Steele: A bit of old within the new

A towel, vintage candy scale, vintage hand beater and chair rug sit atop an old oak chair.

As most of you probably may already know, we will have a new antique mall opening in North Platte on Aug. 1. It will be an exciting time and a fun event taking place! We are always wanting new and different stores to come to our towns and I am pretty sure that this particular shop will be on the top of the list of new events happening to North Platte. This young couple, Rob and Corey Derbyshire, have the energy and the skill of making new items out of old ones, taking something pretty rough and making it into something pretty amazing, giving ideas for others to be able to do the same, and just plain having fun with a hobby of sorts that has definitely ballooned into an exciting event and/or business for this couple.

It is located in the old Woolworth building at 413 N. Dewey St. The wonderful original tin ceiling tiles represent another time and yet it is coming into the present with so much more. I am excited to have a shop such as this one in our beautiful town and I do believe it will be a great asset in so many different ways.

I have always believed that a shop such as this one should be able to survive in a town like ours. We have had — and still have — several and smaller shops here in town and a beautiful one just outside of town on the old South Highway 83, Grain Bin Antique Town. We have Grandma’s Antiques on East Fourth Street and now the antique mall downtown.

It is always exciting when new businesses come to our town. Please spread the word when a new business or company spreads its wings in our community. It is always an exciting time and helps the economy to keep on rolling strong.

My photo this week is of a very old round oak chair with a cutout on the back for a handhold. It has been oiled several times with my Howard’s Orange Oil, which I am selling in the antique mall. It is a fabulous product and has several different stains for all kinds of woods, as well as polishes for metal such as brass or silver. I have used Howard’s Oils for almost 50 years now and it is a great product. It can be used on old and or new furniture pieces, as long as it is “real” wood so the product can soak into the wood and help preserve it.

Then I have a newer linen tea towel with “The good ol’ days are still to come” printed on it, as well as a hundred year old candy scale that I dearly love and purchased when I was on the road a few years ago looking for specialty items for my booth. But, as you can see, it hasn’t made it to the shop yet, but it may one of these days. An old black-handled egg beater is beside the scale, along with a hand-woven chair rug to help company sit a bit more comfortably on the old oak chair when needed.

The crock, again probably over 100 years old, sitting beside the chair on the floor is another item I have fallen in love with and have collected only a few of along the way. My boys will tell you that their mom has way too many things sitting around her house — and I probably do — but, right now, I enjoy every single one of them. However, with my getting ready to have another booth up and running and filled with goodies by Aug. 1, my little apartment is a bit of an antique nightmare of sorts at the moment. Trying to decide what to let go or not or maybe to hold on to something a bit longer — I have boxes of goodies from other shops I’ve been part of, so I still have many many boxes to go through to keep another booth going here in North Platte.

It’s almost like Christmas when I open a box from my magic storage area, and the conversation with myself goes something like this: “Wow, I forgot I had this. Well, maybe I should keep it a bit longer — it is really cute!”

Antique collecting and/or selling is a fun business, but even in 50 years I still have not learned to let really great finds go for resale, which is one more reason why I have too much stuff packed in a too-small apartment area. I have some really fun items displayed in different ways and I do enjoy rearranging them every so often. When I find something different or extremely unusual, then I keep it for a spell in order to find more info about it before I let it out of my sight again.

Please remember that the new antique mall opening on the first of August will have a bit of old and some reinvigorated pieces made from old furniture that needed a bit of help. But the mall will have a touch of new, also, with great ideas of stains and paints that are catching on worldwide, like the chalk paint effect. Talk about turning something around to make it look like something you would want to show off in your own home! If I was a bit more creative, I just might give it a whirl on a few things but I think I have my hands full already with trying to keep up with what I have in the works.

I am not going to give away all of the exciting news, so you will just have to come in to their new shop and see why I am so excited — and you will be, too. You will see some familiar faces of the people who are renting areas as well and I think it will be one of those shops you will want to take a quick look through to see what the other dealers have brought in periodically. Remember, it takes a variety of things to make a great shop and to keep you coming to look every time you are in the neighborhood. Most of the dealers will bring items in on a regular basis.

Please mark Aug. 1 on your calendar — this will be an exciting time. Welcome to North Platte, CR Rustic Antique Mall!

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