Our Retro Bungalow

Our Retro Bungalow
The journal of the making of an old house into a lovely new home.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Meaningful Decor: Show Me a Sign

I know.
I know that I've gone on and on about my dear great-grandparents
humble little farm out on a country road in southern Arkansas
and how I cherish the memories I have
 of those old folks and that time and that place 
to the point of ad nauseam.
here I go again...

Their little farm was a good walking distance from the nearest neighboring farm
and five and a half miles outside the tiny town of Waldo.
Granny and Papaw Burke never had a television.
They had an old radio in the kitchen, but I do not recall it
ever being turned on and tuned in.
I'm guessing they only used it in the winter months
 when an "ice storm" was imminent.
There was an old black Bakelite telephone on
the little table against the wall between the front bedroom door
and the entrance to the kitchen at the back of the house.
It was rarely called out on and it rarely rang.
Still, somehow, my little sister and I were never, ever bored.
But when Papaw would need to go into town for some
somethin' er other, we jumped at the chance to ride along
in the back of their dusty old four-door.
We'd scootch our backsides forward to the edge of the bench seat behind Papaw,
lay our forearms up on the back of the front seat with our chins rested atop
and watch the gravel road disappear underneath us while
a canopy of tall, age-ed trees zipped past overhead.
You can count on there always bein' a purpose for goin' to town, mind you.
My great-grandparents simply wouldn't consider
burnin' gasoline for no good reason.
We'd most always end up at the place where my Papaw worked
operating the cotton gin during harvest
and sometimes in the store
when the farm wasn't takin' up all his time;
a place the locals called
owned and operated by a man whose name  was
Ervin Franks.
It was a rickety and dimly lit old country store that carried
all sorts of sundries and farm supplies, as well as household goods like
cast iron skillets and a few grocery items.
I do not recall any of the things Papaw purchased on our
laid-back visits there, but I do remember that my sister and I
 always brought back our own, individual little brown sacks of candy.
Just like any other old country store,
there were big glass jars full of various sweets
and although there was lots to choose from
I chose banana "Now and Later"s every time.

Ah, what a sweet memory!

Out of curiosity, I did a little research on Franks.
It closed many years ago.
I talked with my mother, my Aunt, my great-aunt, my second cousin,
and even the current mayor of Waldo who remembers
goin' to Franks all the time when she was growing up.
My aunt thinks she has photos of the place somewhere,
but she hasn't been well and the thought of going through
boxes of old photos is overwhelming for her.
After kindly looking for me, the mayor said
there are no photos of Franks to be found in the town archives.
And no one could agree on  Mr Franks' first name.
I scoured the obituaries and photos from Columbia County cemeteries
and came up with nothing.
I looked at old business records online.
I guess I was just looking for family members that
could tell me a little about the history of that old place.
And I really wanted to know...
was it
A dim little light flickered on in my noggin one morning.
I quickly finished up what I was doing,
went to my computer
and Googled
"Waldo High School 1940, 1950 yearbooks"
And I found these gems...

Of course Mr Franks paid for advertisements
to support the high school yearbooks!

A couple of months ago I came across an Etsy shop that,
 after perusing through, I "favorited".
At the time, Ashley, the shoppes proprietor, was featuring this listing:

And I liked it.
A lot.
it did not fit my self imposed criteria for
items we might add to our home which is:
It must have a practical purpose
It must have meaning.
I'd recently been sorting through oodles of old family photos
my mother had given me and as I studied over the black and white images of
my predecessors, my mind naturally wandered back
again and again to those wonderful childhood memories that
I hold so close to my heart -
including, of course, trips with Papaw to Franks.
Those memories and this listing collided in my consciousness
and an idea was born.
I contacted Ashley via Etsy and asked her if she did custom work.
"Yes!", she replied.
Ashley was AMAZING to work with and I am
SO HAPPY with the BEAUTIFUL custom work she did for me.

Ferns & Ivy
Check out her shop by clicking on the hyperlink below this photo!
You'll LOVE what you find there.
I promise.

So, there ya go.
More meaningful decor here at
Our Retro Bungalow.
Thanks for stoppin' by.
Y'all are sweet as candy
and we're much obliged for your kindness.