Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Vermont Country Store: Stepping Out For Some Down Time

My grandfather made a lacquered red and black checkerboard with built-in trays for holding checkers after games. The checkers themselves were cross-sections taken from a wooden broom but they were so well painted and finished that they looked factory-made. The checker trays had thin painted wooden doors that would drag over the lacquer with a cool clacking sound. One side held the checkers in a 3x4 pattern, while the other stored them in a series of Xs.

From what I was told about the old days, they seemed grim, hard, and largely joyless. But having seen that checkerboard, and played a few games too, I realized that even back then all it took was a little set-up to find a time and place for a social game or two.

I watched the last vestiges of country stores in the area vanish in the 1970s, and always kept a fondness for reminders of the "olden days". This video of the Vermont Country store made me want to stop by and unwind for a while.

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