Sunday, September 2, 2012

Old School

It’s business as usual to commute 1 ½ hours one way to work in California. However, in the state of Alabama it’s an uncommon occurrence. I am one of the few who accepts the grueling, time wasting task of doing so. Last week I arrived fifty minutes early because my son’s truck was in the shop and I had to drive out of my way to drop him off at the local college. With that kind of time on my hands I decided to visit Hidden Treasures, an antique/second hand store that was going out of business. The owner piped, “No price will be refused,” as I walked through the door.

I was on a mission. I’ve been gathering supplies to make my daughter-in-law a rosary for her birthday and the last two items needed were the centerpiece juncture and crucifix. I had already obtained my Cloisonne beads in yellow (53) and green (6), the chain, and other findings needed. Because I was using delicate beads that are rather pretty I wanted a very special Madonna and Child juncture and crucifix instead of the usual cheap metal ones I’ve been finding online. I was hoping to find something carved from ivory or stone.

Well, long story short they had nothing of the sort, no jewelry whatsoever. But, who can walk into a store, especially one going out of business and not consider buying something? I did find something, several in fact. Two items I cannot describe here because they were picked up as gifts for relatives who sometimes read this blog. After Christmas I will share about those items. However, I can share with you one item I purchased just for me.

Sitting back on the corner of a table, tucked behind an assortment of glassware and under the edge of a shelf that had other odd and assorted items spilling off of it, I found a vintage hinged/folding black slate chalkboard. The wooden frame is solid wood, I’m guessing oak. The board has been handled enough that the oils from human hands have darkened the edges. The slate is beautiful—not a single scratch on them! The owner was asking $22.50 for it.

When I picked the board up the owner said, “Could you imagine kids today having to use those in school?” We both laughed and commented on ten year olds who have smart phones, iPads, laptops, MP3 players and so on. This led to a discussion about old rotary phones and party lines. I remember party lines; today’s kids would have a hard time grasping that concept.

In the end I walked out of there with about $40 worth of items for $12. I’m happy. The first image is the chalkboard I purchased. The second image is one I found on ebay, which is obviously older than mine.


  1. That really is neat! I couldn't even imagine kids of twenty years ago using those; it would have been considered cruel and unusual punishment by then...kind of like actual learning is now.

  2. LOL, no kidding! Once I remembered I had a chalk cartridge set used for sewing it made the process a lot easier.