6"X6" Oil on hardboard
On a recent trip to nowhere, just combing the back roads of Ohio looking for treasure, I see a cardboard sign stuck in the dirt that says “Antiquities.” I pull the car up on the gravel parking lot thinking I’ve found the Smithsonian. Out on the lawn there is rusty used to be something everywhere. I can’t wait to see what’s in this place. I’m not disappointed. In the main building which I guess was someone’s home long ago I am greeted by an entryway of chains, old rusted tools, pulleys and horse bridles. So many things I can hardly take it in. But oh, I have only begun. I make a left, and there is a glass case filled with coins and other valuables, behind and behind the counter an array of old musical instruments. There is an area devoted to Armed Forces memorabilia (I think why are there service metals here? Could it be no one in that soldier or sailors family thought to keep them?) On the way to a room filled with every conceivable glass from Coke to Corning, I pass a machine you put a nickel into and view pictures. Looking up I see a few paintings, but I don’t recognize the artists and Google doesn’t either so I move on. This time I enter a room with lots of boxes filled with door knobs and a door with old hats just hanging out. I photograph the door thinking it could be a painting someday. More rooms, small figurines, kitchen gadgets but now I have to escape. More customers, no one can move around so I head to the barn in the back of the house. I feel like I’m on an episode of pickers, but then I think the pickers have already been here. I do see more incredible trappings of the past; chairs, suitcases, books, wooden spools. I take a few pictures and head outside again. Just about finished poking around (but not too much, lots of bees) and then I see it. There’s the painting. Bright berries, reflected in a piece of sheet metal, which at first I thought was a puddle of water. They were everywhere, the junk didn’t matter to them, they just grew around it. I loved the colorful berries against the rust and ruin.
Note to self: Bring a nickel next time!