June 2019–After settling Gathered & Good into the wonderful Easter Haus for several months, we began eyeing the interesting shed/garage tucked under the crepe myrtles at the back of the yard. Peeking inside the double doors, we found it to be filled with the usual “stuff” that accumulates over many years. What if, we wondered, our landlord would let us clean it out and convert it into display space?
So we asked Fred Petmecky, Jr. He was delighted to have someone dig through the piles that had grown over 60 years. Under his supervision, we hauled out every single piece. There were old cans of paint and oil, broken display stands, so so many tangles of plastic Christmas decorations and lights, and paper signs from forgotten parade floats. Under the dirt and dust we also uncovered a few gems. The best were two small file cabinets filled with writings and newspaper clippings of his father, Fred Petmecky, Sr., including his work on the original Easter Fires pageant (link). We found a box of handwritten letters that Fred, Jr., had written home from college in 1960, along with some old slides, and an arrow with a real flint arrowhead.
Anything of value we separated out and saved, and the rest was hauled off to thrift stores, recycling centers, and the landfill.
After that came a thorough cleaning. Aside from a few weathered boards, the shed’s structure was sound and the roof free of leaks. Leo and Phil, the “silent” partners, spent the good part of two days sweeping out every corner of cobwebs and mud dauber nests, then blowing out remaining dust, and finally fogging the whole structure to encourage any lingering pests to find new homes.
We had no intent of doing a total makeover or disturbing the original character of the building. Other than thorough cleaning, installing better lighting, and reinforcing the old garage-style doors,the rest of the building was left as we found it, complete with markings on the walls and stains on the concrete floor. Then the Gathered Shed was ready for stocking.
The doors were opened during our Gathered Outdoor Market over Memorial Day weekend. Delighted shoppers were drawn to the cozy structure, where they found chairs and tables, dressers, vintage metal toys, yard art, even a few chandeliers hung from the rafters.
Our intent is to use the Gathered Shed as a display space for items that don’t quite fit inside the shop. It also has a small covered area off of one side. We are working on cutting back the brush and converting that into another display area for outdoor goods.
On your next visit to Gathered & Good, be sure to allow time to wander out back and look through the new Gathered Shed. You never know what you might find… except a clean, quirky space filled with interesting discoveries!