The year was 2006 and I was on a brief visit to the States from Ghana. My daughter, Cass decided she wanted to show me Tacoma's 'old town' antique district. When we arrived on Broadway street, a parking space was not difficult to find. The weather was perfect for a pleasant day of strolling in and out of shops. We pondered over vintage dresses that would have looked superb on Cass, but the costs were prohibitive. The prices didn't stop us from dreaming of what they would look like if we did buy them.
"... you could wear this one for an evening out on the town...and that
one would be just excellent for a job interview....and of course, that
little number would do nicely for a romantic evening- which you are too
young to even think about at this time- so let's move on to the next
Almost to the end of our browsing we stepped
into an insignificant antique store. It looked almost like an old five
and dime store, although I'm not even sure what those looked like except
what I've seen on the movies. No one was around, and we gingerly made
our way down the aisle.
Suddenly a voice stopped us...."Is this your first time in here?" The voice came from behind the glass counter. Up popped a friendly lady munching on something. She was trying to look like she
wasn't munching, but I could tell her jaws were definitely moving in a
'munching' motion. Flicking some crumbs off her chin she continued,
"Well if this is your first time, you have to make sure to see the other
I instinctively looked up.
"No, the levels are down below"
Cass looked down at the floor. The lady motioned towards the back of the store, "The stairs are back there."
We thanked her and walked towards the back of the store and sure enough
there was the staircase. For some reason it made us giggle...and giggle
is what we did for most of our journey down into the soul of the building. I
think it was just the excitement of having found such a treasure!!
walked down an incline on what must have been a loading dock of some sort in days gone by. Along the way there was shop after shop- all very well decorated and cozy. We ended up on a floor
that was dazzling in its day. We walked past furniture that should be
sitting in a King's palace, and yet here it sat all dusty and worn. I
couldn't help thinking of all the stories these pieces of furniture
could tell me if they could only speak.
On the third floor down, the real treasure was hidden. A most
glorious and spectacular library...not a big library...mind you...but
such a masterpiece of one. It was like a dream come true. A tacky little
sign with arrows pointing in opposite directions was attached to the
middle of the bookshelves: "Ten dollars for all books this direction,
Fifteen dollars for books this direction" (or something to that effect).
We didn't want to leave this glorious discovery, but could see that time
was escaping us. When we emerged into the sunshine, we couldn't stop
commenting on what a wonderful experience that had been.
decided that we needed to buy something...just a token item....to
remember this most wonderful day. We went into a few remaining shops-
now all appearing so 'normal.' The last shop we entered had the tea cup
we knew we must buy ...."$10"....a good price for a
very pretty tea cup with a saucer....we both agreed this was the right
purchase to be made. Now every time I see the tea cup perched on my counter, I can't help but smile at the memory of a hidden treasure.
* The delicious treasure is found in the bowels of Sanford and Son in Tacoma. If you are ever in town, don't forget to visit them, you will not regret your time there.
** all pictures courtesy of Sanford and Son Facebook page.
*** Don't just take my word for it, see the great reviews on Yelp
**** picture of THE tea cup added on request of Rama