Tag Archives: antiques

Great idea and beautiful new trail map! Woman Owned Businesses along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway Route 133/1A

One for All and All for One !

Local women retailers and colleagues from Gloucester, Essex, Ipswich and Rowley met early last spring about working together to market their businesses.  These street level shops represent 4 cities and towns, and share a regional ‘Main Street’ – Route 133/1A, part of the gorgeous 90 mile Essex Coastal Scenic Byway. The new Woman Owned Businesses Along The Essex Coastal Scenic Byway brochure will be in stores before Labor Day. I’ll re-post with higher resolution images and final copy when it’s unveiled. While you’re exploring this contemporary woman owned businesses trail, don’t miss the fantastic historic exhibition The Women of Essex – Stories to Share show sponsored by the Essex Historical Society and Shipbuilding Museum, on display on the 3rd Floor of the Essex Town Hall and Library, 30 Martin Street (Route 22), Essex.

Fun route is easy to follow

#1 Pauline’s Gifts, Gloucester

#2 Essex Bird Shop & Pet Supply, Essex

#3 Sea Meadow Gifts and Gardens, Essex

#4 The Essex Exchange, Essex

#5 Olde Ipswich Shop & Gallery, Ipswich*

#6 AnnTiques, Ipswich

#7 Be Modern, Ipsiwch

#8 Lost Treasures, Rowley

#9 Serendipity at Todd’s Farm, Rowley

*Johanne Cassia, who owns Olde Ipswich Shop & Gallery –#5 on the new map–painted the illustration of their businesses featured on the brochure.



Woman Owned Business on the Essex coastal byway

I’ve included a few scenes from The Women of Essex – Stories to Share exhibition at Essex Town Hall and the renovated bright space on the top floor, accessible for all.

photo- Women of Essex: Restauranteurs (detail from installation Essex Town Hall)

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Reminder ~ Auction Tonight 1 Lexington Ave in Magnolia 6:00pm. Inspection starts at 4:00pm.

What are you doing tonight? Do you love antiques, sit glued to the TV when American Pickers, Pawn Stars and Storage Wars are on? Do you get up at 5am to be ready for yard sales? Want to go shopping at a venue that has unique one of a kind items? Looking for a special gift for someone? What if that place let YOU be in control of how much you pay? If any of this sounds like fun, you should head over to 1 Lexington Ave in Magnolia tonight for the auction being held by Cape Ann Auction. The sale is filled with antiques, jewelry, coins, furniture, glass & china and much more. It starts at 6pm, but inspection starts at 4pm and there’s a lot of things to see so you should get there early.
Walt Kolenda
Here’s a YouTube quick preview video

Public Auction – November 19th-6pm, Inspection 4-6. 1 Lexington Ave, Magnolia

auction walt 11 19

Without a doubt, this is our best auction of the year! The phrase something for everyone is often overused, but with this auction, it definitely rings true! If you like historical antiques we have hand signed presidential documents: Is fine art more your thing? We’ve got a great selection. How about antique furniture? Yep! Jewelry? Ditto! Glassware & China? Check!

Pictures and details available at www.capeannauction.com

Reminder~11/8: Huge Indoor Yard Sale 10 people set-up! (1 Lexington Ave Magnolia MA) Friday NIGHT starts at 5pm goes to 9pm. No early birds – (seriously)

Look what just got added to Friday Night’s Yard Sale: A Yamaha VR6000 amp with dual speakers. It’s got a super clean sound and is MINT condition!


There are a few things you need to know about this sale.

1) There is going to be a TON of stuff! Including antiques, furniture, collectibles, household items & more. What started out as a few people setting up, has grown to about 10 people setting up!

2) This is a night time sale. It starts promptly at 5 pm and will be going until 9pm.

3) This is in the gym at the Magnolia Library & Community Center at 1 Lexington Ave in Magnolia MA. Magnolia is a village in Gloucester MA, so your GPS may not identify it as Magnolia.

4) No early birds. The doors will not open to the public until 5pm sharp.

Huge Indoor Yard Sale Friday Night, Nov. 8th. 5-9pm No early-birds (seriously) 1 Lexington Ave. Magnolia MA

Charles Jones Hall in the Magnolia Library)

Yard Sale color(1)

Tons-o-stuff! Antiques, collectibles, Christmas & household items, junk & more

Set up your own table/ $20 – Includes advertising, table space & table

Space is limited – Call Walt at 978-395-7077

The gymnasium at the Library is very roomy but we hope to fill it up with lots of antiques, collectibles, Christmas items, household merchandise and more. If you’ve been to any yard sales held by Cape Ann Auction, you know they are very well attended and heavy on bargains. Our night time yard sales are unique and we hope to make these a regular event!

They are great because the time is convenient to most people and dealers don’t have to use up a valuable weekend day shopping for merchandise! Please note that the sale starts at 5pm sharp and there won’t be any sales prior that time. However, dealers will be allowed plenty of time to set up beforehand. If you’re interested in reserving a spot, call Walt at 978-395-7077 Please help us spread the word by hitting one of the share buttons below. And if you’re inclined, feel free to print and post the flier shown below. Thanks, we’ll see you at the sale!


Mary Rose Vintage Design

This new vintage store on Main Street has already gotten some GMG love, but my series on second-hand stores on this side of the bridge would be incomplete if I were not to cover it too!

Mary Rose Vintage Design (269 Main Street) opened this summer.  Hours are Tue – Sun: 10:30 am – 5:30 pm.  It doesn’t have a big sign our front yet, but it is located roughly across the street from Sequined Fan and Pearls, and has a chalkboard sign out front on the sidewalk:

_DSC09106 Mary Rose Design façade _DSC09107 Mary Rose Vintage Design sign sm

Jackie, the owner (who happens to be from Australia), has a great sense of design and a distinctive aesthetic that you perceive as soon as you walk in the store. Besides having an interesting assortment of vintage items, she has them arranged in little vignettes, often featuring “mildly creepy baby dolls”.  Jackie’s friend Zach helps out in the store, and shows up in one of the photos below:

Main Street in Gloucester really should be known as a destination for second-hand and vintage stores!

Matthew Green

Main & Pier – another antique/vintage store!

Another antique and vintage store has appeared in Rockport!  It is called Main & Pier, appropriately because that is precisely where it is located!

_DSC09012 Main and Pier exteriorIt has a lot of different kinds of items, from small to large. Here are some photos of my visit:

The hours are daily from 11 to 5-ish. According to the owner, the hours will likely change to fall hours in October. They will likely be everyday except Wednesday… subject to change! The phone number is 978-501-5927, and you can call for more information.

– Matthew Green


Annisquam Exchange

_DSC09052 Annisquam Exchange signA visit to the Annisquam Exchange (32 Leonard St., Annisquam) takes you out of the more frequented areas of Gloucester and Rockport and into the beautiful, historic, small-town atmosphere of Annisquam. Not that downtown Gloucester and Rockport aren’t charming, but Annisquam seems to me to have an even more magical air about it.

The Exchange is a consignment store that sells antiques, china, silver and collectibles (as described on their website), as well as some other cards, souvenirs, tee-shirts, etc.  It is open from May to October, with hours that vary according to the season, clearly laid out on the website.

Here are a few photos from my visit!

Matthew Green


StudioVo (121r East Main St., open “by chance or by appointment”) is today’s addition to my series on second-hand stores. It started off with just the “business commercial and graphic art needs” and fine art, but since late last year has also been selling antiques and collectibles!

Deej and Bob Viau pack a lot into a small shack!  While I was there, Bob was working on another “lobster” Adirondack chair (as featured by Joey in a previous post). I had a nice chat with them and was considering buying a beautiful carved wooden table that is very reasonably priced… but where would I put it??  I ended up leaving with a pair of beautiful pottery mugs that Deej gave me after I went gaga over them…

I think this is one of the charms of several of our antiques/collectibles/consignment stores here in Gloucester: they combine the second-hand items with work by locally artists, sometimes including “re-purposed” items in the art itself.

Matthew Green

There will be two pair of Taylor Swift concert tickets up for grabs at the auction this Tuesday evening, courtesy of the Magnolia Library and Community Center! One set will be given away for free, the other set will be auctioned off!

Here are the details:
Free Taylor Swift Concert Tickets! The Magnolia Library & Community Center is now on Facebook! LIKE us on Facebook and be entered into a drawing for two tickets (retail value $126 ). The tickets are for Saturday, July 27 at Gillette Stadium, Section 301/Row 18.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

The drawing will be held Tuesday evening, July 23rd at 6pm. Auctioneer Walt Kolenda will draw the lucky winner at the start of his monthly Cape Ann Auction at the Magnolia Library & Community Center, 1 Lexington Ave. If you are not the lucky winner, a second set of tickets will be auctioned off during Tuesday’s auction. Visit Magnolia Library And Community Center on Facebook for more information.

So go ahead and enter to win by hitting the like button for the Magnolia Library and Community Center !

See you at the auction. Please like, share this post and pass the word. Thanks!

BTW, here’s a link to get to the Facebook page for the Magnolia Library and Community Center now all ya gotta do to enter the contest is just like em. And that’s not hard to do, they’re a great bunch of peeps!

Don’t forget preview is from 3-6.

Cape Ann Auction at the Magnolia Library & Community Center,

1 Lexington Ave.

Gloucester, Ma


Gabriel’s Antiques

Getting back to my series on second-hand (antiques, consignment, thrift, etc.) stores, today we pay a virtual visit to Gabriel’s Antiques (100 Main Street).

_Gabriel's façadeGabriel’s is a “generalist” antique store tending towards upscale items and prices (although according to one on-line review I read, you can negotiate the prices).  What has usually most impressed me of their inventory is the selection of beautiful paintings, often partially showcased in the front window.

The last time I was there they also had a beautiful set of china plates with images from Gloucester, and other unique marine-themed items.  Gabriel’s is definitely a place to visit if you are looking to add an elegant (and perhaps locally flavored) touch to your living space! It is open Mon-Tue/Thurs-Fri-Sat 11AM-5PM, and Sunday 1-5 (closed on Wednesday).
And practically all these Main Street shops (Main Street Arts and Antiques, Dogtown Books, Banana’s, Dress Code, etc.) are in easy walking distance of each other, so you can find a parking space somewhere in the middle and go shop hopping… And of course there are all sorts of good restaurants in between where you can stop if your shopping makes you hungry!

Matthew Green



Alma’s Art & Antiques

almas art and antiques 2013

She said she wasn’t coming back this year.  We didn’t believe it.  So here she is, back again for another season on Rocky Neck in her new location  (which is actually an old location that she was in years ago – Alma likes to move around).  You can find Alma McLaughlin this year at her new Alma’s Art & Antiques location at 75 Rocky Neck Ave #15 (next to The Rudder Restaurant in the space that was previously Kathy Archer’s White Bird Gallery).  Check out the ever-changing collection of beautiful art, jewelry, furnishings, knicknacks, etc. that she has.  She also has a wonderful space on the patio in back available for adults and children to paint and create.

E.J. Lefavour

Main Street Arts and Antiques

And now, after a cat post, back to our regularly scheduled programming – my series on second-hand shopping in Gloucester! Today we visit another antique store, Main Street Arts and Antiques (124 Main St.), run by GMG contributor David Cox.

_main street arts and antiques façadeThe store is open 11-5 Mon-Sat, 1-5 Sunday.  David sells a wide variety of items.  I asked him what his store has that others don’t – for what kind of item would his store be the go-to place?  His response: ephemera! Think postcards and things of that sort. I believe that genus also includes what I have seen there a few times – a significant selection of antique photos, photo albums, and scrap books, which are fascinating. They give you a glimpse into the life of a person or a family long-dead and often unidentified in the material.  For romantics like me, seeing those old photos and clippings allows you to imagine the story and background of the family, coming up with explanations for the clothing and expressions in the photos.  I bought some as a gift for my sister-in-law who enjoys vintage photos. I have to admit I wast tempted to keep some for myself…

So anyway, here are some photos of the store, to give you a better idea:

As you can see, he has lots of different things!  He also sells prints of some of his own photos; his photographic skills are well known to regular GMG readers.

Matthew Green

Junque & Disorderly

Looking back at the places I’ve reviewed so far, we have Second Glance (a little bit of every kind of item, including a significant clothes section, but more thrifty and less antiques), St. John’s Thrift Shop (also a wide variety, very affordable prices, located right in downtown Gloucester), The Sequined Fan (specializing more in exotic and beautiful items for around the house or for wearing), and Pearl’s (with more emphasis on small furniture, although also with a variety of  other items). Now, for a store that is more focused on antiques, large and small: Junque & Disorderly!

