imkittymyers at hotmail dot com
Sunday, January 01, 2006
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This is how I remember Gramp. He's working at his shop, which really was more of a hobby than a business. My brother would tell me how Gramp could sucker city slickers out of their money by being totally honest with them.
Slickers usually had certain criteria when looking for "steals." They thought that any old piece of furniture with several layers of paint must be valuable, because after all, the hicks didn't know antiques like they did. So Gramp would have my brother slather on several coats of garish paint on the worst old furniture. When the paint was dry, he and my brother would place the furniture way in the back of the shop, which was nothing more than a dusty old barn, and then they'd pile a ton of stuff on top. The slickers would paw through the stacks of old stuff until they spied the hidden painted furniture.
Then the bickering would commence.
City Slicker (thinking they had found a valuable antique): "I want that table back there."
Gramp (knowing he had hooked a sucker): "You don't want that. I only paid $0.50 for it."
CS: "Okay, then I'll give you a $1."
G: "But it isn't worth a dollar."
CS: "I'll give you $1.50."
G: "It's got a lot of paint on it. Take you a long time to strip it down and refinish."
CS: "I'll give you $2."
G: "$2? But it's not worth two bucks!"
This would continue until the slickers had talked themselves out of $50. Worked every time. Of course I'm not saying that Gramp wasn't above pounding a few dents into a piece of junk using a hammer and a wooden peg -- he called it antiquing -- and he never corrected the slickers when they excitedly referred to the dents as worm holes. Gramp had quite a few truly beautiful pieces, too, many of which he kept. It was the worthless stuff the slickers begged him to sell. They knew best ;~)