A week or so ago I took my camera and drove downtown, for the express purpose of taking photographs of old buildings.  I went at lunch time, something I seldom do, so that I could also visit the exhibits in the old Kimbrell’s building – they’re only open 11 AM to 2 PM or so.

It was an interesting expedition. I took photos of some buildings, then walked down the block and into the art exhibits, taking photos of the interior. I remember this building, back when it was a furniture store. Even before it was Kimbrell’s. It was Water’s Furniture and Funeral Parlor, although when I was little the funeral part had moved into its own premises down the street.

I especially remember shopping for furniture there as a newly wed in the early 60’s. I browsed several downtown stores, including this one.

It was full of displays, arranged so neatly and decoratively. Living rooms here. Dining rooms in the back. Bedroom suites and kitchen dinette sets upstairs, I think.

I loved that warm, comfortable and quiet open space. The unobtrusive salesman let me wander around to my heart’s content – “Give me a call if you need me,” he said with a friendly nod.

I loved that new furniture smell too, the smooth feel of the flowered chintzes, the nubby feel of woven fabrics, the gleam of the dark wood frames on sofas and armchairs.

Upstairs a variety of styles, patterns and room arrangements filled the eye, huge four posters, tall highboys, and somewhere up there the children’s bunk beds, cribs and rocking chairs.

I don’t think I bought anything on that trip, not finished with my browsing yet. I returned several times over the years, enjoying each visit.

I’m glad that old building still has life in it. I hope it will be useful for many  generations to come. It’s appropriate  to have the beautiful paintings, photographs and sculptures displayed in it, I think. They look right at home.

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