Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What happened to the whistlers of this world?

I was getting gas recently and a man was walking in front of me whistling an old tune.  I remember my grandpa always whistled.  My father in law used to whistle too.  I wondered, "Is it a thing from the depression era?"  Do only old men whistle anymore?  Even the old wolf whistle when a guy saw a cute girl has been replaced with texting and IM chats.  I miss the whistling.  We need more whistlers in the world.  I started thinking about how maybe they did it during the depression as a way to shake the blues... Thus the reason for the song Whistle While You Work, which was written in 1937 during the depression era.  Maybe whistling was our grandparents and great grandparents form of old time Prozac.  My Auntie Anne (who is 95 and still kicking) says they never noticed what they didn't have, because everyone was poor.  But you took care of what you did have.  You made it last through many hands.  An old dress that was too small became a new dress to a younger sibling.  People were creative and decorated their homes with simple things made from dumpster finds and scrap wood and chicken wire, and called it a pie safe or a cupboard.  All this LONG before the Shabby Chic and Flea Market Style or Country Home trends became popular.

 I like simple things.  I got rid of most of my furniture when I moved, and now I am having fun scrounging flea markets and antique stores and thrift stores and garage sales for the perfect pieces that will make my new house feel like a home.  I have looked at the furniture stores which are a dime a dozen down here, but I never get the thrill in those commercial showrooms like I do in a junk or antique store.  I found a cool place, Old Town Orange in the city of Orange has a BUNCH of antique stores, and they have flea markets in many of the cities around here every weekend.  I am in Junkers Heaven right now...  I found these items at some local thrift stores and I am going back for some of them today.  I love the patina and rusty peeling paint, I love the old hand carved wood, and the craftsmanship of old things.  I think, like all old soul people, I tend to gravitate toward things with a history, that had meaning for some depression era lady or gentleman.  It survived with them through hard times.  It was used, and loved, and taken care of until some future generation decided they no longer wanted that old thing.  Then I come along, and it is there, for sale in a place that I would find it, in the exact moment that I was looking for exactly that thing.... and I am in love with it as much as the person who owned it before.  I take it home, feeling the thrill of another fabulous find... and as I load it in my car.... I hear whistling in my mind...

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