Friday, November 9, 2012

Just like Dale and Roy

The other day I was upstairs visiting Kathy in her office, lamenting that I did not have fodder for my bi-weekly story. Kathy listened patiently, and then kindly redirected me to the trading post, "Where the stories come to you." I thanked her for listening and departed through the Internet office, needling Danny as I walked past his desk and clumped down the stairs into the store. As I arrived on the main floor, I noticed Steve sitting on the tall chair behind the cash register, surveying the graveled parking lot. "Take a look at that couple," he said pointing with his lips, "they are all duded-up." Straining my neck to see out the plate glass windows, I searched among the cars to see what he meant. From where I stood, all I could see were two people moving along the base of the porch. They were on their way in, so all I needed to do was wait and watch. I moved over by Steve anticipating their arrival. Just then the Kokopelli doors flung open and in walked the reincarnation of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Steve and I said "Howdy" at the same time and expected a "Howdy Y'all" in return. What we got was "Bonjour."
Mathilde and her man on her right

As we watched, the couple circled the store while the Toby Keith song "Should've Been A Cowboy" reverberated through my brain. The man was tall, lean and, as far as women might be concerned, good looking. He had short hair of a deep brown color, slicked back with Dippity Doo, gel or something similar. He had exaggerated, almost Elvis, sideburns, full eyebrows and big dark eyes. He wore a tan shirt form the 1930's with brown accents and cactus and sunset designs embroidered about the shoulders, arms and chest. On his narrow hips he had a brown stamped leather belt graced with an antique silver buckle set with blue glass stones on each of its four corners. The belt and buckle held up a stiff new pair of Wrangler jeans rolled up a good ten inches at the cuff. A pair of brown cowboy boots completed his outfit.

The attractive young woman was outfitted to a much higher standard than her man. Her neck length blond hair was pulled back in a tight ponytail and her bangs were doo'ed-up and flipped back in Cupie doll fashion. Intelligent and friendly brown eyes gazed upon us from a fair, clean, shiny complexion, her lips were full and painted ruby red. Antique silver earrings graced her ears. Steve and I had not met any real characters in a while and we figured we had an interesting story on the line, so we struck up a conversation, trying to learn their tale. The woman spoke English well, so it did not take long for us to learn that she had a passion for antique western clothing from the 1930s and '40s. She actually wore them each and every day, whether on vacation or not, and claimed she received much pleasure and good conversation from doing so. We discovered she had traded in a career in art/architecture for buying and selling antique clothing in her native France. I mentioned that my daughter McKale had also become enamored of the look and quality of vintage clothing when she discovered several dresses in the back of her grandmother Washburn's closet. We soon learned the woman's name was Mathilde and clothing was her life.

Mathilde showed off her outfit like a professional model. She wore a bright yellow western shirt embroidered with ruby red roses, green stems, black piping and snap buttons. Over the shirt was a gunmetal blue waistcoat. A pair of brown wool gabardine slacks with matching rose patterns and white piping graced her slender hips. On her feet was a pair of matching boots. Where Mathilde came up with a hand-made pair of vintage blue and yellow boots with rose accents one can only guess. Because he did not speak much English we never learned her beau's name or whether he really bought into the antique imagery thing or was just along for the ride, so to speak. It really didn't matter, because together, the couple was stylin'! Before the dynamic duo left, Mathilde found an old style silver belt buckle that fit her western belt. Her interest had once been focused on old Bakelite jewelry, but because Native American silver and turquoise went so well with western clothing styles, Mathilde was developing a strong interest in Southwestern wearable art. The buckle fit her requirements nicely, so she bought it. When we saw how nicely it displayed on her waist Steve and I whole-heartedly agreed with that assessment.

Life is never dull around Twin Rocks Trading Post. Without even trying, we stumble upon characters with ornate personalities. Often those who seem the most outrageous are the most fun and interesting to talk to. Mathilde and her sidekick were just that, fun and interesting. Mathilde quit a safe and lucrative job to follow her passion and live life in her preferred style. She was not afraid to express herself. I hope we can allow our children the confidence to search out and follow their dreams in order to discover a more fulfilling and fun-filled life. Thanks to Mathilde for helping us to see ourselves more clearly, and for giving me something to write about.

With warm regards,
Barry, Steve, Priscilla and Danny; 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!

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