JDLocated at 57 Washington Street, this is properly an “antiques and collectibles” store, as the sign indicates.  They have a wide range of items for the household, from trinkets to furniture.  It is a large space, and a shared venue for several different dealers, so the price range varies.  I was amazed at some of the deals! If I had more space (and a little more money), I’d have walked out with a beautiful wooden set of dining room furniture, a mantle clock, etc…  They also have nice paintings and framed photos and things of that sort. I almost bought a nice reproduction of Murillo’s “Immaculate Conception” with a hand-painted (faux gilded) wooden frame, but I already have more religious images than space to show them!

Their hours are:
Mon – Tue: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Matthew Green

Note: I am on vacation for about 10 days. I have material for a few more posts in this series, but I probably will have to interrupt it for a few days until I get back. In the meantime I’ll share some photos from vacation!



Pearl’s (222 Main St., Gloucester) is the focus of the 4th installment in my series on local second-hand (thrift, antique, consignment, etc.) stores!

DSC07605Like the other stores, Pearl’s has a variety of items, including jewelry, knick-knacks, etc.  But this store has more of a focus on small furniture – shelves, tables, etc.  For instance, at my visit, they had a beautiful set of wooden nesting end tables (seen in one of the photos below), as well as many other items.

As mentioned in a previous post, Pearl’s is next door to The Sequined Fan, so it’s easy to visit both at once.  Unlike the thrift stores, neither Pearl’s nor The Sequined Fan have any significant collection of clothes, although they do have accessories.  Pearl’s is open Mon-Sat 10-5, Sunday 12-4.

Matthew Green

Stores previously featured in this series:

Second Glance

St. John’s Thrift Shop

The Sequined Fan


The Sequined Fan

Continuing with my series on second-hand (thrift, consignment, antique, etc.) stores in Gloucester, I stopped in to check on The Sequined Fan on East Main Street!



While they sell some antiques, they do not identify as an “antique store”. They offer a variety of items and price ranges, aiming to have “something for everyone” (from exquisite oriental porcelain, to potholders in a “dollar bin”), with an international flavor.

My overall impression is that this is a place to go for beauty.  You can also get more utilitarian items, like the aforementioned potholders, but but the focus is more on decorative items like pictures, jewelry, lamps, throws, etc., and functional-but-beautiful items like painted tea sets, pitchers, etc.

The Sequined Fan is open Wednesday-Saturday, 10-5, and Tuesday and Sunday by chance (closed on Monday).

If you don’t have a place to put these items, you can always get some shelves or tables (as well as other items) next door at Pearls, the subject of tomorrow’s post!

Matthew Green

Buying Second-Hand in (and near) Gloucester

Whether you are looking to save money, to save the environment by keeping usable items in circulation, or to find vintage and antique treasures, buying (and selling) second-hand items is worth looking in to.  I’ve been particularly interested in buying second hand as I work to finish furnishing my new apartment without spending lots of money!

Fortunately, there are many places in and around Gloucester where you can buy good quality “pre-owned” items! Since I’ve been visiting most of them, I’ve realized that it might be helpful for other people to get an overview of what I’ve seen. So, I have decided to make a series of posts highlighting each of the ones I visit, giving you an idea of what they offer. They each have their own focus and character, some being more for the thrifty and others for treasure seekers who don’t mind spending more cash.

For starters, here is a list of the places I’ve found so far (although I haven’t visited all of them). Let me know if I’ve missed anything! I’ll start offering photos and a few more details about each place tomorrow. Note that some of these places (especially those attached to a religious organization) have very limited hours; I will do my best to get the full info as I review each place.

