Browsing articles from "January, 2012"
Jan 6, 2012

Finding Hank

Quick story for you.

Once upon a time, I was driving somewhere with my parents. We were talking about something serious, and I promise I was paying attention, but then I felt a blip on my Vintage Furniture radar. “STOP THE CAR!” I said. “I must garbage pick!”

We were in my grandparents’ retirement village, and someone had thrown out (or, attempted to throw out), a green steel cabinet with a yellow Formica top. What is it with retirees and their lack of affection for a good piece of avocado green?

I have a very small kitchen. The former tenant called it her “Barbie kitchen”, which is a pretty fair description. I’m taller than the refrigerator and I’m considering adding an EasyBake Oven to double my baking space. I have three cabinets’ worth of counter space, so any extra surface area I can bring in is practically life-saving. So, into the van went the cabinet, or Hank, as I now know to call him.


Someone, I’m guessing an overly helpful son or daughter, forgot to check the inside of Hank before they lugged him out to the curb. (Or they used him as a garbage receptacle. We’ll never know.) The cabinet was chock full of ancient musical recordings. Yes, I am now the proud owner of several Johnny Mathis records and “Bing Sings” on 8-track.


There was also an old money box, which is how I know a little of Hank’s history. The money box is full of receipts from The Harvey Florist, a shop which probably closed before Harvey, Illinois gained the rough reputation is has now. From what I’ve gathered, Hank used to work in the flower shop and retired when his owners did.


Hank’s given name is actually Henry. He asked to go by that now that he’s a piece of kitchen furniture, and feels like he wants something more sophisticated, but I forget to call him that, and he forgets to answer to it when I do. You know how it is. Old habits, etc. etc.

I can’t have pets in my apartment. So I name my furniture. Stop judging me.

Now Hank (who, yes, has been throughly disinfected) serves as both my microwave stand and a place to keep my fancy glasses. And as, you know, anthropomorphized companionship.



What’s your most favorite free treasure you’ve picked up? Do you name your furniture? Are you judging me for garbage picking? Let’s not be silly, Hank needed rescuing.

*I named this post “Finding Hank” so that any cable television programmers reading would have an easier time adapting this into the heart warming made-for-TV movie about a too-busy career girl and the wise old cabinet who teaches her how to appreciate the simple things in life that it needs to be. In case you were wondering.