'Ff'lo (fflo) wrote,

locksmiths and sign makers

I was just writing to sprig5 (it's ironic to type "lj user" in the code to produce that blurb, since she never posts) about locksmiths. I like the old-fashioned locksmith. Wherever I live, I try to find one, and there's always seems to be one. Here it's Vogel's, on Liberty. In Baltimore it was Robert's Key Service, on Read St.---and that was a queer business. In Kansas it was Karsmizki's on Moro (I had to look up the name just now). In Brunswick, GA, we found one too, though I forget the name. Wonder if it was a person's name in a possessive form.

[Okay, I looked it up. It was off of Altama: "Collins Lock & Safe"---but that might be the possessive in Brunswick! ha ha (No angry letters from ya'll Southerners, atleastdefiant.)] [Along with being short an apostrophe, it lacked the same old downtown charm of the others, too.]

I love being in the old locksmith shops. I go to them to get keys copied, and not just cuz they screw it up less often than Homo Depot. They feel old-fashioned. They have keychains in there that have been there for decades, you can tell---with, say, only 3 of the pull-apart metal ones left out of an original 30 spaces on the tired ol' piece of cardboard. And the feel of the place is all dusty and mysterious and competant and laid-back, but not borderline crazy, like sign shops.

I used to want to be a sign painter/maker. My mother and I once got into a conversation about it in which she observed that, in her experience in American towns and cities, the sign people often live down by the railroad tracks or someplace kind of fringe-y like that, keep odd hours (usually "opening" late into the day), and are of a sort that makes me think she was trying to describe stoners or hippies or the ilk, with a little touch of nuttiness thrown in. (I guess a good part of the idea she was going for could be simply "artist"---to my family of origin the idea of trying to go into the arts seriously to make a living was tantamount to being Evil Knievel. Or maybe worse.)
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