Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Write Desk

It was my first time. He stood there and watched me saunter across the green lawn. Intimidated by his mature stance, for a moment the thought of turning back blocked my progress. Strong desire won out and pushed me toward him.  His eyes took inventory of my face.  My eyes widened and breathlessly I asked, "How much for the pink chest of drawers?"  

He straightened his back and shot me a doubtful look. "Five dollars."  

My lips curled into a smile as I reached into my pocket and pulled out a crisp Abe Lincoln, saved from my babysitting job.  I plunked it down on the table, looked straight into the stranger's eyes and declared, "I'll take it."

The successful purchase of that painted pink chest started a love affair with previously-owned furniture that has stayed with me all my life.  At the tender age of twelve my mother had introduced me to the joy of "the find".  From the pink chest to an antique Morris chair purchased a year later for twenty dollars. From the Morris chair to a turn-of-the-century rocking chair discovered under my grandfather's summer cottage at age sixteen. Eventually I graduated to entire rooms of furniture.  When Dennis and I moved to Estes Park in April we purchased most of our furniture from ads on Craig's List.  One of our excursions to pick up a chest in Loveland led to a stop at the ARC Thrift Store. There amongst an array of beat up furniture stood a lovely little mission style desk.  I licked my lips and looked under the center drawer. The "Stickley Brothers Co. -  Grand Rapids" stamp almost made me squeal.  My heart raced faster than my feet could take me to the front desk. "How much for the little wood desk?" I asked the woman at the counter.  She lifted a handset and called the furniture handler to the location of the desk, then advised me to meet him there.  

"You interested in this desk?" he asked.

"Yes.  How much?"

"One hundred dollars."

"I'll take it."

"There sure has been a lot of interest in this desk," he said. "Everyone's waiting until Saturday when everything in the store goes on sale for half price."

"Well, I'm not waiting until Saturday.  Load it up."

And that's how we came to own the Stickley desk you see pictured above. I took this photograph today to send to my friend Bob, a Stickley expert.  Someone has expressed interest in buying my desk and I have no idea what it's worth.  Bob turned me on to a website that gives information on arts and crafts style furniture.  My desk is not a Gustav Stickley model, which would make it highly valuable.  But according to the website the Stickley logo stamp on my desk indicates it's still high quality furniture and of value to some collectors.  It really doesn't matter to me.  I've become pretty fond of  the desk.  It's where I write. Which makes it valuable and just the write desk for me. -- NR

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