Thursday, April 08, 2010

More on Doors

Donna’s comment on shops that had screen doors back in the day brought on some more memories of how stores operated when I was a kid. Many of the shops I went into had heavy wooden screen doors that had a layer of half inch hardware cloth over the screens. Doors that saw that much action needed the extra protection to prevent the fragile screens from being knocked out or ripped on a daily basis.

It was in the 60s that store fronts started migrating to metal framed windows and metal framed doors with a full panel of tempered glass. Even as a kid I didn’t like this transition much at all. I’d much rather enter a shop with an old wooden door than one with a heavy metal and glass door. The metal doors have handles that are cold and impersonal to the touch. Though wooden doors often have metal door knobs, they are very personal and historic.

Every time I enter a store like Utzinger’s Hardware, with doors like the photo above, I feel myself going back in time. I can feel the presence of the tens of thousands of people that have entered that store through that old wooden door over the decades. They come with a problem that Grover and his staff was able to solve with a simple tool or device. Yes, there are items that are sold there that are wiz-bang-golly-gee-plastic modern things, but much of the inventory is ageless and timeless as are the displays. If you don’t see what you need, you can bet it’s there in a drawer somewhere. This isn’t the case with most hardware stores with metal doors. If you don’t see it they don’t have it.

The Olney General Store has a grand old door and a nice old screen door. Though the displays and the refrigeration is up to modern code, this place still has a lot of old charm, and a lot of that charm comes to you as you enter through the big wooden door or through the screen door in the summer.

It seems to me that a shop with a wooden door has a living history and shops that have metal doors have a history that ended when they remodeled.


Blogger darev2005 said...

Those old wooden doors, the few that are left, remind me of old old places with stone steps that are worn down ever so slightly. You just have to stop and wonder.... how many people have passed this way to wear down the stone like that? You look at those old doors and the scratches and wear marks and you wonder how many times would you have to rub your hand on that spot there to wear down the wood like that? Lots of history.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Guy said...

Darev, don't go spoiling my post for tomorrow ; )

8:01 AM  

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