Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Kindness of a Stranger

I knew his shoppe was different the second I walked through the door. I had been greeted just as enthusiastically at all the other shops I had visited, but those shopkeepers were also quick to tell me about their end of season sale, and exactly what items were 30% off.

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.

All the fixtures, hardware...

Bathroom tile and fixtures...

are original.

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.


  1. I was waiting to hear all about the lock and key from your last post. I was not disappointed.

  2. it is so true what you say, I've had some amazing moments that have led to similar sorts of adventure, but oh my gosh, these temple photos are absolutely delightful to see, living in France I've become interested in the Masons, reading looking for their mystical signs so your photos are special,and for you what a cool thing to have experienced. Thanks for sharing to both you and the shop owner. Also cute how one item led to more ;-)

  3. What a great find. I love the hardware. Amazing how detailed it is. And your icecream scoops are great also! Great post, thanks! I hope you had a great weekend.

  4. Wow - what great treasures you found! At one point I would have thought only beautiful colors and nature could make for pretty photographs, but really how interesting and beautiful the photos of "Anything old, decaying , historic, rusty" really are!

  5. Wow - that is the most amazing story!! Surely your must return there?! I would LOVE to browse amongst all those goodies!

  6. Oh so envious not only did you get some great props but a great photo op, I love the rocking chairs on the porch so inviting.

  7. Oh my goodness!!! This is the BEST post ever! And not just because you came away with a fabulous set of photos, but because there was a special personal connection with this stranger - who is no longer that. Dan.

    Thank you for sharing this.


  8. This is so cool, Sarah! He let you in on some wonderful 'secret' treasures!

  9. What a great post and that man was very extend his gifts to you...I love old antique shops also and, in general, find the people who run them very your photographs.

  10. What a cool adventure! And I'm still giggling over the cake stand that NEEDED to come home with you :-)

  11. I am so excited for you! This must have made your day. I'm so glad you spoke to this kind man and he was willing to let you explore. You're very good at capturing the beautiful details in old, rust and decay!

  12. Love your story, always amazing when things like this happen and it's so heart-warming to read. Beautiful shots too. Love your vintage finds and love the details you captured. Thank you also for your sweet comment on my blog.

  13. How pleasantly delightful. Being able to wander uninterrupted with camera is a great gift.

  14. Oh this is a gift like no other I would have loved to seen that but your photos whisk me to that moment I could feel your excitement. Thank you for sharing. Dan is a great find himself. B

  15. WOW! He recognized a kindred spirit and you got the keys to the treasure. I'm so glad you shared these precious photos.

  16. Oi!
    what a fun adventure, so very kind of him...that's what life is all about. Sharing Love.
    I love all that you found and shared, I bet your soul was filled that day!

  17. What a fun adventure. Those old spoons... one of those looks like my childhood ice cream scoop. Fun to find things like this

  18. Wow...what a treasure...I mean I would have been thrilled with the vintage spoons alone! Thanks, Sarah, for sharing...


Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)