Steele: Moments from yesterday

I recently bought this Steiff teddy bear from a woman whose father once sold me a red rocker 20 years ago. She gave me a copy of the Trash & Treasures article I wrote about her father's rocker, as well.

This has been a very busy week — probably for everyone — but since I am getting a bit slower and slower it just seems that I am getting busier and busier. Of course, we are moving into the new antique shop in town, and moving day was a few days ago. I have been packing and repacking, and then I asked for my grandson’s help and his brother-in-law to help me move my display cases, and a few other pieces of furniture. Not an easy task — but I did tell him that this will be my last moving day for hopefully quite a spell. It is fun and exciting to be getting into another antique shop but sometimes it is a bit overwhelming when you start packing again.

You get boxes — and I have been saving newspapers for weeks. Plenty of those on hand, ha! I dusted a bit before I wrapped the smaller items and a friend helped me for two days, then I finished up a few days later. I keep saying this is my last move but — oh well, we never know what is going to be handed to us down the road.

The antiquing business is one of those that you don’t just order it online from a department store — we have to get out there and look for it. I have been looking for antiques for a bit over 50 years now. I loved seeing my dad’s family with their antiques and I loved his mother’s collection of Desert Rose Franciscan Dinnerware that sat high in her cabinets all around her kitchen in California. We did not get to go out very many times, but I loved picking a fresh lemon and eating it off the tree in their back yard. Yes, a lemon. They were so sweet, almost like an orange.

Anyway, some days when you are moving to another location when collecting all this stuff, it makes you stop and think “What in the heck am I doing at my age, Jude?” Well, I guess I call it “keeping busy” and getting me out of my rocking chair even though, like tonight, I am hurting all over and every muscle in my whole body is screaming out at me: “Hey, Lady, what are you thinking? Not another antique store move?”

But I am, and I am very excited about it. You have probably heard that it is on Dewey and it was the old Woolworth Dime Store many years ago. Now it will become the C & R Rustics On the Bricks, Antique Mall. Their opening date will be Aug. 1 as far as we know right now. Thank you Rob and Corey for starting another antique shop in our fine town.

It will be nice to have another shop in North Platte. Always nice to have a list of shops to tell everyone when they come to your store. It’s just good business sense to make sure they know about all the shops in town and nearby towns as well. And, that is what this new shop will be all about also.

Because of being in business for so long, I got a phone call from a young lady a few days ago asking me if I would be interested in another Steiff teddy bear — dated 1992, I believe. It has its original tags, the brass button in his ear, and the original Steiff cardboard box, as well. She was having a garage sale in a few days and she asked if I would like to see it. Well, naturally, I wanted to see it.

To make a long story short — I went the next morning and bought the beautiful teddy bear and a few other things on her yard sale tables. Come to find out, I had purchased her father’s little child’s red rocker at his auction about 20 years ago. Then I knew I had to have this teddy bear even though it wasn’t as old as the rocker was. When I purchased it, she also gave me the Telegraph Lifestyle Trash & Treasures article dated Sunday, Oct. 15, 2000, along with two other little bit newer teddy bears. She was moving to Oregon to be with her daughter. I love stories like this — it helps me understand why I collect the things that I do, because they all have stories behind them. Well, now this photo in today’s article is the same rocker but with the 1990s Steiff Bear on it. I will keep her article as well — what a fun morning this was.

When I got the phone call a few days ago about the Steiff teddy bear and she reminded me who she was, it gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that she had remembered that I was the one who had purchased her dad’s little red rocking chair with black stenciling on it over 20 years ago at an auction, and she had cut out my article and gave it to me as a reminder. Thank you, for thinking of me. I will treasure your treasures till they are passed on to someone else someday who likes soft, cuddly mohair teddy bears as much as I do.

My life gets a bit harrowing at times with appraising items for people when they call — trying to get my other antique classes started again in the midst of moving my whole booth to yet another shop in town and trying to keep up with everyday life of grandkids and great grandkids. But you know what, I wouldn’t want it any other way. My house may not be the best organized at this very moment, nor totally dust free, but, it is just me so why not?

I am so very looking forward to the next few days where hopefully I will get settled into the new location once again. I hope to keep up my space better than I have lately. My previous spot was a bit neglected but it was hard to keep interested with the virus keeping you shut down, and then it was hard to get going again when they did allow us to open again. But we need to be so thankful that we are doing pretty good here in the Midwest states and I pray that everyone stays well. I realize we all have had someone we know who has been touched by the virus and it is very scary. But, I also know that we need to keep pushing on with our daily lives as best we can.

Stay well everyone, and please don’t forget to mark your calendar for the grand opening of C & R Rustics Antique Mall on the Bricks on Aug. 1. In the meantime, please visit the other antique shops in town: Grandma’s Antiques on East Fourth Street and the Grain Bin Antique Town south of North Platte on the old Highway 83 South. Fun adventures, and I am sure you will find something you just cannot live without. It is one “bug” — the collecting bug — that may be contagious but it is a fun “bug” for a change. Thank you for taking the time to read my article this week and I do pray that everyone stays well. Take care and have a great week ahead.

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