Starting with the center of Gloucester I have found:

  • “Pearl’s” antique store (222 Main St., Gloucester)
  • “The Sequined Fan” antiques and fashion accessories (220? Main St., Gloucester)
  • “The Eco Boutique” consignment shop (in Brown’s Mall, 186 Main Street, Gloucester)
  • “Stuff – old stuff, new stuff”, closing soon (161 Main St., Gloucester)
  • “The Dress Code” consignment shop (159 Main St., Gloucester)
  • “Main Street Arts and Antiques” (124 Main St, Gloucester)
  • “Gabriel’s Limited” antique store (100 Main St, Gloucester)
  • “Banana’s” vintage clothing (78 Main St., Gloucester)
  • “St. John’s Thrift Shop” at St. John’s Episcopal Church (48 Middle St., Gloucester)
  • “Junque and Disorderly Antiques and Collectibles” (57 Washington St., Gloucester)
  • “Cape Ann Thrift Shop” affiliated with the Congregational Church, I believe (70 Middle St., Gloucester)
  • “St. Vincent de Paul society” clothes closet, at St. Ann’s Church (Holy Family parish) (70 Pleasant St., Gloucester)
  • “Past Present Shoppe” consignment store (30 Railroad Ave., Gloucester)
  • “Second Glance” thrift shop (2 Pond Rd., Gloucester)
  • “Bub’s Tool Consignment” (11 Pond Rd., Gloucester)
  • “Annisquam Exchange” (32 Leonard St., Annisquam)
  • “Thrift Shop” at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Rockport (4 Cleaves Street, Rockport)

Who would have thought we would have that many consignment, thrift, and antique stores in such a small area?  And I am sure I missed some!  As I mentioned before, please let me know what I am missing from the list.


I forgot to include some specialty 2nd-hand stores:

For books, there’s:

  • “Dogtown Book Shop”, all sorts of books “used and unusual” (132 Main St., Gloucester)

For music:

  • “Mystery Train Records”, which sells LP’s and CD’s (21 Main St., Gloucester)

For bicycles:

  • “Big Mike’s Bikes” sells new and used bikes (50 Maplewood, Gloucester) – Thanks to James Dowd for pointing that out!

Matthew Green

Cape Ann Auction this Tuesday June 4th 1 Lexington Ave. Magnolia, MA

walt kolenda

Walt Kolenda Auctioneer

There will be everything from art & antiques to household merchandise. The auction takes place at the Charles Jones Hall in Magnolia, at 1 Lexington ave. 6:00pm.  Preview from 4:00pm-6:00pm

For more details go to www.capeannauction.com

Reminder – Auction tonight- Magnolia Library

bottleWalt Kolenda has moved his auction up the street a bit! More space! Don’t miss out on tonight’s deals. Always a fast-paced good time.

See you there!

Tues. March 5th, 6pm (preview 4-6)

Charles Jones Hall  in the Magnolia Library

1 Lexington St, Magnolia/Gloucester MA 01930

It’s Time to Vote for Your Favorite! Here are the Submissions…

Here are the photos and stories are submitted to the I Love My Vintage ____  Contest. To those of you who submitted, thank you so much. I know everyone will enjoy your submissions as much as I have. Reading the entries has been a lot of fun; the stories behind why people love their old stuff range from funny to sweet to poignant to practical. Read on for the submissions to this year’s contest, and if you’re so inclined, please vote for your favorite over on Facebook. You can vote once an hour for multiple entries, so you can choose more than one favorite. The voting ends on Friday, February 22nd.

I ♥ My Vintage Stereo System

Vintage Love Contest: Sound SystemIn 1974 I was a newlywed 23 year old….I went to Sun TV in Columbus, Ohio to buy a new stereo system…. I REALLY wanted these Pioneer components, but they were priced FAR beyond my modest savings. Last year it dawned on me that (thanks to ebay and craigslist) I was now able to afford a state-of-the-art 1974 Pioneer stereo system…. and here is part of it (I also bought a Pioneer reel to reel recorder and cassette deck!!)…. I tell my wife that she is lucky that my mid life crisis involved stereo equipment rather than Corvettes (or younger women!!)

— Denis, St. Paris, Ohio

I ♥ My Vintage Photo Album

Vintage Love Contest: Old Photo AlbumI love my vintage photo album that belongs to my 88 year old mother. It has photos of her grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary – in 1934. Also, the Chicago World’s Fair which took place in 1933 and 1934 – A Century of Progress. The album contains tickets and season passes to the Chicago World’s Fair.

— Barbara, Gloucester, Massachusetts

I ♥ My Vintage Plate

Vintage Love Contest: Vintage Plate

This plate is my mom’s that I took when I moved out in my 20’s. Ever since I can remember, she’s always had that plate in her china cupboard and it was one of the first objects I remember associating with “home”. It’s my piece of home that I take with me wherever I move to and it’s totally one of my three items I would grab if there was a fire!

