Wednesday, August 25, 2010

an old store sign holder brings back memories

When I was a little girl my family and I lived in an itty-bitty farming community in Central California. There was a dairy down each country road, horses grazing in pastures and big red barns dotting the outstretched green landscape. Bales of hay lined up like tin soldiers waiting to be distributed to the fat black and white cows. I remember the smells of those dairies – kind of pungent, especially on a hot summer evening. My uncle had a dairy and it was my very favorite place to go. Us kids would entertain ourselves for hours-on-end playing hide-and-go-seek around the stacked hay bales and chase each other around the barn and over the fenced pastures. We would stay out as long as we could before the mosquitoes would start to attack us.

Going “up town” was always such a treat. Oftentimes mom would treat us to an ice cream cone at the corner hamburger stand. My favorite: “The Twist” – you know, the half vanilla, half chocolate soft serve ice-cream. So cool and frosty…..mmm. (note to self: I am going to get one of those today!). Sometimes I would change it up a bit and settle for a chocolate dipped soft serve. Hard chocolate over frosty vanilla ice cream – cracking into pieces with each bite. Delicious!

P1010116aMartino’s market was the go-to grocery store in town. I remember that the building had very high ceilings, brick walls, whirling black ceiling fans, a deli counter filled with fresh cut meats, pastry racks full of tempting treats, freshly made Portuguese sweet bread and an old black and white linoleum floor – PERFECT to play hopscotch on. This was also where I was at the day President Kennedy was assassinated. Mom and I had just driven up to the front of the store and the news flash came over the radio of our little yellow Rambler station wagon. Needless to say, we didn’t get to go inside the store that trip. Mom sat there and cried. I was only three, however I remember that moment very clearly.


Martino’s Market had hundreds of these old sign holders, too. When I saw this one at a flea market for $2.00 I snatched it up. Not only is it serendipitous, it has such a great look to it. Metal with a little rust…..perfection! I am also loving the contrast of the black frame against the white ironstone dishes.

So what do I want to put in the holder?

A picture?

A chalkboard?

Love notes?

I thought about using it to hold “what’s for dinner” – like a little menu board to stand on the counter, or table, when company comes for dinner.


So tell me, how would YOU use this piece?

I would LOVE to hear your ideas!!

See y’all next week! Till then, sending a ((hug)) to each and every one of you! Oh, and one more thing… Duhgall and Fiona want to remind you that a little nap now and then is good for the soul! *woof*


I am also participating in my first "White Wednesday" at Faded Charm blog. Stop over to visit and see all of the beautiful posts for today.


Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Good morning Becky...girl I have a holder just like that and got it years I need to remember where I put it ha ha!! Maybe out in the barn..I love soft cones dipped in chocolate they were so good but had to eat them real fast and then the brain freeze would hit me ha ha !! Hope your having a great day on your piece of Calif. Hope to meet you in Oct at the festival...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Thimbleanna said...

How wonderful Becky! I think a kitchen menu board would be just about the best use of that holder. I hope you'll show us when you're done!

Claudia said...

I love the idea of your menu for the day inserted in the sign... or you could leave little notes for your husband or the dogs...


Brenda@Cozy Little House said...

What gorgeous photos and descriptive narrative! What would I do? Since I'm not much in the cooking department, I'd probably put that sign holder out in my garden. I'd either train vines up it and/or put a sign in it of some kind. Like: "This way to the garden" or something along those lines.

Cathy~Mille Fleur said...

I love it...and your sweet story that goes along with it!

How 'bout a chalkboard with love notes written on it:)!


tramway tootie said...

I love things like this, too! An old, sepia-toned photo would look great in the sign holder. I look forward to your blog and am so disappointed when I check and there's not a new posting!
P.S. Not to be an English teacher, but I think you mean "bales" of hay. I always won the spelling bee in school :-)

tramway tootie said...

testing 1-2-3

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

What a wonderful story. I can see you scampering all over the farm.

I love your idea about a "menu" board. It is such a great piece.

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

...thank you for correcting my spelling, tramway tootie! ;)
i really appreciate all the help i can get! xo

marie said...

I love your memories and the words you use to share them...I could see it all. from the red barns and the fat cows to the kids playing hide and seek in the hay. Sounds like you had a lovely childhood.

We had a Diary Queen 2 blocks away - it was the first place I was allowed to walk to all by myself. The ice cream dipped in chocolate was my favorite ~ did you eat all the hard chocolate off first? I did!

My Martino's Market was called Randazzo's Market...they had those sign holders too! The one you found is great...a menu holder sounds like a neat idea but me, well I'd have to use it for grandbaby photos. There's a surprise!

Please tell Dughall and Fiona thanks for the reminder - it's a good one. I wonder if anyone in the office would notice if I closed my eyes for just a little while........

Have a joy-filled day Becky!

Teresa said...

Well my Sweet Dear!
Want my opinion?
I like it just like it is!
I wouldn't put anything in the middle!
I love it 'see~through'!
Snuggles to Fiona and Duhgall!
Wags from Doogan!
And love on Miss Socks from me!
Happy Day to you!
I can just see you playing at the dairy farm!
I too have memories of fun times at a dairy farm in Alabama!
Makes me so sad when I pass it now and it's all grown up with weeds.
Every time I pass I can just see it as it used to be!
Sad how it has to just get all covered up with weeds and brush.
And I LOVE those chocolate dipped soft~serve ice cream cones! Oh yeah!
Happy Week Sweetpea!

Dawn said...

Sweet memories Becky. I'd make a two sided sign for my kids: Kitchen Open and Kitchen CLOSED!

Kathleen Grace said...

