Why yes, I realize it is still a week away from Christmas, but in my case, I may get to enjoy a little Christmas this coming Saturday as well. My reason to celebrate? Apparently, the antique store in town which holds the remainder of Marilyn Sowle Bean's photo collection has not yet closed.
I made the phone call yesterday to see whether it was already too late. After all, though I saw the news on social media that this particular antique shop was slated to close, there was no mention of a precise date for this unfortunate occurrence. Since travel plans had already whisked me thousands of miles away for the past week, there was nothing I could do about this predicament until I returned home.
When the phone rang this time at Hubba Hubba—yes, that is the name of the store—the owner did something she said she never does: answer the phone, herself. Usually, she lets the staff standing closer to the phone handle the calls. For some reason, this time was different.
She remembered the photos. After all, it was a collection, not just a few scattered items. Because so many were labeled, she could tell these were part of a family collection, and made sure to keep as many of the items together as possible.
There were not just pictures, but newspaper clippings and other items more suited to a scrapbook collection. Thinking over some of the details she had spotted, the owner had questions. Did one of the men own a lot of dogs? Well, yes—sort of. That was Sam, the poodle trainer for the Ice Follies. Was Marilyn's nickname Rinkie? There was a copy of her high school graduation program with her nickname written in it. The shopkeeper had evidently gotten to know her "client" well, for we had quite a conversation about the items included in Marilyn's collection.
Of course, paramount in the exchange was securing a time when I could access the collection to see for myself what is left. How soon would the shop be closing? I didn't want to miss my last chance.
"Give me a few days," the owner replied. She wanted to assemble all the pieces of the collection before I met with her. Thus it was decided: I'll be able to see what else can be rescued from Marilyn's collection this Saturday. What a long journey this personal treasure chest has taken—and if I can find any extended family members who would like to receive a particular photo from the collection, that journey may continue, long after our Saturday meeting.