Conklin: Meeting old friends at the antique store


This exact title was given to me a couple of days ago when I was at the Antique Store on the West Side of Sandusky Street in downtown Delaware. Just as I was about to walk out the front door, someone stopped me and gave me this title for today’s article. Up until that moment, the only idea running through my head was to use the topic of “Changes.”

There are so many changes in all our lives every day now. Changes in taxes that you have to pay, changes on Sandusky Street with the new justice center taking shape, changes in jobs that are being done away with, changes in school buildings, and even changes in how badly passengers can be treated on airplanes.

One change is that part of our elementary school is being torn down. New parts will be built to add to the other new parts already there. Out front I noticed that the green space had been dug up and piles of big tree roots are everywhere. Gone are the trees that offered so much wonderful shade on the hot summer days.

With all the high fences that have been put up on the west side of the school, it looks like a different type of institution than a school. However, there was a sign of life in all that mess. There were bulbs from the uprooted daffodils that had been in bloom a couple of days before. Those bulbs were in the mud, and I immediately picked up two of them.

I didn’t want to be accused of stealing anything, so I asked, and was told I could take as many as I wanted. So, I took as many as I could hold in my hand and walked on home, knowing that the next time I go back, even more changes will have taken place.

Now, back to today’s title. While shopping downtown Delaware, I always like to go in the DPS Antique Store, because before it was an antique store, it was the U.S. Store and was a great downtown grocery store. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a downtown grocery store again?

When my Dad got a job as a meat cutter there, during WWll, he moved his whole family to Delaware to live. If we hadn’t moved to Delaware, everything in my life would be different from what it is now.

While talking to my old friend, I mentioned about needing to find a good topic to write about and he said, “Write about meeting old friends at the antique store.” How could I go wrong with that title?

Running into old friends is always a delight. Having worked so long in Delaware, I have gotten to know a lot of people there. It could be someone from school, or someone from the different jobs I have had.

And if I’m real fortunate, I might run into someone who made a difference in my life. They are called “pivotal” people. They are the ones who come into your life when you are going down one path, and lead you down a different, better path. We were both in there looking for memorable antiques. I often think I will find something that used to be in our house while I was growing up.

Once, I found five plates exactly like the one we got to use on our birthdays when we were kids. I was so happy, I bought all 5 of them. One thing my husband always says is, “There wouldn’t be so many antique stores if there had been better trash collections in earlier days.”

Antique stores are full of things that meant something to someone at sometime in their lives. You might say we are buying memories. While we wander up and down the aisles, we are stepping back in time. And when we do find something that has meaning to us, we feel at home again.

Stepping back in time is a good thing to do. It’s good because as soon as you step out the door on to the sidewalk, you are back in the world as it is today, with all the many changes that keep taking place in our lives every day, after day, after day.

Kay E. Conklin is a retired Delaware County recorder who served four terms. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in sociology and anthropology.

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