Today was a great day! We finally got to meet the very talented man, John Arford, whose boxes, carriers and benches we have carried for years. I know many of you have them in your homes because we have purchased a lot of them! This was the lead I told you about yesterday. Previously we have only purchased his items through other dealers but finally we were given information on his whereabouts and his personal phone number.
John and his wife Ada live on a farm outside a very small town in northern Kansas. They retired from farming several years ago and thought they were retiring! However, fans of John's woodworking and refinishing are not really willing to let that happen, us included!
This is the entrance to their one block town. A grain elevator is the prominent feature so you know it really is a farming community. . . . . . .it is so wonderful!
And here is downtown! One block is just about it! John has his stuff in the first little storefront on the left and then he has another space in one of the brick buildings on the right.
Now, we were warned and I must tell you that this is not John's fabulous stuff. This is where he stores all the stuff that will eventually become his wonderful pieces once he works his magic on them!
It was so fun to search through all his wonderful finds and imagine what they would become once he refinishes them.
We did however find a few things that were in pretty good shape and when he promised to share his refinishing secret with Joe, we grabbed that wonderful red circus stand and that great old red mirror! And Ada, his wife just happens to be a quilter and quilt collector so we were able to pick up a couple of cutter quilts from her stash!
That was just two of John's storage buildings. We are now all packed up and about to head out of this nice little town to a couple more places where there is more wonderful stuff for us to rummage through!
Wow! This was so much fun! That's John's truck in the lead and we are just following along. Wonder what we will find down this dirt road!
This was our first stop. It was John's parents' little old farm house and the place he was raised. Now he just uses it for storage for his treasures.
Oh my gosh, the possibilities I see here for some of John's workmanship.
Can you believe the stuff he has collected!
I seriously think he is planning to come back for several more lifetimes to refinish all this!
Once again we found a few things and with the promise of that refinishing secret, Joe agreed to a few more boxes!
Moving on to yet another location!
This old shed is on another property and is one of those overwhelming situations that we encounter occasionally!
We only had to move a few things to find some isle ways through!
I kept thinking, I wish we had of come here first when our trailer wasn't quite so full!
John gave us some great ideas for things to make so we decided to relieve him of some of his pending projects. I have a feeling our garage at home is going to start looking like some of his places!
Oh no, our trailer is full so we had to start piling stuff in John's truck. . . . . .I hope my expert packer has a plan!
On to the next stop, just enjoying the scenery as we go!
Across this field is John and Ada's home. Remember when we said how warm and welcoming midwest people are? Well, proven so true again today. Ada had a wonderful lunch prepared for us. A fabulous hot chicken casserole, hand picked morel mushrooms, yummy muffins and veggies! And best of all, great company and conversation!
Of course, after lunch we had to hit the basement for more stuff! Ada used to be a partner in an antique shop in a neighboring town so she has also gathered a fair amount of treasures!
And then on to basement number two where John has his workshop and keeps all his secret formulas! Joe was standing off to the side with a pencil and paper taking notes as John was so kindly sharing information. In front of him are a couple of works in progress.
Here is Ada with a few of the treasures we accumulated while we were at there house!
And here is a parting shot of two of the nicest people we have met in our travels. We can't thank them enough for their hospitality and we look forward to many more visits on future trips!
And as we head back down the road on our way home . . .one final picture of my favorite farm friends.
This will be our last post for this trip. We will be home by Friday and hopefully have most of our treasures in the store by next Wednesday. We will send out another e-mail to let you know when we will be making another trip so that you can start checking the blog again. I hope you all enjoyed traveling along with us. We will have put on over 3000 miles by the time we get home! WOW!