Saturday, November 21, 2015

11-21-15 Autumn

11-21-15 The Shops

The first shop... 

This is the first shop that I remember. I was about 3 years old when my parents were working out of this one. Their bay was halfway down this hill. It seemed much bigger when I was little. 

Memories from this shop- 
1- My sister and I used to fill buckets up with water and sprinkle water on the ground wherever we thought my dad might possibly walk. We thought it would be funny if he slipped and fell. Apparently we watched too much slapstick. 
2- I accidentally left my absolutely favorite Raggedy Ann and Andy blankie there one day and my dad used it as a rag. I found it in a 5 gallon drum of stain a few days later. I thought my world was ending. 
3- At one point my dad attached a swing to the rafters. This was the most awesome thing ever!
4- I'm pretty sure that this is the shop wherein my parents decided to get a shop cat to help control the vermin population. We got a kitten and my dad named him Ditzler (after a paint company.) He stayed at the shop until his first vet visit. After that, we got so attached to him that we begged to keep him home. Ditzy died two weeks after I moved to NYC for college.
5- There was a business a few shops up that had a lobster tank in their office (I have no idea why. That doesn't even make sense!) Sometimes my mom would walk us up there so that we could watch the lobsters. (I wonder if it was a fish tank and in my kid head it was lobsters. I will have to ask her.)  

The shop with the dumpster

This shop has had a facelift since we were there. 

Memories from this shop- 
1- There used to be more to the loading dock and there was a large green dumpster out front. We played on, around, and in that thing for hours.
2- We would race around the building. From my kid eyes, this place was huge. It took a lot of courage to go around by myself. I ran as fast as my little legs would carry me. 

The shop with the yard
This shop was one of our favorites because it actually had a yard. 

Memories from this shop-
1- My dad finally got his shop cat. He was a huge massive Tabby cat named Higgins. Higgins lived at the shop, and each morning when they opened the door he would shoot out across the yard and climb one of those trees. Moments later he would come back down and go inside. One night he got into a fight with something out back and got infected with something. He came to live at home with us for a bit but he never quite recovered. He got put down not long after that. 
2- Behind the garage door there was a ramp into the shop. My sister and I would each get on a dolly at the top of the ramp and when the door was open we would race as quickly as we could down the hill and into the parking lot. That game entertained us for hours. 
3- This shop was the first one to have a forklift. My sister would climb to the top of it and read for hours and hours. That always made me sad because then I had to entertain myself. 
4- This shop was within walking distance of a McDonalds and we went there often. Back then McDonalds served pizza for a time.
5- One day when I was eight, we were pulling into the parking lot as my dad was coming out the shop door. He seemed very upset. That was day I learned that my grandmother had passed away. 
6- My mom took us to a local pet store and let me pick out a rabbit. I named him Pepper. One day he was running around our kitchen and apparently got under the counter where there was rat poison that we didn't know about. He died shortly thereafter. 
7- My parents had a secretary that worked there. Sometimes she would babysit us at her house. It was incredibly boring, though she did have a small organ and an extensive collection of nutcrackers. 
8- My dad drove a Lincoln Mark iii. This is where he did his own custom paint job on the car. It looked awesome. Unfortunately a few weeks after it was finished he hit a herd of deer. Yes, a whole herd. 
9- There was a restaurant nearby that my parents often went to. It was called Domino. (Not the pizza shop.) From what I understand, it was destroyed by the tornado that ripped through College Park years later. 

Domino Restaurant

The shop that was shared
My parents rented a portion of this building from a larger woodworking company. 

Memories from this shop-
1- The office was in the basement and was kind of cramped. 
2- The secretary from the other company brought her yippy dog to work with her and he would hide under her desk. 
3- This was not a 'friendly' area so we were never allowed to play outside. 
4- My parents weren't here long. 

The shop I remember the most
This was the last shop my parents had before they moved out of state. Their bay was down the hill to the left in the corner. They were at this shop the longest, and most of my shop memories are from here. 

Memories from this shop- 
1- They rented out a small portion of their shop to an older greek gentleman that never wore a shirt. He made me mildly uncomfortable because of his thick accent and, well, lack of shirt. He grew fig trees out back, so every once in a while we would get to eat fresh figs right off the tree. 
2- My sister found a kitten in the parking lot and brought her home. She named her Pie. Eventually Pie went to live with a family from our church who renamed her 'Cuddles,' I think. Cuddles passed away a few years ago. 
3- I started earning money working at this shop. I did sanding, cleaning, and answering phones. 
4- I read a ton of Boxcar Children books in the office. 
5- My dad had an autographed photo of G. Gordon Liddy on the office window. I have no idea why I remember that. 
6. The business right next to them was a carpet company. They would roll out carpets in the parking lot, making it impossible to get in and out. 
7. This shop had a little kitchen, which also had a shower in it. During the Great Ice Storm of '94, the shop got power back before the house, so we would drive up to the shop to shower and be warm. 
8. Toward the end, my parents had expanded into several more bays in this building. The shop was huge!
9. My parents left this shop in 2003. I miss it. 

After doing this little exercise, I was really fascinated by what I was able to remember of each place. It is funny how your mind can store up seemingly unnecessary information (note G. Gordon Liddy), but how those inconsequential memories work to populate a place you once knew.