What a great little item Becky, I have to agree with the others, a menu would be adorable:>)

Cherry Chick said...

Ahhhh...a wonderful post and beautiful pictures. I was thinking it might be fun to print out some favorite "quotes" for the day and share them with everyone in your new signage.

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

Oh, so sweet Becky. If you used a little twine, you could change the picture periodically. An old picture, ephemera (I posted on this word ;-))a chalkboard, or even a small wreath. You're going to have fun, and I'm sure whatever you decide on will look good.

Connie said...

I love the menu in the holder. Just be sure to include one that says "Kitchen Closed" ha ha

Elsie said...

Oh Becky you had a wonderful childhood like me. We lived in the
country too and we would walk up to
the little country store for bread and milk or a candy bar. Well when
I was 36yr. old the store was out
of business and the owners whom I had known all my life were moving
so I bought the showcase counter
that I had always bought candy etc.
over. I have all my vintage and antique toys in it as well as a lot
from my childhood. My dolls,bear,
clown (which my grandma gave me the
dollar to buy) and my baby dress,shoes,bracelet and a whole lot more. I also have bread,coke,Dr.Pepper,signs as well
as the
Jack's cookie jar we use to pay a
penny and get a big cookie.
I think you should put a picture of
you at the age you use to visit the
store. When I saw it I was thinking
picture before I read anything.
I was in 7th grade science class
when they announced over the intercom that President Kennedy
was killed. There was not a dry
eye in the place. ":O)

Kim said...

Your sign stand fits in so well with all of your pretty whites.

Virginia said...

I love the idea of a menu for the day inserted in the sign.

Rose Garden Romantic said...

What wonderful memories! Where in central CA did you live? My family has lived in small central CA towns for ages. I miss the small towns,landscapes and those great old barns of California so much. Love the old sign holder. Your doggies are the cutest! Oh, and my favorite is the chocolate/vanilla swirl- sounds SO good right now!

Busy As Can Be said...

Hello! What a great sign...I think I would use it frame an old piece of linen or embroidered dish towel.

Rebecca said...

I love the angle of your pictures and the picture of the boys in their winter coats is great!

My Shabby Roses said...

After reading your post Becky the first thing that came to my mind was finding a vintage ice cream cone picture. I'm sure whatever you decide to put in it will be wonderful. What a fun find! I loved swirl ice cream!!!

AntiqueChase said...

I loved the menu idea... I would probably have one side that said "The kitchen is open" and the reverse side that says "The kitchen is closed"... LOL

Maggie and Mitch said...

A swirlie cone! Mom gets those all the time and shares the vanilla part with us!
We like the idea of a blackboard.

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Amy said...

Hi Becky! I loved taking a trip with you down memory lane! What a wonderful place to growup! True Americana!! I would put a chalkboard in your frame. ~amy

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Your childhood story reminded me of mine on Grand Dads farm. Thanks for the memories. I love the idea of being able to change the sign whenever the mood strikes. Maybe a chalk board?
~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

Lallee said...

I loved hearing about your memories. It brought back to my mind Dairy Queen. The building was finished in black shiny tile, and it had a walk up window. Chocolate dipped vanilla for me please.

The sign holder is a great piece. I like your idea of a chalkboard!

You have a great week too! Let's chat sometime!


Dena said...

Good Morning Becky,

I loveyour idea of using that stand for a menu...I think that I would use it for that, or maybe find a cute tin sign that could slide in to it?

Catherine Holman said...

I love the chalkboard idea for your menu. What a steal!

AshTreeCottage said...

I love the idea of the "What's For Dinner" menu! We have a charming little neighborhood spot that serves soft swirl ice cream cones. It's decorated in a retro theme and the line goes around the corner on a summer evening. Ah for the sweet simple life!

Lots of love to you, Dughall and Fiona too,
Susan and Bentley

Sweet Vintage Home and Garden said...

I love your story...aaahhh reminds me of my summer vacations with my grandparents in Turlock Ca. It would be soooooo hot!!! We would make homemade ice cream, the fresh strawberries ssooo yummy. It seemed like hours as my brother and I would take turns cranking that ice cream machine. So well worth the effort though. As for your sign holder I would use it for love notes:)

Liz said...

Morning! I love the chalkboard idea...
Thanks for sharing your memories! My mom grew up on a dairy farm and has lots of great stories too! :)


Pink Roses and Teacups said...

Hi Becky! Thanks for the sweet memories of my childhod also! My grandparents owned a farm in Va. Thursdays we went into town (West Point) for grocery shopping, and we got to go to the Ben Franklin 5 & dime. Then to the drugstore soda fountain for root beet floats! I used to call the bales of hay....Hay cubes. they also had a cow, called Morning Glory. I loved her, but not the milk. I always asked for "store" milk not cow milk! I believed chocolate milk came from the black and white cows too! Ahhh, they were the good old days. I love your sign. I would put a chalkboard in for menu's, quotes, and whatever else. Very fun piece!


ChaChaneen said...

Lurve the sign holder!! Hmmmm, I'd use it for my tea parties and family parties. Maybe even have a little fun with it and make a chalk board sign out of it for fun messages!

Maryjane-The Beehive Cottage said...

What a wonderful post Becky! I love to hear times of the past! You made me hungry for a "Twist"...must have one to! Sounds like you had great times growing up and memories to cherish forever. I remember very well also where I was when I heard the news of President Kennedy. I think we all do.

Love you,

~Carrie from Cottage Cozy~ said...

I love the "What's for Dinner" idea...what fond memories of that era! I heard about the death of our President while at school in 3rd grade (I think)? We all cried and prayed together...led by out teacher!