Momma was a collector of nick-knacks. She collected many souvenir spoons, salt-and-pepper shakers, plates, and, some of her favorite things, ceramic and porcelain bells. This display case has held, for years, her complete set of Rockwell Bells of a certain issue. The Case was one of those “Buy-This-Many-All-At-Once-And-We’ll-Send-You (Free Of Charge), This-Handsome-Display-Case,” deals. Really, just a slap-dash, Walnut-stained Pine affair of no significant import. Fast-forward a few decades to this very day.
RBS is cleaning around the house. Dusting, mainly. (RBS is my Really Big Thithter, visiting from Montana. She can’t help herself – two old bachelors live in this house and things do get dusty.) She has all the bells off-loaded and has an old sock pulled over her hand, wiping the dust of the final bells in her task.
“Before you re-load those, let me take the case out to the Dungeon and clean it up a little,” says I.
“How long will that take?” queries the stupid girl, who’s always in a hurry.
“A few minutes,” saith the Woodsmith, taking the case off the wall and heading for the door.
I had noticed, walking by, that, as she wiped the dust off, the dinginess of the thing became much more clearly visible. Hence, my initiative.
It was after I had scrubbed the side panels and the edges thereof with Restore-A-Finish on 0000, that it occurred to me to take pictures. In these photos, you can see that the dingy wood woke up and said, “Thank you. Where’ve you been?” After the Restore-A-Finish, I laid on some Howard Feed And Wax.
Then I took it out into the waning daylight and took a couple more pictures.
Then, it went back on the wall.
The old photos to the right are my Momma, when she was a baby, circa 1927-8, and her baby brother, my uncle Doug at about four-years-old.
To the left are photos I made about three decades ago in Yosemite.
Thirty minutes is ”a few minutes.”
The bells are sitting on a circa 1909 Edison Console Record Player that Dad brought home from New York when I was a kid. It had been in his RBS’s house since the thirties, mebees earlier. I may just go after that thing, next. It really is Walnut.