Sunday, February 27, 2011

Journal of a Living Lady #392

Nancy White Kelly

My life has been an adventure. Easily bored and ready for new challenges, I amaze myself at the places I land and why. Recently I received a request from the Chamber of Commerce to be the resident numismatic scholar for a week-end antique road shop in Greenville. Someone from our local coin club had recommended me.

I was delighted to be invited. Meals, lodging and even a paycheck made this gig appear more like an all-expense paid mini-vacation for Buddy and me.

Buddy’s mockingly gruff pretense, often repeated to our friends, is that he must accompany me on these trips to protect me from robbers, dirty old men, and myself.

Reality is that he is gets anxious about being alone. Buddy is a people person who is not very good company to himself. Whatever the real reason, I need his help and it is a win-win situation for us both. I get a body-guard who loves me. For three days straight. He gets uninterrupted companionship with his wedded wife.

Silly me just assumed the antique show was in Greenville, South Carolina, which is only a half-day drive from our home. How surprised I was to see TN in the address of the brochure. Even though I am a native Tennessean, I had never heard of the town.
Greenville, TN was difficult to find on our old map which was relegated to our library shelf long ago. With GPS, it is seldom used. With internet research I discovered there were 30 towns in the United States named Greenville.

To my rescue came Buddy, once a private pilot, who still knows how to read hieroglyphics on maps. He found the tiny speck called G’ville. (Okay, I’m a private pilot too, but I like for my man to feel needed and superior.)

Greenville seemed an unlikely location for what was expected to be a major event, especially since last year’s antique road show drew 5,000 attendees. The show was located in the two-level, high school gymnasium. The bottom floor was lined with at least a hundred tables laden with every type of antique and craft imaginable.
The appraisal floor was up-stairs where people lined up in the early a.m. to purchase five-dollar tickets for an appraisal. They were directed to the appropriate appraiser. The funniest sight was a little lady in a power wheel chair pulling a piece of furniture on a rope.

From eight in the morning until near dark, scores of people waited their turn at the appraisal tables. In brief spells between customers, I made my way through the crowd to see what others had brought. Just as expected, there were items of obvious value; others could have easily come from the local dump. Among the items were pottery, guns, jewelry, a plow and a few rusty bird cages.

Many left the show disappointed. Some elated. Others just enjoyed the camaraderie and had the philosophy, “Nothing ventured. Nothing gained.”

The most interesting thing that came through my line was an authentic CSA buckle that the owner, a middle-aged man, had personally unearthed in his backyard while digging a garden. Since the buckle was not related to coins, I referred him to another appraiser I had met. The owner left smiling. I would have too. It was well worth $1000 for its provenance and condition.

We are home now. Buddy is happy. I am happy. Now, you readers be happy and slap all the bad news you hear today.

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