MONROE, WA.

September 18, 2011

Saturday, I decided to walk the town of Monroe and view the various historical buildings that managed to survive the fires and re-developments that obliterate the past.  Jim took the Bronco over to Mike Coleman’s, his mechanic/friend for an adjustment on the transmission and let me out on the street to begin my walk from the Historical Society Museum.

Names interest me and from the Museum I learned that the Post Office shared quarters with the Park Place Store, but the U.S. P.O. would not approve a name with two words. They could have asked for PARKPLACE, but, instead, submitted Monroe, after the Monroe Improvement Co.  plotting lots on the present site of town at the time. And, as they say, the rest is history.

I hadn’t walked but half a block when I discovered an antiques fair lining both sides of a side street.  In a motor home you can’t buy anything except small stuff.  What the heck,  half the fun is looking. I should have taken pictures of the entire affair, since it was very well done. By well done, I mean they really had antiques, not flea market junk.  Some unusual things caught my eye, like this turkey foot. Nearing Halloween, hmmm. I considered. While examining  deer horns and feathers and bone buttons an Indian woman identified herself as a Pomo. She collects buttons and makes Indian vests with colorful buttons and feathers.  As we talked, she offered to buy my collection as described and I gave her my card to call me in October when I return to Murphys.

I admired this bag worn by a young cow-girl named Judy. She bought it during the Evergreen Fair. Minutes later I found two similar bags for sale.

Not antique, but beautiful future antiques.

Signs, another interest of mine, as long as they are unique or humorous.

I’m not sure Edison actually said this, but I figure I’m half way there, I’ve got the junk.

I drooled over beautiful home-made lace sewn together with crude burlap in an effort  to disguise a hole in the lace. The burlap is already leaching acid onto the bottom of this gorgeous lace. It needs rescue.

And a beautifully rendered crazy quilt with home-made lace on the edges. Nice enough to frame.

Besides quilts and quilt pieces,  an unusual amount of rag rugs.

This well-worn braided wool rug is in need of rescue.

Another type of rag rug I’ve never learned to master the technique, though I tried once. Not antique. You can tell from the colors.

And this antique wool hooked rug was a beauty. The vendor had it on the street covering up a grease spot from cars. I wanted to scold her or offer to buy it. But, I have two unfinished hooked rugs of my own at home.

Hooked wool seat covers were nicely preserved.

Jim called all too soon, claiming his Bronco didn’t need anything  done to it. It had just started to rain and we headed for the Motor Home.  When I got my pictures up this morning, I realized how biased I was to women’s crafts. There was plenty at this fair for men, tools, furnishings, car stuff, wood work of all kinds. I guess I can relate to the craftsmanship of basket making, rugs, quilts and lace that bore men silly.

 

 

ALL FORTY-EIGHT STATES!

November 5, 2010

On the road, a person can get into signs in a big way, which I do. I like humorous ones, particularly, but my quirks of personality lead me to various others. I lament the ones I missed because we were moving; they turn out blurry; or because its inconvenient to stop a big rig at that moment given traffic and so on. But, the couple in this video very determinedly took pictures of all welcome-to-our-state signs. Many obviously shot from a moving vehicle. You can see the results on the following link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU40OHnynHo

Nicely done. In years past travelers bought stickers, available at every gas station convenience store, from each state they passed through. Folks would stick them to their car windows or rig. Few people expected to get to all 48 contiguous states. Then, people weren’t quite as mobile as they are now. A neighbor of mine collected spoons from each state. They get cumbersome after awhile. The pictures, though, are a great keepsake like postcards of the past. Economical, harmless fun.

As a beer drinker, I find a sign like this on a hot day a compelling beacon to stop.

This sign kind of twiggles the senses, its funny but to the point.

This is a road sign but I can’t help but think of some kind of exotic sandwich when I look at it.

It takes a second to decide if this onion is an octopus in disguise or not.

And FAITH is hard to come by in this sign. It took some concentration to get an A out of the second letter and the T looked much like a V. One thing, these signs remind us how lucky we are for American affluence, that we have the leisure to enjoy such innocent pursuits.

Yesterday, the weather was beautiful, Eric The Man had two ball games in a tournament, so everyone gathered at Groton Park for a bit of rest, fun and food between games. Joceylyn Jaillet used the time to burrow into a book. She kind of reminds me of myself at age 15.

And, on the subject of books, how do you peruse 350,000 books? Niantic, Connecticut has a famous book store, that has turned into three stores.
The main barn is not the whole story. Building after building has been added around the spacious garden grounds filled with every imaginable book.  Friendly benches, a children’s play area, several friendly cats, tables, coffee, cookies, flowers, settees invite you to linger and relax. Things are wonderfully organized in cozies, new items, old items; political or photography; children’s or teen’s. you might find one copy filed in fiction and the same book filed in poetry if it has both.

I found a copy of my newest favorite book, Bel Canto, so now I can return the one loaned to me by a friend. That, and a bagful of others. If your bag gets heavy, staff provides a cubby to hold your books while you continue your search. Jim needed help to lug his big box of books out to the Bronco. Oh, such hidden pleasure in those pages

Helpful, plentiful staff, and if you get tired of looking, you can always rest your eyes and throw a few balls into the basketball hoop in one of the courtyards, or stop for a game of chess or checkers.

Folks here have a great sense of humor. Every sign has at least one funny line. This place is such a treasure. The hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Open every day of the year except Christmas and Thanksgiving.

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