Thursday, October 22, 2009

Curbside Gleaning

The fine art of trash picking is much maligned and misunderstood. As the elegant area of Germantown in Philadelphia was encroached upon by squatters and students, marvelous things appeared in the Veteran’s Thrift Store on Germantown Avenue. Tuxes of a certain vintage, 78's to be played while you slept that guaranteed health, wealth, and happiness, and even Biedermeier furniture. When older family members died off the less than perfect, quirkier pieces were unceremoniously dumped curbside. We were the beneficiaries. My father loaded his station wagon with the likes of Bentwood rockers, brass drapery weights, cast iron eagles, and solid mahogany drawing shelf units.

25 years ago, my eagle-eyed sister spotted a vintage Navajo blanket half hanging out of a dumpster and gave it to me on permanent loan as it matched my furniture colors. (She wants it back when I die.) With the advent of Antique Road Show, there has been less opportunity lately for really fantastic finds. Even so, our boys’ fort was made mostly from salvaged and freecycled materials. So here’s to trash day! Here’s to finding finds! Onward, to the quest!

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