— Marjorie, Charleston, South Carolina


I ♥ My Vintage Scandinavian Cookware

Vintage Love Contest: Scandinavian CookwareI love my vintage Scandinavian cast iron cookware

— Heather, Rockport, Massachusetts

{Note from Sarah: Heather mentioned that the rectangular piece weighs over 20 pounds!}

I ♥ My Vintage Camper

Vintage Love Contest: CamperI love my 1986 Toyota Camper, (which is) not being built anymore. Custom, 20 feet long, 8 feet wide. Traveled all over and met fantastic people. Bought in Maine, original owner used for hunting and fishing…once a year. 16,000 original miles on it. Interior: mint, wood closets, gas heat and stove, microwave, small bathroom in the back corner, overhead — above driver’s cab — held antiques. I minimized possessions…dishes, food, clothing, blankets and towels, reading matter, CDs (CD player plugged into inverter), great speakers and wonderful curtains and matching striped upholstery. ‘Gaucho’ couch convertible to bed, swivel seats & console table for entertaining guests. Great gas — 16 miles to the gallon…went south, campgrounds, street parking, rest areas, woods and on the ocean: Atlantic and Pacific…Florida, cross-country to California…through mad snowstorm in 2006, Oklahoma, Texas, etc. Wish you were here! Elizabeth Enfield

— Elizabeth, Gloucester, Massachusetts

I ♥ My Vintage Painting

Vintage Love Contest: PaintingWhen I reached my teens, I could barely stand being in the same room as my father. I thought I knew it all and he didn’t. In my later years before he died, I never apologized for being a nasty little so-and-so, but I tried to hang out with him in the kitchen and learn from him, hoping my current actions might speak louder than previous actions. One day in 1993 I told him how much I liked the painting hanging in the entryway of my parents’ home and he took it off the wall and gave it to me, nasty little so-and-so notwithstanding. That example has taught me much about being a parent. So while I love this painting for its NE coastal subject (the artist hails from Lynn – 1864-1940 – and painted the coast up to Ogunquit), I love it more for the lessons it teaches and memories it conjures.

— Jane, Amesbury, Massachusetts

I ♥ My Vintage Oil Lamp

Vintage Love Contest: Old Oil LampThe Old Lamp: This lamp is a repurposed oil lamp designed to stay in use! I have had it since I started keeping my own house…a garage sale find. I can’t help but picture folks lighting it in the 1900’s with oil and flame whenever I turn the now electrified wick-feeder.

— Joanna, Xenia, Ohio


I ♥ My Vintage Sweater

Vintage Love Contest: 1960s sweaterThis hand knit wool sweater was my mom’s back in the 60’s! It’s the best- so cozy, warm, and cheerful! Mom had good taste in elementary school.

— Julia, Providence, Rhode Island

I ♥ My Vintage House

Vintage Love Contest: HouseI love my vintage house on Main Street in Mechanicsburg, Ohio. When my husband and I bought this home back in 1998, we thought we’d be here for 5 years. Now 14 years later, the house is finally on the market as we anticipate moving to the family homestead in the country. Through the years, we’ve taken off layers upon layers of wallpaper (yes, the bottom layers were quite vintage!) and transformed every square inch of this grand 1900’s bungalow to make it a wonderful home. In spite of the “old house” problems which still exist – crooked floors, cracked plaster and ancient wiring – this is our home and we love it.

— Amy, Mechanicsburg, Ohio

I ♥ My Christening Gown

Vintage Love Contest: Christening GownThis christening gown was made by my maternal grandmother back in 1953. My brother was the first one to wear it followed by my 3 other siblings and myself. Each of our children (10 grandchildren in all) have also worn it and my son was the last to wear it back in 2010. My hope is that my children’s children and their children will continue the tradition.

— Lori, West Fargo

I ♥ My Vintage Toy Horse

Vintage Love Contest: Toy HorseIt was tough to decide, but this little fellow always warms my heart. I discovered him on a dusty, high shelf in an Oregon antique shop, and I visited him many times before finally bringing him home. I love his beautiful, full gallop, and I’m sure his old steel & rubber wheels took some lucky children on some amazing adventures. I heart him.

