My loose definition of an antique is anything over 50 years old that retains or evokes some sort of life experience or memory of the owner. By that definition, I am an antique, so my initial thought would be amended to say that an antique is a non-living object that retains or evokes some sort of life experience or memory of its owner. .
Having established this, I would like to share the story of banjos, chairs, and dressers.
In December 2019, our family survived a devastating house fire that burned in heat that vaporized wood and other combustibles and melted metal. The place where the majestic grandfather’s clock once stood was watched all night from a designated corner of the family’s room, but all that remained were a few melted gears.
The musical instruments and artefacts I had collected over the decades seemed to have disappeared from their display positions on our walls. and erase lifelong memories, artifacts, and curios.
I am sharing this not to lament, but to reassure you that no matter how precious it may seem to you, life is the most precious of all things. So our lives and health were saved, and many fire victims weren’t lucky. You can share the story of
An antique but still functioning tenor banjo given to me by my first guitar and banjo teacher, Charlie Prutzman, at the time of the fire, was a musician colleague who was rehearsing to play Dixieland. Styles’ work at a Christmas concert with the Philadelphia Pops Orchestra at Philadelphia’s famous Kimmel Center.
At the age of 12, he quit the accordion and started experimenting with drums, saxophone, guitar and banjo. A dear friend’s grandfather was a professional musician and had his lifelong career with the Reading Railway, so the guitar and banjo came to the forefront of my musical endeavors.
When old Charlie found out I was into music, he started teaching himself guitar and banjo chords. Charlie was in his mid-eighties when these exchanges began. When I visited his grandpa’s apartment at his friend’s house, Charlie told me the most amazing and often amusing stories about playing in the area’s speakeasies, dance halls and union halls. I was.
He used to have two fine banjos, but after drinking at one of his jobs, he forgot his banjo and jacket, as he explained, “too much bath gin.” The day after he and the band returned to the Reading area from the Coal area, he realized his loss. That banjo and jacket were never recovered.
His style of ragtime/Dixieland music was raucous, fun and uptempo. After I had mastered enough songs to rhythmically back up my guitar playing lead riffs while he used a stick to pluck up and down the banjo neck, I went to a session at his apartment and he told me that he I called in a few remaining songs from . A friend from the heyday of silly play.
When Charlie dialed the number, his friend answered the phone and he yelled into the phone. Let him sing Davey’s ‘Hand Me Down My Walking Cane’ on 3, 2, 1.
Charlie died at the age of 87. It wasn’t long after he taught me the joy of playing live, but the memories and his beloved Paramount his leader his banjo still inspire my imagination and my desire to play music.
The chair came into my life on a cold winter night 40 years ago when I was conducting observations at the Berks County Astronomical Society. As a club member, I Blue He had access to a huge telescope located in an old barn on a ridge near Lake Marsh. Cold winter nights have less haze, dust, and junk in the atmosphere, making them ideal for observing planets, stars, galaxies, and other objects such as supernova remnants and exploding stars.
One night, I noticed a dusty chair left unattended and a lot of stuff piled up in one corner. What caught my attention was this chair with a faded and stained seat cover, chipped paint, fragile wooden joints, and a musical lyre symbol on the seat back. The chair literally spoke to me, so I asked the barn owner if I could buy one.
He said I could and also informed me that there were other pieces, including a table, all decorated with a musical lyre theme. On the night of the fire, that table and his four chairs were akin to me, at least in my mind, as they existed as symbols of music. They did not burn, but were severely damaged by heat and water.
I took them to Cross Keys Furniture Restoration to discuss rebonding, refinishing and restoring tables and chairs. About a month later, my beloved table and chairs were back in pristine condition, ready to be placed in the family room, and I was intrigued by its unique design and music and connection with our family. I am ready to talk to someone.
The dresser in this story received the same insult as the table and chairs. It was also used in our basement. It was also badly damaged by water, heat and smoke. It also went to Cross Keys Furniture Restoration. And it’s back, more lovely and alive than ever.
The first time I made friends with this dresser was when I was little. When I visited Klein’s grandparents off Temple’s Hay Road, the dresser was in the room where I was sleeping, at the front of the house, on the second floor. I could feel the hum as the train passed the old trolley line about a block away.
In winter, the windows of the room that valiantly did its best to keep Jack Frost and his cold away from me swayed in frame. Nonetheless, the window candles flickered in the wind as they crept around the seams and cracks, somewhat defeating the purpose of the windows and frames. Sleeping under several quilts was a cozy necessity in a house that, at the time, had only one coal-fired central heating duct on the first floor between the kitchen and the parlor.
The dresser and its contents were a surprise to me. The top drawer was stuffed with thousands of loose buttons. I don’t think my grandmother Helen ever threw a button away. Instead, she removed them from clothes she didn’t need, used the clothes to make rags and patches, and saved the buttons in case she needed to find a match or set for repairs. We never discussed how she actually found that particular button or set of buttons among the buttons.
The lower drawers contained jars with buttons, coins and all sorts of curios. At that time, the dresser was painted white, but before that it had been painted with what appeared to be a rust color. After stripping all the paint and refinishing, the dresser turned out to be made of gorgeous cherry wood with dovetails.
I remember my grandmother telling me that the dresser belonged to her. Now it’s in my study, where various drawing and painting supplies are kept and a constant reminder of those cold winter nights spent studying Helen and her curious collection of buttons. .
The banjo and dresser are over 100 years old and the chair is nearly 100 years old. If my children or grandchildren ask me for them, I will surely pass them on to the next generation.The eyes of my heart as they continue to exude love from those who have traveled and has served life well. I think antiques do best.
Dave Kline is an award-winning writer, photographer, show host and producer, singer-songwriter, travel guide, and community advocate. Please contact him at email@example.com.