Buying Local Week 5
December 5, 2011
Someone asked me if I was running out of places to visit yet. Are you kidding?!? We are full steam ahead for Week #5 visiting antique dealers in several towns. If my other half (Person B) finds out I went antiquing again, it may be the final week of this column, though!
As a quick recap of our purpose here, the Wabaunsee County Economic Development Council is challenging residents to purchase Christmas gifts (one or more!) locally. Hence, the recurring column title “Buying Local”.
While there are certain types of presents you are not able to purchase from local merchants, there is a vast variety of gifts you may not even know exist here.
Each week, I’ll highlight a few local merchants to hopefully give you more shopping ideas (and save a few miles of that expensive gasoline). And, if you’re a local merchant and would like to be included, please contact me.
Did you know that the word Paxico actually means “Antiquer’s Paradise”? It is amazing what they aren’t teaching kids in school anymore.
Every antique store we visited has a life of its own. I am still in a daze after a day of drooling, I mean walking, from one store to the next.
One store had over 170 patterns of elegant and depression glass. If you did not inherit glass from a relative, I suggest you stock up before your company arrives this season. Everything you’ll need is there! If you are missing a piece to your own set, I believe they have the replacement.
Another location prided itself on advertising items (matches, programs, ads, postcards, etc.) from local towns. I found comic books, Longaberger baskets, and furniture pieces. We warmed up down the street next to wood burning stoves while taking a peek at jewelry, both old and new. I didn’t realize the amount of jewelry at many antique stores. Whether you enjoy costume jewelry, silver, or turquoise, we found it all at various shops.
I often preach to my loved ones about emergency preparedness, especially during the winter months. Oil lamps are a must at home! Several stores sold quality lamps and one even sold replacement parts. I am serious; if you don’t own one please go buy one. When the lights go out, how in the world will you finish that hand of pitch!?
One of my missions in life is to continue populating the walls of our home with antique furniture. A great benefit to antiques is often the stories that come with them. I urge you to find the wooden bowl in Paxico from a gas station in Oklahoma. When you find it, you’ll find a man with a passion for antiques and enough historical knowledge to fill the building he restored.
And, he is not alone. Every merchant we spoke with was passionate about their antiques and it was addictive! One explained it as being a steward of the furniture, not just the owner. Many antiques house generations of memories; they are handmade items representing the legacy of their creator, not a machine. Our dining room table was given to me by my grandparents. As I feed the men helping us work cattle, I oftentimes wonder how many decades of men helping with cattle or farm work ate around that table. The shop owner was correct; antiques do come with memories and I look forward to passing that on some day (the table and the memories).
Now, don’t forget about the antique stores in your town, too. I have long enjoyed stopping through the Antique Emporium in Alma. They have a great selection of kitchen serving pieces and linens – all great items to help you entertain this holiday season! Many of our local antique stores offer gift certificates, in case – like me – you have a hard time deciding on just one gift.
If you are making a day out of your Paxico trip, I encourage you to put a few additional items on your shopping list. For the bakers in your midst, there were cookbooks and a huge assortment of cookie cutters! I also found a host of other local products in town: pork patties, Paxico sausage, jams, jellies, and candies.
Likely the newest business in the county, Counstryside Feeds recently opened their doors in downtown Paxico. There was feed for nearly every farm animal, mineral, salt, and milk replacer. For some, that doesn’t sound like a typical Christmas gift. For others, it’s perfect! I know I have seen bird feeders for sale across the county. Well, Countryside Feeds sells the birdseed to fill the feeder! Stop in and check them out.
Next week, the hunt continues as we seek out more local Wabaunsee County merchants. Our scouting team consists of Bud Hund (Paxico), Ed Howe (Eskridge), Abby Amick (Alma) and this column’s writer. We look forward to hearing your comments, shopping suggestions, and sharing a taste of Wabaunsee County with you each week.
Businesses and brand names appearing in this publication are for product identification purposes only. No endorsement is intended, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned. For more Wabaunsee County information, visit the Extension Office (215 Kansas, Courthouse, Alma; firstname.lastname@example.org; 765-3821) or the Economic Development Office (3rd & Missouri, Alma; email@example.com; 765-4655). For Bluestem Breezes archives, check out wabaunsee.ksu.edu.