— Scout, Gloucester, Massachusetts

I ♥ My Cookie Jar

Vintage Love Contest: Cookie JarIt was a wedding gift to my parents in 1954 from my father’s stepfather. His own father had died of tuberculosis a few months before he was born, and being extremely poor with 6 children to support, my grandmother didn’t take long to remarry. I don’t have a lot of memories of my step-grandfather since he died when I was about 4 years old. However, the one memory that stands out was from a short time before he passed away. He was very ill and lay on the sofa in the main room of the very small house. My parents had left us there for the day and my sisters and I were playing outside in front of the house. My grandmother had a hog she’d raised that was getting close to ready for butchering. The hog occasionally broke out of the small space where it was kept penned and was not in a friendly mood when it did so! When the hog got loose that day, my older sisters ran into the house. I stood paralyzed as I watched a large angry swine charge towards me. Then my very ill grandfather got up off the sofa, stepped out the door and pulled inside the house before the hog reached me. As for the cookie jar itself, I remember it in the kitchen in the home I grew up in. Even when cookies (usually store bought — Oreos! — occasionally homemade) weren’t in it, the smell still lingered. My parents eventually divorced in 1980 and my father remained in the house, with the cookie jar still in the kitchen. When he was cleaning things out a few years later, he asked if I wanted it and I gladly jumped at the chance to take it. It has followed me to different homes, different states, through a marriage and divorce and other relationships, and now, in my Gloucester home, it is still with me, sitting on my kitchen counter.

— Diana, Gloucester

I ♥ My Father’s Suitcase

Vintage Love Contest: Suitcase with Family LettersMy favorite vintage item is this old leather suitcase. It has obviously seen better days, having long lost its handle, covered in nicks and dents, and plastered with an old bumper sticker. However, it is what this suitcase represents, what it holds within, that I cherish. It spent many years, even decades, in my parent’s bedroom, tucked hidden away under my father’s side of the bed. It was a sad turn of events that finally brought this suitcase to my attention. I think that even my mother had forgotten about its existence. But my father never did, adding little things faithfully to it over the years. My father never spoke much. He was a quiet man, not apt for conversation unless it was about cars or motorcycles. But this suitcase speaks the volumes he never could, hiding away words and memories, holding the treasures of his heart. On a brisk November night in New York City, over three years ago, my father left us for heaven. It was 10 days before his 59th birthday. It was on the day that my son turned one year old. It was a day I will never forget. And now the suitcase holds even more significance for us all. Honestly, I have never seen what is inside. It was probably sometime last year when my mom called me, and I heard a small catch in her voice, a quiver. She had opened the suitcase and was pouring over its contents. Through tears and smiles she had re-read the love letters of long ago. He had saved every one. Letters from an era that no longer exists, that seems so far away now, but it was only the late 1960’s. There was no such thing as texting, and mom was only allowed to call him once a week. No computers, no cell phones, no email. And I am so glad, for all of this would have been lost. They met when they were teenagers. One of their favorite places was Word of Life in upstate New York (hence the bumper sticker), and that was where my mom met the Lord. Amazingly, that was where I met my husband many years later, as God brought us together in what many would term a serendipitous meeting, but we know better. This suitcase symbolizes even more than a love story. It symbolizes a promise made that was kept. A vow that was never broken. Till death do us part. I was there with my dad on his last night here with us. I watched as my mom, who had slept in a chair next to his hospital bedside for almost 8 weeks straight, tucked him into bed one last time, prayed with him, and faced her darkest fears as she laid her head next to his and waited. Waited for a miraculous healing that was not to be this side of heaven, waited for my dad to call out her name for help so she could attend to his every need, waited as the leukemia slowly took over the life we all knew. With tenderness and love she waited by his side, a picture of faithfulness until the end.

— Paula, Louisburg, North Carolina

I ♥ My Anchor Pin

Vintage Love Contest: Anchor PinMy grandmother, Doris Velma Driscoll, ( I just love her name), wore this pin during the summer months on her freshly ironed cotton blouse. She had so many pins! A pin for every occasion! My first memory of her was her bringing me to Salem Willows when I was probably 6 years old. This pin reminds me of her love for the beach—she taught me well!

— Karen, Gloucester

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