Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Leaving my mark in a Hastings antique shop October 31, 2012

I’VE NEVER INKED my name onto a desktop, never etched my name into a picnic table nor my initials into the bark of a tree.

But I left my mark recently in a Hastings antique shop, because, well, I could.

I stood before the vintage Smith-Corona Floating Shift typewriter in The Emporium and pounded out this message: Minnesota Prairie Roots was here. Clack, clack, clack, clack… Twenty-nine times.

The message I left at The Emporium.

And I didn’t even make a typo, but felt a surge of Lutheran guilt at my self-centered promotion of my blog.

“Who would read this?” I wondered. “A customer? Management?”

Then, in an automatic reflex, I pulled my Canon EOS 20D camera to my eye and photographed the evidence. I would not make a good graffiti vandal.

However, from an artistic perspective, I fell in love with the photo—the simplicity of the image with its strong lines, its fuzzy quality (who says sharp focus is always best in photos?), its artsy quality and the red bands of ribbon and of words.

The gracious Emporium staff allowed me to photograph them.

So as to redeem myself for my self-indulgent infraction, I photographed the staff at the counter—they had no idea what I had typed onto that sheet of paper.

And just to make sure I’ve totally redeemed myself, I’m showing you several pieces of merchandise which particularly caught my eye on the second floor of this spacious, lovely and historic building.

Just loved this Fire King piece and this fruit. Should have bought it.

Artsy and lovely and beautiful.

I have no idea of the identity of this flaming orange-haired woman. I could think only of Cruella de Vil dressed for Halloween.

FYI: Click here to learn more about The Emporium, 213 East Second Street, Hastings, Minnesota.

The lovely architecture of The Emporium.

CLICK HERE TO READ a previous post from the Mississippi River town of Hastings, Minnesota, which brims with antique shops in its historic downtown.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


12 Responses to “Leaving my mark in a Hastings antique shop”

  1. Love It – Priceless!!! Have a Happy Halloween:)

  2. Jackie Says:

    I cant believe you left your mark on that typewriter…..how could you???? You know I’m kidding, I would have done the same. It’s been sooooooo long since I have pushed one of those keys down, oh those were the days 🙂
    Love the texture of that “creepy lady’s” face, very cool!

  3. treadlemusic Says:

    Those typewriters bring back a flood of memories! I/we just got rid of one that had been in my sewing room (why????) for years. Had been the one I taught myself to type on back in grade school. The little black piece of glass on the side was broken and one of the letters stuck a bit but otherwise in great condition…..a Royal brand. Took me tons of time to transition to an electric version because on those a mere ‘tap’ of the finger produced the letter but on the Royal….well, you know!!!!!! Had a lot of multiples!!!! LOL!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I have the exact same memories. I remember buying myself a portable typewriter from Sears before leaving for college. I sold it long ago at a garage sale.

      Oh, you should have kept the old manual typewriter. But, I know, you cannot keep everything. I’ve seen typewriter keys repurposed into jewelry and would love to have such a piece of wearable art. My mom still has her old manual stashed in the basement. Hmmmm. There’s a thought.

      • treadlemusic Says:

        This sewing room cleaning was a mandatory endeavor, as my new machine was on its way. I told myself I was NOT going to shuffle anything to one of the out buildings (as has been the habit of many on our place!). I hope that whoever ends up with it has fun and the $$ given for it (sent to Salvation Army Store) blesses many!

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        Totally understand and the Salvation Army is a great place to donate to. I love shopping at our local SA.

      • treadlemusic Says:

        Love shopping there, too. Bring things in one door and buy/take items out the other!!!!!–Frequently!

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        Too funny.

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