building and subleased it out to individuals or perhaps small businesses for retail purposes.  As part of the leasing agreement, the store staffs the building, and they act as the person’s agent and collect funds for goods and or services.

No viable place of the building is off-limits.  Even the bathrooms are rented out to vendors.  One building I was in, the attic had been stuffed chock o block full of stuff.

In a typical non-COVID environment, this works out well for the tenants. It will be interesting in a macabre sort of way to see who survives.   Many of the tenants of those buildings are paying a lot of money to store their junk, in the hopes that someone will buy it.  In reality, what they are doing is converting their loved one’s treasures into liquid assets, for the person who leased or owns the building.

I have lost count of the day’s since ‘normal’ left town.  This much I do know for sure, the automobile insurance companies are making a killing.  I am getting months to the gallon, or the liter if that is your standard of measurement.

That ends the pragmatic part of this blog.  Now, let’s get on to why I search for antiques.

As a writer, I am always on the hunt for stories or fodder.  Sorting through the buttons, jewels, and other things, they become much like a time capsule. 

The styles that were in decades ago are now not only gaudy, but some are societally incorrect.

Societal norms notwithstanding, what charmed us back then and now?

Chinchilla

Mink coats, hats and so on. 

Things made from ivory.

Lamps with dangly things on them.  Glass cabinets loaded with pins, tchotchkes, and other sparkling things.  As you go from cabinet to cabinet, it is all different, but all the same.  Much like rocks in the river, they are entirely different, but all the same.

In the end, that is about the value they possess.  We value gold for its monetary equivalence, but we wear it, why?  Could it be we wear it to show the world we can spend perfectly good cash on a status symbol?

There is a chain of islands by Bermuda that are owned by people like Johnny Depp, who is a whopping 57 years old.  Why?  Why would you want your own island unless you were ‘Epstein like’ and did not want the cops showing up at any given moment unannounced?  What laws are there on your private island?  Is it lord of the flies or possibly a land looking for a volleyball to anthropomorphize as a companion?  What about owning an island charms someone? Do you suppose they value their privacy so much they have to buy an island?

I wrote a novel called Schadenfreude that takes place on such an island right after Epstein did not hang himself.  I digress.

As we age, our friends either leave us, or we leave them.  The things that charmed us are not loaded into a U-Haul trailer, (self-moving rental) and pulled behind the hearse.  Before the last bar of Amazing Grace or perhaps the bugler playing Taps, our friends or family are already wondering what to do with our’ stuff.’

Recently I acquired boxes of ‘stuff’ that charmed my best friend.  On an old phone was only one song.  Charging the phone, I was amazed to hear it.

I am the last of such a group of friends who spent countless hours together when not with family.  The laughter still echoes in my mind as I think back on all of those silly conversations. The long nights where too much wine was poured, where we talked until sunrise.  Those times we compared notes about our families, poking holes in the air with our fingers saying, ‘By God, that is what I need to change.’

Of course, we never did. The next year those same conversations reoccurred until one by one, there were fewer of us to have them.

There were nights where we listened to music, extolling the virtues of real composers: Glenn Miller, Arty Shaw, and singers like Vera Lynn.  No, I am not that old, but I was born way too late.  I am convinced I have an old soul.

‘Please say hello to the friends we both know…’  That song echoes through my heart and tugs at it each time I hear it.

Now it is you, my dearest of friends who must say hello to the friends we both know, as I am the last one here.

While the stuff that charms you might entertain you for a few moments, it is friends and family who provide the reasons to live.  If you need convincing, go check out those antique malls.  Walk the aisles one by one and try to imagine the person who owned it.

As their stuff sits in an old building collecting dust, and revenue for the building owner, try to imagine it as it once was.  An old hat with a feather in it.  A purse with more spangles than cloth.  Yes, that mink stole or perhaps that dress that belonged to a ‘flapper.’ Can you hear the music of the roaring ’20s?

Both the Victrola and the typewriter were made in 1920.  Yes, they both work very nicely. See what we can do if we try.

I am still on the hunt for some Vera Lynn Records.  I peruse antique malls and garage sales searching for 78’s. 

Someday, someone will have to wonder what to do with my’ stuff,’ as I say ‘hello.’

Carpe Diem

Much Love -TW

Greetings and Salutations!

After a very long day following a short night, I am home once again.

I wanted to share the day with you, as it was interesting in many aspects.  If you follow me at all, you know that I am about paying it forward, and about assisting fellow writers.

When I sign my post with ‘Much love,’ that is not a catchphrase.  I genuinely value writers and those that have the desire.  Today was all about paying it forward.

