Conversation in an Antiques Store

I had a conversation on Saturday with a lady who owns a small antiques store here in Starkville. She was telling me about how some relatives of hers found a coffin in their attic when they bought the house. The conversation was precipitated by another customer’s question about a large, hinged box for sale that was coffin-shaped. He joked with her that it was a coffin and she deadpanned “yes” and then they both speculated it was probably a quilt storage box. Then I told her what Ann told me about Catherine Tucker Windham, the famous columnist in Alabama who kept a coffin in her house and had her assistant/yard man/friend promise that when she died he would wrap her in a Gee’s Bend quilt and place her in the coffin before the coroner arrived. She hadn’t heard of Windham and, at the time, I couldn’t think of her name, but it reminded the store owner of her relative who found a coffin in her attic. I asked, “how did someone get a coffin into an attic?” It’s the natural question, right? And she said that it wasn’t a full-sized coffin. Ominous. Then she said that they probably made it for someone and it was decided that it wouldn’t be used for that purpose.

The store was open on a Saturday, about the only time I can ever be a looky-loo, and she said it was the only Saturday she could remember that they opened. Usually they travel to Memphis on Saturdays to buy things at estate sales. I suppose there is an estate sale->antiques store circle of life for furniture and household items.

This particular antiques store is right across the street from the best pawn shop in town that has an amazing selection of guitars and musical equipment. I’ll have to tell you about the owner of the pawn shop some time.

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