The town we live near is so small it's only three blocks long. In one of the old commercial buildings that line the street sits my favorite antique shop. The lower floors are well organized and nicely displayed. The upstairs has a bunch of stuff just piled everywhere. I think the hunt is part of why I like it so much.
This isn't a high traffic antique store, but there's always something new. I found this scrappy 1800s hand pieced quilt top yesterday. It's in remarkable condition and you wouldn't even believe how little I paid for it. I have big plans to finish it. By hand. You should check back in a couple of years and see if I have it done.
But it's not the quilt that I wanted to tell you about. Nope. It's the proprietor of that fine shop. Lenard is in his nineties but he runs a tight ship. He can and will tell you every thing you ever wanted to know about any piece in the store and a lot more you could have lived without. He can also tell you more than you wanted to know about this small town and all those living near it. He's a real character.
Lenard expects you to bargain with him. He'll ask you what the price is, his eyes aren't what they used to be. You tell him and then he tells you what he'll take for it. If that's acceptable to you he then hands you the receipt book so you can write your own receipt. Then if you can't figure out the tax, he'll hand you a calculator. All the while bending your ear with some tall tale. If you pay in cash and need change you'd best not be in a hurry. I usually just tell him to keep the change.
After living in a city for a few years where people barely make eye contact, it's nice to come back to small town life. If all the world could be a small town, it would be a better place.