“Seriously, part four?” I hear you screaming. “It’s the frickin’ Poconos already. How much more can there be?” Yeah, yeah, yeah. The correct answer is one more post after Part Four.
After our doily laden lunch, we trounced back into the rain to explore more of the moist mountain terrain. I had been begging to stop by Holley Ross Pottery since we’d seen the sign the previous evening on the way to The French Manor. It was not all that I had dreamed. Sadly, it was one of those factory type places where they import white ware from China or Taiwan and smack some gold leaf on it. Not to say it was entirely devoid of amusement, though.
They’ve got some weird shit in the Poconos, Dear Reader. I can’t begin to tell you how long I gazed at these bizarre animal themed pieces. Someone felt these were so beautiful that they should be mass produced? (Probably the same people that insist on distributing the horrors recorded by Rod Stewart.)
The weird animal nose theme continued as we moved throughout the store. I’m not sure why I was so tickled with the “Snouts Elephant Mug” but I couldn’t bring myself to set it back down. Rocco joined me and was quickly equally obsessed. Then he raised the snout to his face and I nearly knocked over an entire table of discounted Fiestaware laughing my fool head off. I understand that my mind is in the gutter. I understand that all intents of the manufacturer were pure and chaste. But Interwebz, that thing was just plain obscene.
Behind the building, we found a short hiking trail that wandered across a suspension bridge and down a sloping hill to a small pond. Hoping it would satisfy my hiking bug, Rocco trudged behind as I skipped across the mulch with wild abandon. The thick canopy of evergreens shaded us from the falling rain and I tried to ignore how very Forks-like the whole scene was. Between the mossy trunks and Rocco’s pallor, we could have totally passed for a lame TLC knock-off version of a vampire reality show. I’ve included a few of the forest snaps below for your viewing pleasure. Despite my pleadings, Rocco refused to climb a tree and look brooding while shouting, “As if you could outrun me!” in his pea coat. I tell you, I am so mistreated.
Being a Monday, quite a few of the antique shops were closed. Several times we pulled into the parking lot and sauntered through the lightly falling rain only to find the front door locked. Still, even the shops we couldn’t enter held some entertainment value. For example, outside of A Trunk in the Attic, I was delighted to find old bowling balls employed as lawn ornaments. They had lined the walkway with swirly three-holed happiness. I just love me some mountain people.
Rocco’s favorite “point of interest” was Callie’s Pretzel Factory. About Rocco and the pretzels…well, it’s just…odd. I think if Rocco had to choose only one item of food to consume for the rest of his life it would be pretzels. Or bacon. No really I think it would be pretzels. I’d ask just to be sure but a) he’s working and b) it’s my story so just roll with me here.
Not only were there free samples scattered all about (I actually caught him clapping tiny claps and jumping little jumps when he saw those bowls), but we were even able to watch the pretzel making process. I’ve never shared my husband’s penchant for pretzels, but even I swooned a little after sampling the Buttermilk Ranch variety. God Bless Ranch dressing.
After some more tooling about, we pulled up to a delightfully trashy shop called Mountain Home Antiques. I could tell by the piles of wrought iron fences on the ground and rusting lawn furniture lining the front porch that we’d found my kind of antique shop. I like-a the trash. We had a wonderful time rummaging through the wreckage outside the shop. I was completely entranced by a giant sphere composed solely of corroding hammer heads glistening in the rain. Here’s a close up of the hammer heads just in case you, too, are intrigued.
The real problems started INSIDE the store. There were the usual piles of duck decoys and old books, but I only had eyes for the tall wooden column standing in the middle of the room. It called to me, I tell you. I was beckoned. I was doomed.
It was an Edison Disc Phonograph from the 20’s. It was so exquisitely beautiful I physically ached to touch it. I did. That didn’t lessen my lust one bit.
I heaved a deep sigh and moved away. Shortly later the shop keeper asked if we’d seen his latest acquisition, dragging me back to my own personal siren. “I can’t, but it’s absolutely stunning,” I muttered as I tried to avoid looking at the shiny lacquer.
“She is a beaut!” he confirmed, “But watch this.” He opened the small door at the base of the cabinet and fished out a gallon sized ziploc bag. I breathed deeply, inhaling the musty released air as he pulled the shellac record from it’s sleeve. “She even works.”
He gingerly placed the record on the turntable and spun the crank several times. I held my breath as he gently lowered the needle arm. With my eyes closed, I absorbed the tinny echo of the recording. “Pretty nifty, eh?” the storekeeper prodded.
“You have no idea,” I thought to myself. My eyes popped open as I realized what I was actually considering doing. I tried to imagine the sounds coming from the internal horn was Rod Stewart’s painful caterwauling. “We have to leave,” I smiled at the shopkeeper. Turning to Rocco I continued, “RIGHT NOW.” As I sprinted out the front door, the owner taunted me with a 10% discount and free delivery to Hoboken. “DRIVE!” I shouted to Rocco as we speedily made our getaway.
Now I wonder if that phonograph was my James Garfield…