Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Most Interesting Thing in the Store

Last week an attractive middle-aged woman came wondering into the trading post.  Having completed an exhaustive investigation of the merchandise, she asked, “What is the most interesting thing in the store?”  Although Barry and I have been asked many times to identify the most expensive item, this was a slightly new twist, one I thought might indicate a deeper understanding of our mission.  To let her know I was not taking the inquiry lightly, and was indeed giving it sufficient thought, I hesitated a few seconds, cocked my head to the right and scrunched my nose.

Although I considered answering in the typical way, by pointing out an Elsie Holiday basket set, something stopped me and I began thinking there might be a better response.  She had asked a subjective rather than objective question, and that gave me more options.  Carefully weighing the consequences of my reply, and deciding to proceed whatever they turned out to be, I said, “You.”  Barry gasped, obviously thinking I had either become even more infatuated with myself or just plain loco.  Not wanting to get dragged into the fray, Priscilla just smiled.  The woman seemed unaffected, apparently realizing I posed no imminent threat.

Instead of worrying that I was trying to pick her up, or that there was a page missing from my novel, the woman seemed to sense something more than blatant stupidity was at play.  Barry, having spent all too many years observing my ever increasing eccentricities, was not yet convinced that was the case.  Not wanting to make the woman uncomfortable, or take any more chances than absolutely necessary to make my point, I added, “While the art in this joint is fascinating, it is the people who make that art and the customers who buy it that most interest me.”  When she looked intrigued, I continued, “Like the old Coors beer commercial, it’s the people, and a lot more.  You remember the one, ‘It’s the water and a lot more.’”  She shook her head in acknowledgment.  Thinking the danger might be subsiding, Barry breathed an audible sigh of relief.

A day at Twin Rocks Trading Post is like a day at the Museum of Natural Humanity; there is no end to the display of people who enter and exit these Kokopelli doors.  The trading post is an ever evolving, interactive exhibit, every hour brings something new and interesting.  Barry and I don’t care whether they are red, yellow, black or white; tall or small; wide or narrow; beautiful or more beautiful, we love them all.  We are always excited to hear their stories.  Whether it is the basket makers with their creative juggernaut and endless familial and financial challenges, or the customers with their tales of exciting travel and adventure, Barry and I cannot disguise our enthusiasm and emotion.

There are times we think our hearts will break at the tales of spousal abuse, infidelity, alcoholism, accident and premature death.  There are also times when we think they will burst with pride when a student graduates, a healthy child is born or an extraordinary basket, rug or folk carving is brought in.

Correspondingly, we can talk for hours to visitors from Europe, the Americas, China, Japan and countless other places around the globe.  We have become adept at identifying regional dialects and can generally distinguish a person’s place of origin after only a few sentences.  Often we have heard so much about a particular location we feel we have already visited.

Barry and I explained all this to the woman, who began to feel genuinely comfortable with my initial comment.  As the discussion wound down, she thanked us for the conversation and turned to go.  Looking back as she exited the door, she gave me a sexy wink and said, “Olympia.”  Noting the confused and frightened look on my face, the woman explained, “It was Olympia, not Coors.”  Barry smirked, and Priscilla just smiled.

With warm regards,
Steve, Barry and The Team

Great New Items! This week's selection of Native American art!

Our TnT's purchased new treasures! Check out Traders in Training!

Enjoy artwork from our many collector friends in Living with the Art!

No comments: