My husband, son and I took another one of our many drives through the mountains today. We always head a different direction. Today was no different. About 45 minutes into our circle of a route we ended up in a tiny town and found an antique store with the "Open" sign lit! You never know in these places if they are closed during the week or only open when you call the number on the door.
We met a guy inside named Chuck in his late 60s that had sold antiques since 1975 in Florida but moved to Montana soon after. He has some truely incredible stuff. I found an amazing large oval frame with a plaster of Paris design on the top of the wood that was to die for. It has a few chips but it was in pretty good shape and I like things with "patina" anyway. There is even some blue "patina" here and there in the delicate design. I asked him what he wanted for it. He said $25. I thought that was an awfully good price but he only took cash or check and I only had a twenty in my purse so that's what I offered. So now he said it was $30. He was a mess! Every time I came back with the $20 offer, his price went up $5.00. Then I explained to him that $20 was all I had but he still wouldn't budge. I asked my husband if he had any money. Between what he scrounged up from his pocket, the car and the bottom of my purse, we wound up with $25.04. I wasn't leaving without that frame!
We hung out for a while and talked to Chuck. He was such an interesting guy. He wouldn't hesitate to run someone out of his store if pushed so I'm glad my $20 offer didn't offend him too much. He started talking about what he collects and I offered to keep my eyes open. I showed him pictures of some of my stuff and it turns out we have the same old office chair. I asked him if he did trades. He said yes. There are some things I have my eye on in there. This guy has no Internet, email address or cellphone, doesn't advertise and prefers it that way. He said he prefers personal contact instead. I don't blame him. We chatted for close to an hour and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! That's what he loves about his business. Now, I'm on a mission to find this guy the things he collects, not only so I can trade with him, but also so we can chat again.
I don't know if he has grand kids of his own but he would be just the right level of cranky to be a perfect "local" grandpa to my son. That's going to come up during our next chat. :-) Eva