Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Here I am in another box. Seems the last couple of years I've been moved from box to box. I've been up and down the east coast several times already. I remember when I was new as if it was yesterday.

Once upon a time I was the well loved prize from a Manhattan shopping trip my original owner took with her daughter. My soon to be owner was hesitant to take the Greyhound all the way from Baltimore but her daughter didn't have time to make the trip back so off she went after cooking and freezing a weeks worth of meals for her husband and son. Looking at the world with excitement and a bit of trepedition my soon to be owner climbed aboard the bus in Baltimore. She rode for a couple hours to Philadelphia, home of the Liberty Bell and then on to New York City. Of course there wasn't enough time to see the sites in Philly and my soon to be owner would not have ventured off on her own as she had never traveled this far from home.

She really had not traveled. She was the daughter of truck farmers in Frederick, Maryland. She married the love of her life who first taught school at Middletown High School back in Frederick and then they moved to Baltimore for more opportunities. They had a nice brick row house in a nice neighborhood. The only thing missing was a big garden but she made due with a smaller version and grew for the most part tomatoes. It was a simple life and she knew where she belonged. She was the ultimate homemaker and a bit of a political hack. Her husband went to the Greyhound station in Frederick when they lived there and picked up the Daily News from New York so she could follow the news of the day and keep up with the politics of the world.

Her daughter graduated from Middletown High School and joined the army for a chance to see the world. After the service her daughter decided to go to New York City to try her hand at acting. For the most part her daughter had bit parts far far off Broadway and waited more tables than she ever thought she would. It became harder to come home for a visit each passing year as the parts became fewer and fewer and coming home meant admitting defeat.

Thinking her mother would never venture to New York my soon to be owner's daughter suggested a visit to the big city where she would take her mother to just off Broadway plays and shopping in Macy's bargain basement. Imagine her surprise when her mother, encouraged by her father, said yes. I imagine there was a flurry of cleaning and I'm sure when her mother arrived she gave up her own bed for her mother and used her sparse spare linens to sleep on the davenport.

Throwing caution to the wind the daughter called in sick to work and took her mother to the Empire State building and the Statue of Liberty. They ate lunch at the automat and then went to the Village to stroll through the boutiques. Her mother swore the saleswoman at Elaine Starkman's Boutique looked just like that folk singer, Mary Travers, but of course the daughter told her of course it's not her. What would she be doing selling suits in a boutique in the village!

While wandering their way through the bargain basement of Macy's her mother came upon me. Sleek in gray marble patent leather I glistened and flashed in the fluorescent lighting. I was a little rumpled looking from too many weeks on display but her mother had to have me. She glanced quickly at my price and winced a bit. However, she decided just this once she would splurge as gray went with everything and she bought me. Once we made our way back to her daughter's apartment my owner's items were transferred from her old worn black purse to me. We looked right together and in the next 2 days of her visit we saw the sites of the city together.

We left on the early morning Greyhound bound for Baltimore. I watched in silence as mother and daughter said goodbye, the litany the same as it was each time they parted. "You know you can come home to live anytime you want." "I know Mom but I just need a little more time to make sure. "Okay honey but you know we'd love to have you." Silently they turned from each other and we made our way onto the bus.

Of course as soon as we got home to Baltimore I was emptied out, stuffed with tissue paper and a sachet and put in a box and up in the hall closet. For years in the early fall she would take me out and sit on her bed stroking me and thinking about that trip to New York. Then she'd put me away again for another year.

One fall led to another and another and several years went by without me being taken out. Then one day I was pulled from my shelf along with a lot of other long forgotten pieces of clothing. "We really need to clear the clutter and now is as good a time as any", said her son's wife. "Oh my gosh just look at this purse! It's like brand new. I wonder where your mother got it? Of course it's not my style at all. Best to donate it to the Salvation Army."

So I was boxed up with a couple pairs of shoes and a moth eaten cardigan and we were dropped at the local Salvation Army. I was cleaned and set out for sale. Another lady checked me out and grabbed me rather roughly checking out my frame to make sure I was in good working condition. From her conversation with her friend I deduced that she was an Ebay seller and I was going to go to a new home. Hope sprung eternal and I could not wait to see what was going on out in the world.

So off I went listed during a VBO sale (that's Ebay talk for Vintage Blow Out). I went to a buyer in Georgia. It turns out she was an Ebay seller too and bought me to re-sell. So off I went into a rubbermaid container with a bunch of other purses she was some day going to list. Another year went by and I was pulled from my rubbermaid tomb to be photographed and sold again in the VBO sale. So off I went to a new home in Pennsylvania. This seller was a little different. She liked to move her stores around. First l was listed on Ebay, then another auction site and finally I came to rest at Specialist Auctions. Before I knew it I had been sold to a wardrobe person for the musical "Jersey Boys." The seller was excited and so was I. Finally just like my original owner's daughter I'm finally going on stage right in New York, back to my roots!

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Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania, United States
We are the owners of Mod Mary's Vintage on Etsy.