Saturday, on day nineteen of the Summer of 2011, the girls were spending a couple of nights with Brenda’s mom, Lori. We were childless for some 24 hours plus. We had a great time with friends on Saturday night, they invited us for a cook out and to hang out by a campfire. We woke up on Sunday and started to plot out an Antique Adventure. We have been looking for a secretary’s desk for months now, but our search was limited. The girls can only handle about one trip to antique shops per month, and I can’t blame them. They get pretty tired of me saying don’t touch, don’t move, don’t brea….you get my point.
Our adventure, including bringing Georgie, started out in Harrisville, (for those that are new to my blog or to those who aren’t paying any attention, this is the town we owned and lived in our first house together.) That store was closed, we were 1 hour early according to the hours posted on the door of said establishment. Brenda and I both wish stores like this would update their information on their websites. We continued due north to Barkeyville and found a small establishment of some neat items but not a whole lot of furniture. Continuing north and a smidge east, we traveled to Franklin to find a pretty cool looking store closed on Sundays…this was not a stellar start, but it was a great day to take a drive. Being we were 1 for 3, we decided to head east to Oil City, to attempt the Oil City Antique Warehouse Mall, we had no information on hours but it was only 8 miles away and we were heading eastwards to go to Fryburg anyways. Fryburg is just south west of Lickingville. Oh, the names you see when you get out in the sticks/country of Pennsylvania. I love where we live.
So back to the Oil City Antique Warehouse Mall, what an awesome place, it was open and it was huge. As we drove up to it, we both said the location looked a little sketchy, but once inside, what a find. The first floor was entirely antiques or older used furniture and collectables and then most of the second floor was new furniture. They actually were displaying four or five different secretary’s desks. A couple of them seemed to be reproduction pieces, with the old look but not the old construction style we desire. We decided we would not make a hasty decision and would continue with the adventure as we could always back track or return on another day. Our next visit was The Fryburg Old Treasures Depot. One secretary's desk was to be found there, and they were having a sale for the holiday weekend. Upon further inspection it appeared that it had been repaired and the quality of the repair was questionable, it’s price was also at the ceiling of what we were looking to spend. But the store had some great pieces and lots of collectables. It was another store we will probably revisit in the future.
We continued south into Clarion and visited a store that we won’t return to ever again. We entered this store and there was a secretary’s desk staring right at us, but it had a bunch of yarn wrapped around it with a price tag of $3500 on it. It was a very nice piece and probably worth the money, but not in our price range, actually not even close. It also had a big sign that said do not open, do not touch, well for me that was like putting up a sign that stated “you are not welcome”. If we only knew what was going to transpire next, we probably would have avoided going that far east. As we walked five steps into the store this gentleman kindly approached Brenda and asked if she would relinquish her hand bag (when I say hand bag, it’s tiny, she can’t even fit my sunglasses in it), or go leave it in the car before we entered the store. I turned around and headed for the car, that sealed the deal. I was not welcome and neither was my wife. You don’t have to tell me twice. Goodbye. As we left the building, A lady, (part owner, spouse of said man????) heard our conversation, I told Brenda, “I was not entering the store, she could if she wanted to, that I would take her purse and be in the van waiting for her.” The lady then asked me “You don’t understand?" I ignored the lady’s question and continued to talk to Brenda whom was far more understanding than myself at this point. The lady chimed in “you don’t understand, we have lost over $20,000 in merchandise in the 30 days due to theft.” As I typically have a ton of empathy and go to great lengths to avoid conflict, obviously this was not a typical day for me. This really struck a nerve, Brenda stood there with an open mouth, she could not believe what was happening. Brenda agreed with me or at least did not want it to escalate any more than it already did. We left, and as we did so the lady was livid, she kept talking to us, with a look that could put a strong man ten feet under. I am not proud of how I acted, I am a bit ashamed, I know I embarrassed Brenda tremendously and I am glad the girls were not there to see my actions, but looking back I don’t think I was disrespectful, I did not raise my voice, in fact I ignored the lady’s statements, except for stating the obvious, “I don’t feel welcome in your establishment.”
Wow, my heart reached palpitation just typing and reliving that, I’m still searching for why that strikes such a nerve???
I’m sure God planned it all, to teach me something, my thick skull is still processing it.
We continued from there the whole way to Brookville to find a dirty old place, that lacked organization and a retail atmosphere. It was hard to distinguish who were dealers and who were customers. We didn't find anything we liked there anyways.
We then headed back to the west in hopes to find the Harrisville store open. On our way we stopped at a store in Emlenton but found lots of vintage stuff and crafts, not really what I would call antiques. We made it to Harrisville before the posted closing time to find it closed. That was a little frustrating, but we still had a good overall day.
We arrived home and had time to rest and make home made Philly Steak subs, then we were off to Hartwood Acres for a free concert by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and what I thought I read as Fireworks afterwards. Next time I may have to call to confirm. It was a nice concert, but not really our taste. I admit I was mostly wanting to see the Fireworks. Oh well, we did see some as they were shot off for Hampton Community Park, which were not that far away.
Sunday we woke up and planned day two of our Antique Adventure. This trip was not going to be as long, we would travel over to Wexford, Harmony, Volant, and on to Mercer and Hermitage. We only found two shops to be open, but again it was a great day for a drive and Brenda and I enjoyed each other's company. One was in Volant and it was nice, it offered more collectables then furniture but had several buildings to peruse through. The last one we visited was The T.J. Haaland & Co. Antiques inside the Shenango Valley Mall and was the place we found the one.
10+ hours, 300+ miles, lots of laughs with the woman I love, and this mission is complete for now. We had not laid eyes on a desk like this in all that we have looked at. Keep in mind, we wanted a small piece of furniture to stash away important mail an other things as they enter our home, while blending well with the period of our home.
For those of you that have stuck it out and read all of this, thank you.
Here are some pictures of the new/used desk.