When I entered his shoppe I was greeted warmly but instead of being told about end of season sales I was told about his shoppe. "There are antiques on this main level, upstairs, and on the lower level. Please be sure to check out the walk in bank vault in the back left corner of the main level. There is an intercom on every level and I answer to pretty much anything." Well how can you argue with that, I set off to explore. Working my way towards the bank vault and then to the upper level and finally the basement.
I hadn't intended to stay very long, I still had so many things to see in town. I really hadn't intended to buy anything, but coming up from the basement I spotted a couple of beautiful vintage teaspoons that would make great photography props for my still life work. Once I had those in hand, I figured I might as well go back and get those vintage ice cream scoops I saw on the second floor. On my way back to the main floor I spotted a vintage glass cake stand that needed to come with me as well. With both hands full I headed towards the register.
This is were the fun really begins. He asked me what I was going to do with these items, and since I had my camera slung across my body, I said they were going to be photography props for my still life work.
We got to talking and I said I was out exploring backroads for the day and photographing interesting finds. He told me he preferred backroads as well. A kindred soul.
He asked me what I liked to photograph the most, I said "Anything old, decaying , historic, rusty".
He reached under the counter for a key and said "I don't do this very often, but go up to the second floor, at the end of the hall is a set of wooden doors, this key unlocks the padlock on those doors.
Go up the stairs and at the top you will find an old Masonic Temple.
Bathroom tile and fixtures...
Original transom windows above all the doors...
The main meeting room ceiling and stenciling on the wall...
He told me to take as many pictures as I wanted, which I did, but I could have still taken more. When I was done all I had to do was re-lock the doors with the padlock and bring the key back downstairs.
What a wonderful unexpected gift he gave me. You never know when striking up a conversation with a stranger will lead you to an amazing adventure.
Thank you so much Dan for indulging my desire to photograph old and decaying.