Sunday, July 20, 2008

Who Says Young People Have No Interest in Collecting?

The way things were done in the antique business years ago seem to be fading from my memory. This was very apparent to me as we ventured into an old shop in upper Wisconsin called the Wonder Shop. Most antique shops or malls today are very orderly, but not this one. It was the kind of mall I remembered from my youth-- a large building stuffed from top to bottom with every conceivable item you might want to purchase. We had traveled some distance to get to this relic from the past, but you couldn’t imagine our disappointment as we approached the building only to find a closed sign posted. Nineteen of us, mostly children, had their chins dropped in disappointment.

This would be a sad ending to a story, if out of the corner of my eye, I hadn’t seen a gentleman by the name of Randy walking toward our cars. We were greeted with a big friendly smile, and I informed him that we had some serious shoppers with us and asked him if he could open his store. Randy, being a man who loves children, said, “Sure, come on in.” I couldn’t help but think that if this was Chicago, the police would already be there the minute we put our noses up to the windows to peek inside.

Randy unlocked the store, and for the next two hours, I observed eleven children having the time of their lives. Digging through passageways that were barely wide enough for them to struggle through, they reappeared carrying World War II helmets, fishing poles, beanie babies and too many other items for me to list. I wish I could have saved the looks on their little faces for you but I didn’t have my camera. Let someone tell me that young people no longer have an interest in collecting. The adults, not wanting to be out done, found old milk cans, book racks, coffee mugs, games, nick knacks for the cabin, and this list could also continue.

No, I don’t think that there were any real treasures found yesterday, but as I have mentioned before, this is for the family, and I can assure you if we had spent the day at Disney World, no one would have had a better time than we did at the Wonder Shop. I personally think this day was what God intended. Not all treasures can be valued in dollars.

Let me share some of the other positives with you. Randy is now a member of the 31 Club, and he will be participating in all our programs. He also took me up to the second floor where he said he and his wife had been setting aside items to sell when they retired. He has no intention of quitting this business completely.

Now for the sad part of this story. Due to his wife’s illness, he is selling the property and all its contents, and so, we are back to where we started in this Blog. Things of the past are disappearing before my very eyes, however, I feel so blessed that my son, Joshua, and all the other children with us experienced this way of doing business before it truly disappears.

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