In the Corner of the Store

More shabby chic stuff today.  I’m still fightin’ this cold a bit and rather achy and space-headed (no comments from the peanut gallery!)

I remember when I was a kid that my sister and I would go down into the basement of my grandparent’s farmhouse.  There was a doorway down from inside the house and another from outside of the house.  It was the doorway from outside the house that always scared us…well, not the doorway per se, but the thought that some crazed serial killer could come in through that door (farm people back in those times always left their doors unlocked!), go down to the basement, hide behind some of the stuff that was there and just bide their time until my sister and I came down there and then we’d be, well, dead meat, quite literally.  It was rather terrifying to have to go down to the basement for grandma to get a home-made jar of green beans or corn.  We seldom would go alone, and even when we would go together, we’d be scared speechless.

There were times, though, when we would go down into a long, cement-floored room that ran the entire width of the house in order to play.  It was cool there and in the summertime it gets pretty hot and humid in Iowa.  The light would pour in through the basement windows which were along the top of the walls.  There was a damp, musty smell to the basement that in hindsight I would love to smell again.  It may not have been healthy (???) but I loved it.

In that room were all sorts of odds and ends: ladders, chairs, large metal milk buckets/cans, parts for the milk separator, etc.  It was a cornucopia of stuff for a kid to play with if we could get over our fear and go down there!

Perhaps that’s why I like scenes like the one in today’s picture which I shot in a store in Escalon, CA.  It reminds me a bit of that basement, that playroom…and if I’m not mistaken, I can faintly smell the room again.

_MG_5019ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1827, after a duel turned into an all-out brawl, Jim Bowie disemboweled a banker in Alexandria, Louisiana, with an early version of his famous Bowie knife. The actual inventor of the Bowie knife, however, was probably not Jim Bowie, but rather his equally belligerent brother, Rezin Bowie, who reportedly came up with the design after nearly being killed in a vicious knife fight.

The Bowie brothers engaged in more fights than the typical frontiersman of the day, but such violent duels were not uncommon events on the untamed margins of American civilization. In the early nineteenth century, most frontiersmen preferred knives to guns for fighting, and the Bowie knife quickly became one of the favorites. Rezin Bowie had invented such a nasty looking weapon that the mere sight of it probably discouraged many would-be robbers and attackers. Designs varied somewhat, but the typical Bowie knife sported a 9- to 15- inch blade sharpened only on one side for much of its length, though the curved tip was sharpened to a point on both sides. The double-edged tip made the knife an effective stabbing weapon, while the dull-edge combined with a brass hand guard allowed the user to slide a hand down over the blade as needed. The perfect knife for close-quarter fighting, the Bowie knife became the weapon of choice for many westerners before the reliable rapid-fire revolver took its place in the post-Civil War period.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  Here is a really strange one for you: During menstruation, the sensitivity of a woman’s middle finger is reduced.  (I’ll have to take their word on that one! – Galen)



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