Saturday, August 23, 2008


Thanks to our health-worker's needing to make up a sick day, I had the opportunity to go off and putter this clear and pleasant Saturday morning. I decided to go to Elgin and explore my favorite Antique Mall. I got there a little early and so had an opportunity to study the bird nests that had been built in their sign.

The nests in the "e" and "s" look fairly normal, but I'm wondering who or what built the nest in the "q". There are things with teeth in there that look like some kind of big comb. That some little bird managed to wrestle those things into place is fairly amazing. That's a bird I would like to meet, but not in a dark alley at midnight.

It was nice to have a long uninterrupted morning to explore the mall at my leisure. I had promised myself that if I found a certain type of depression glasses, I could get two of them to match the two I already had. One of the ones I already had was the sole survivor of a set of glasses that had belonged to my grandparents. At some point they were put in boxes under the house they lived in out in the country and many of them broke. It's possible some of the other kinfolk have some of them, but we only had the one. The second one had been purchased in an antique store last year. It just recently occurred to me that they were a good match for my Old Country Roses china and I decided I would build a set to use on those rare occasions that the china comes out of the china closet.

I was surprised that I did not find any of the glasses in any of the usual booths that carry depression glass and had about decided I would not be able to add to my collection today, when I turned the corner and found a set of 6 glasses in perfect condition. It didn't take me long to decide to get the entire set. I am delighted, even knowing that my grandmother would probably gag at the price I paid. Knowing her, it's very possible these came free in soap or oatmeal or something and would have meant the same to her as Welch's grape jelly glasses mean to me.

I also found a Nancy Drew book to add to my vintage editions of that series and a True West magazine with an interesting article to add to my knowledge of Custer's activities in the west, which I find of interest since discovering my gg-grandfather fought in the Indian Wars under Custer. I also was able to price some antique oak bedsteads. All in all, a very satisfying morning.

I was back in Bastrop fairly early, so I decided it was a good time to visit the local museum, which is running a display of early local pottery through December. I was the only visitor to the museum for the entire hour I was there and therefore had an opportunity to study the exhibit without distraction, have a long discussion about Bastrop history with the museum custodian and pick up a few items they have for sale that I had not had a chance to acquire yet.

The exhibit was outstanding and I will cover it in more detail in a future installment over on Building Blocks. All of the different incarnations of McDade pottery were represented, including the first of the potters, Matthew Dunkin and his son. Matthew was the brother of my ggg-grandmother Lucretia Dunkin, so I feel a certain proprietory interest in the legacy of McDade pottery. I was also looking for some confirmation that one of the pieces I acquired from Aunt Fay's estate is a Dunkin piece, which is highly collectible. (I think it is.)

The Bastrop museum has come a long way in the past few years and I enjoy going there now. Now the Historical Society acts like true custodians of local history. When we first moved to Bastrop, the collection was a jumbled mess with no organization and very little concern for preservation. It hurt to go there and see the damage being done through ignorance and neglect. Now it's a museum to be proud of.

How lovely to be able to break routine for a few hours.


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