For many years, we had a small ship’s bell attached to the front wall of our cabin. We used it to summon each other for phone calls, meals, or emergencies. Some people even used it as a doorbell. It corroded over time, until the clapper ceased up, then broke. Since that happened, I’ve kept an eye out for a nice old-fashioned dinner triangle to replace it.
While in Skagway for the North Words Writers Symposium (see Resonance and Courage) I shopped a bit. Much of the main street (Broadway) frontage holds chain jewelry stores, owned by the various cruise ship lines. If one looks carefully, though, one finds shops owned and run by locals.
One such business lies slightly off the beaten track, but it called to me with ’50s-era rock’n’roll blasting from its speakers. When I went to investigate, I found a delightful rockhound shop, full of polished rocks, fossils, mineral samples, and a bunch of other curiosities.
As I browsed, I fell into casual conversation with the owner. As we stood talking, I looked out the open door and saw a nice iron triangle hanging on a fence. I pointed it out to the owner, and asked if he’d found it locally. I told him I’d been looking for one of my own for some time. He told me he’d ordered it from elsewhere, then asked, “Why, do you want it?”
I tried it out (of course!) liked its tone, and asked what he wanted for it. He suggested $10, then grabbed an electric screwdriver to remove it, hanger and all, from the fence. His wife apparently liked it better than he did, and she scolded us good naturedly while we struck our bargain and concluded our business.
I cleaned it and touched it up with stove black, and installed it where the bell had been on the cabin. I may paint it soon, to ensure that it doesn’t rust anymore, but for the moment, I’m very satisfied. For a very reasonable price I got the triangle I wanted, and a pleasant memory to go along with it.