Before I continue, please note this is not about blowing my horn or any kind of nonsense like that.  This is about leading by example.

I am involved in some writer’s groups.  Firstly, allow me to elucidate on why I am involved with such people.  They are my tribe.  We have this kindred spirit, this connection that I feel.  It is almost as if it is in the air.

This sounds a little esoteric, but here goes, I get a sense of people, much like ‘Spidey senses.’  That might make sense to some of you.  Have you ever been around someone that just made your skin crawl?  Well, today all of the ‘energy’ was positive and uplifting.  I stay away from toxicity, and that includes Debbie Downers.

I know you have felt them too.  You get into an elevator, and you can almost sense the person’s feelings in the cab with you.  Today I was at an event where we were joined by many different people from all occupations.  Some were doing things like blacksmithing, to picking locks.  These are all necessary skills for who?

Well, for you and me, who might write about such things.

Some of these events were hands-on and that was fun too.

I ended up giving an impromptu class on my specialty, and it was fun.  These were writers who were excited to be there, and I was genuinely happy for them.  I think I was feeding off their energy if that makes any sense to you at all.

As I seek to inspire those that I met today, you too are in my thoughts.  I make a point to visit your blogs.  Some of you are great writers.  I hope you are working on a book!

Enjoy your Sunday, and stay in touch.

 

Much Love -TW

Is clutter causing you to be less functional?

I have heard it said that a messy desk is the sign of a busy person.  Can you see the top of your desk?  How about the bookshelves?  Are they neat or cluttered?

I am not throwing rocks in this glass house, my desk frequently resembles the aftermath of a strong storm.  Tonight I went about cleaning my office, and of course, I was sidetracked by all sorts of things including the cat.

Recently my closest friend passed. This is has been a challenging time for me.   One by one I have buried my friends.  This puts a whole new vision on life.  What is essential and what is not?

With each friend that passes I “inherit” some mementos of them, from a watch to jewelry to something that adorns my “space.”

Are these trinkets a good idea?

My mother passed eleven years ago last Easter, and I have still not deleted her e-mail or phone number.  Is it because we cannot face the truth of it or is it some small way that we hold onto them?

I did that Ancestry DNA thing as I thought some stories might come up that I could use as fodder for a novel.

Well, let me tell you that is an understatement!

While my friends and family pass away, I learned today that I have family that I was unaware that I have!

Is the DNA thing conclusive proof positive?

I would like to think if they throw men or women in prison with DNA evidence, that there must be something to it.

If you found out that you had family that you never knew about, would you track them down?

The circumstances of this are phenomenal.  I may have a sibling that I was unaware of!

Will this new information clutter my life?

Yes, I dare say it has.  The thoughts of having a sibling have halted the creative process altogether. When something like this happens to you how do you cope?

How do you get back on track?

Truthfully it makes little difference who or what this person is.  I don’t know them and until today never heard of them.  Why does this entice me so?

I had to get away from the computer and stories revolving around in my head and go do something physical.  I exercised…Yuck.  I cleaned a few things out and dusted my office where I don’t allow the housekeeper in.  I only briefly allow my “muse or mews” in to brighten each of our days a little, before I get back at it.

Tomorrow I must get back at decluttering my life, and that includes this possible sibling.

I am interested in your take on this.  I have many reading my blog from all over the world.  Your cultures are undoubtedly different from mine, how would you handle this news?

I picked up yet another follower from Russia today.  Thanks for the follow, and welcome!

I knew several on a site called Wunderground.  It is a weather site with its own e-mail.  One photographer caught this stunning picture.  I told her I liked it and asked her how she captured it.

She said, “Let me tell you a secret!”

Immediately I thought the words Russia and secret together in one sentence would trigger all sorts of artificial intelligence from both the USA and Russia.

No, she just told me that it was caused by a broken steam pipe and so the mist in the background was not naturally occurring. Still, my heart skipped a beat or two.

How silly is that?

Can you imagine the world our parents grew up in during the cold war?

We all basically want the same things, and I am convinced of that.

While the hierarchy of any government is an unknown quantity, I am confident that I could find common ground with just about anyone who was not so ideologically bound to one extreme or the other which I think most folks are not.

For those of you who recently followed me thanks so much and welcome!

I get so many people in different countries reading my books that is a genuine compliment, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Tell your friends and family about the books, the blog and of course follow me on twitter!  I am working on figuring out Instagram, so maybe we will meet there one day as well!

@authortwscott

 

Much Love -TW