Landrum Wanderings: “Is it bigger than a bread box?”

Published 3:39 pm Monday, October 9, 2017

If you’re an ‘old-timer’ here, you might remember driving down the Asheville Highway to Gramling and stopping at the Wingo Service Station. You could fill your car with gas, purchase a coke and candy, and take time for a game of horseshoes, if you weren’t in a hurry. Oh, the ‘good ol’ days’!

You might not recognize the building today. Angie Coggins and her husband, Tommy, discovered the old building when Angie was looking for a location for her antique shop, Remember This. They filled in the doors to the former bays with wood, cleaned up the interior, added an attractive sign along with an old wringer washer to catch your attention as you go whizzing by. I suggest you slow down next time, pull in, and prepare for memories of days gone by.

I often find myself wandering through a big antique mall and wondering what it is I’m looking at as I go booth to booth. These days, small antique shops with the owner present, able to share stories about the vintage items, are a rarity. Angie has created this type of shop, that I often visited many years ago.

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She and her assistant, Michelle Jessup, are there to welcome you and answer questions. “I know the story behind everything in my shop,” Angie assures me. “Some things are on consignment but I can help with those also. And I do carry a few new items for the ‘non-antique’ shopper, Charleston Tea, jewelry some vintage and some new, hobo bags, things like that.”

Are you old enough to remember breadboxes? Was it “What’s My Line” where they would ask “Is it bigger than a bread box?” A large, hand painted breadbox is perched on a shelf. I wonder when and why we stopped using breadboxes? This one would be perfect in a vintage decorated kitchen.

Bread box

Angie leads me into a room that would have been the former repair garage. “Look up there,” she points. “It’s what left of the old sign that read Wingo Service Station. We salvaged all that we could,” she says proudly.

As I wander through the shop, I see a display of old kitchen tools. I still have a potato masher like one she has hanging. And does anyone still use a flour sifter when baking? I’ve been looking for a small strainer to strain lemon juice, and I find one exactly like my mother used.

“I’ll be buying this,” I smile and hand to Angie. “It’s exactly what I’ve been trying to find.” I’ve learned that if you’re searching for kitchen gadgets from your childhood, like rolling pins, an antique shop is the place to go. Some old-style milk bottles cover one table.

A Disney Ferris wheel catches my eye. Mickey mouse, Donald Duck and other Disney characters adorn each passenger car. Have your grandchildren enjoyed a recent trip to Disney World? This would be a fun surprise Christmas morning.

I examine a handsome chest with cupboard doors at the top part of the cabinet. Opening the doors, I discover three interior, pull out drawers. Two larger drawers sit below the cupboard section.

Have you been searching for a Victorian sofa in perfect condition and newly upholstered? You will find what you’re looking for at Angie’s shop.

I remark on a set of turquoise dishes that I recognize from the ‘60s. Angie explains, “These were put in storage in 1969. They were all wrapped up in newspaper and the papers were dated 1969. They hadn’t been taken out of storage since. The paper was brown and crumbly but the dishes are perfect. I don’t think they’ve ever been used.” Again, I think of the trend today for vintage kitchens and know these would be the perfect china set.

The main room features an inviting fireplace. “It’s electric. We added it,” Angie tells me. “But it does give off a lot of heat. On a cool day it feels good to come in here and get warmed up.” She shows me a cover on the wall where a pot bellied stovepipe originally provided warmth.”

I inquire about some interesting miniature pictures in gilt frames, a series of bunnies and a series of dogs. I ask Angie about them and she shows me a label on the back of the dog pictures that reads H. Hal-Chicago-Kramer-Collection. After checking the name out on the Internet, I learn that the H. Hal Kramer Company was established in 1963. They produced exquisite and unique, antiqued, miniature wall decor and accessories. What an exquisite Christmas gift if there’s a dog lover on your list!

“My husband was an electrician and when he retired, he took over home schooling our 15-year-old son, Adam. Now it was my time to realize my dream of an antique shop. They’re both history lovers and I feel like I’m saving history by giving these pieces from the past another life,” she says wistfully. “And sometimes things come full circle. I started collecting a certain pattern of fine china when I was 18. I’d find a piece here and there. When my husband’s aunt passed away, she left me his grandmother’s china. I was thrilled when I saw that it was the same pattern that I’d spent years collecting. Then a friend of mine told me about an old book called ‘The Wingo’s and The Coggins.’ We found a copy and learned we were distant cousins. And here we are in the old Wingo Station. It’s the circle of life”

Remember This is located at 14989 Asheville Highway, Gramling. You can reach Angie at 864-431-7145. If you’re an antique lover, make it a day. Buffy’s Timeless Treasures is located across the street. The two stores will fill your afternoon with treasure hunting.