I suspect that retail leanings may run in the blood.

When my grandfather was a little boy, growing up in the countryside at his father’s mill, they let him stack up empty cereal boxes and the like on shelves and pretend it was his store.  He ended up working at Sears all his life, selling people things they needed and then managing people and departments that sold people things.

When I was little, one of my favorite toys (at my house and in the playroom of the little girl next door to my grandparents’ house) was a cash register.  I loved the pleasing “ringgg” sound when you pressed the button and the way the drawer would open, literally throwing money at you.

When I got older and we lived in a big house in a small New England town, there was a spare room attached to the detached garage.  After it became clear my parents were not going to be swayed by my arguments that it was an ideal place to keep a horse (not with three double-sash windows and a wooden floor), I dreamed of it becoming my shop.  Sure, we were off the beaten path for tourists, but surely someone would pull in to our circular driveway to check out the carrot-shaped pincushions and comic books I fantasized about making and selling.

Alas, my early retail experiences mostly consisted of selling Girl Scout cookies door to door (we really worked it in those days before “stranger danger”) and fulfilling the sales quota that came with the kit I got after answering one of those tiny ads in the back of some comic book (“Sell greeting cards and make extra money!“).  In high school, I pushed Portuguese sweetbread to raise money so my track team could go to the State Championships on Maui.

I come from a family that likes to shop, so perhaps my desire to sell is wrong-headed.  But to me it seems a natural extension of my day-to-day job — trying to reconnect people with stories from the past.  You know, the real value of objects often comes, not just from their appearance or utility, but from the stories they evoke, or the connection to the past and the way things were (or how we imagine they were).

So you’ll find things and stories here.  Some of the stories are true.  Some of them aren’t.  I’ll leave it to you to figure out which is which.

I hope you’ll find things you love, and that you can’t wait to add your own story to the rest of the tale.

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