I don't have a preference when it comes to searching for a good story. I write a lot about estate sales, and it probably would be easier if I just stuck with a single classification. It doesn't always work out that way.
They had thrown down the gauntlet, in a very polite way.
Undaunted, I immediatly found a drop front desk that looked at least 50 years old. If you have read this blog or any of my Patch articles, you know that I am not shy about pulling out drawers from desks and dressers to see what might have been left behind.
But I didn't need to even do that with this desk, because already I could see a slice of old paper left in one of the slots. I called over the family member who had claimed I wouldn't find what I was looking for.
"What is this!? This is what I like to find." I teased as I unfolded the paper and spread it out gently on the desk to see that is was a bill from a Radio & TV repair shop in Middletown, CT. As a piece of TV history, this is a neat find. The bill denotes a repair on an RCA Console TV with the problem of "Fades away." The diagnosis seemed to be "Tubes loose in tuner." $3.50 later the problem was fixed, and one year later the first color compatible television was available for sale. "Fades Away" may have been a prophetic statement.
But there was more treasure than this inside the desk.
All the little cubbies and drawers in writing desks alway interest me. There are any number of things that can get lost in them. The first place I like to look it the thin slot between the cubbies and the desk surface.
Can you see that? Having a small L.E.D. light nearby is recommended so that the dark places give up their secrets. The secret here looked to me like a piece of jewelry. By removing the top drawer I thought I might get a better look from underneath.
I was right, and by now I had several family members and a few customers for an audience.
Despite pulling and pushing I found it was stuck pretty good. Not unlike a surgeon, I asked someone to "get me a coat hanger." I don't know too many surgeons that use coat hangers to operate, but this was a difficult operation in a battlefield situation. I had to improvise. In the end, this secretary finally gave birth to not one old watch, but two. Twins! (tho' non-identical)
Were they Rolex's? No. They almost never are, but what they were was exactly what I was looking for- a good story and a minor impromptu street performance with a happy ending.
Have you found anything hidden in a old desk?