The Legacy of an Antique

I’m not very big into antiques. In fact, I think I don’t much care for them at all. I’ve stopped at antique stores before, and browsed through the old roll-top desks and the antique china cabinets. I’ve seen the old grandfather clocks and the coffee tables that were built back in the early nineteenth century. And I do a whole lot of yawning, but not much else. That stuff just doesn’t do it for me. But I got a phone call yesterday that changed everything.

Well, not everything. That’s just a cool way to close the opening paragraph of a column. It changed something though. My grandmother called, you see. And she’s the last living grandparent I have. She happens to be my dad’s mother. Happens to be. I mean, I guess she happened to be the one to marry my dad’s dad and thus, happened to end up becoming my dad’s mother. Funny how that happens. She actually didn’t even call me. She called my dad. And she had something she wanted to pass down.

I’m a writer, you see. I like to write words and sentences and sometimes even paragraphs. And I love to sit at my desk and drink coffee or scotch while I’m writing these words. My desk is one of my favorite places in the house. Think about it. When you’re reading a good book, you tend to get sucked up into the story, and taken away to another place and time. Well, the same is true for writing. When I have my Beats on (those are really expensive writers’ headphones) and I’m in the groove, I find myself taken away to that other place. That place within the very story I’m writing. I become a part of it, interacting with the characters and making history. And the future. Well, the present too, if you want to get technical. So you can see how a desk – when used as an implement to facilitate your writing craft – can be a very important piece of furniture. One might say it has ‘teleportationalistical’ properties.

So back to that call. My grandmother called my father and told him she was finally ready to get rid of William’s Desk. William was my grandfather. My dad’s dad. Spacey Senior. The Ole Gunslinger. And since my grandmother is beginning to lose her sight now, she no longer needs The Desk like she once did. Now she can use any old desk. These are her words, not mine. She’s ninety-five now, and beginning to find ways to start getting rid of the things she doesn’t need. She’s on the back nine, one might say. She only has a few more decades in her at best. She’s a smart woman. But this Desk is a family heirloom. It’s a piece of Spacey history, one might say. One might say I’ve been saying “one might say” a whole lot in this here column.

Well, my father doesn’t need it. And he knows I’m a writer. I think I told him one time that I write a book occasionally. So he immediately called me and told me The Desk was finally coming home. To our home. Well, my home. I don’t live with my father. He knows that I know how special and sacred this piece of furniture is. Because you see, my grandfather owned it for a long, long time. Some sixty-plus years. And his father before him. And you know what? His grandfather hand-crafted it way back in the middle of the nineteenth century! Yes! Can you believe that? He handcrafted this Desk around the time Lincoln was running for president.

So we ran down to south Texas yesterday and picked up the antique Desk. My dad and I actually went all out to protect the Desk to the best of our ability – from the elements and travel alike. We rented a bunch of packing blankets and foam and strapped it down in the bed of his pickup, then covered the whole thing with a water-proof tarpaulin to be sure no rain would reach it. And I’m happy to say, friends, The Desk is now standing proudly in my master bedroom.

My wife and I spent several hours waxing it down with the finest wood oils and protectants. We polished it up and buffed it with an electric buffer we rented from Lowe’s, then let it stand by a space heater overnight to acclimate the wood to its new environment. And now I’m really proud to say, I’m writing this column while sitting at my new Desk. The Desk. The Desk that is over one hundred sixty years old. It’s the most beautiful piece of furniture I’ve ever seen. I actually get teary-eyed when I look at it. I’m so proud to have it. Now I will show you pictures so you can gaze upon its beauty and magnificence.

The first image is the full Desk. The second is a closeup so you can see the sheen and beauty of the 160-year-old wood. My wife and I did an amazing job shining it up, if I might say so myself. Behold, my friends, The Desk.


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