Thursday, January 17, 2008

hang your [vintage] coat up

some people love shoes...
some people are obsesed with music...
some people have sworn revenge on albino whales...

i, however, am a bit of a jacket fanatic...

what can i say? i just love having the options there, so that no matter what temperature/occasion situation may present itself, i'll have the perfect coat. this obsession however, coupled with my lack of closet space, led to the problem of jackets scattered throughout my apartment.

i've been in the market for a coat tree for a while now.

since moving back to wichita and rediscovering down town, i find myself walking the sidewalks, looking through windows once packed with the latest in fashion and merchandise, but now only provide views into the interiors of long forgotten structures.

one day, while peering into one such building, through a storefront, that at one time must have been a barber shop, i spotted it! the most perfect coat tree i had ever seen! there, on the corner of douglas and market, it stood, inside the vestibule! eight hooks! chrome! vintage! long! and lean! i was in love, but alas, it was not to be, as our love was guarded by two locked doors and a chain.

for over a year, i've scavenged local thrift stores and antique malls looking for something similar, to take my mind off of it. i've included friends and family in this search, but to no avail, nothing presented itself.

this coat tree became my white whale.

now, i didn't pursue it quite as hard as ahab...probably because the coat tree hadn't taken my leg during battle at sea...i just thought it looked cool.

this past thanksgiving, when asked what i wanted for christmas, almost jokingly i said,

"the coat tree on douglas and market."

i had no idea the chain of events that were about to begin.

now the details are a little fuzzy, as the story has many twists and turns, but from what i can gather, it started with an initial call to the county appraisers office, which led to a call to a secretary that worked at the bank next door to the building the coat tree was in, which was forwarded to the the loan manager of the bank next door to the building the coat tree was in, he gave a number, that led to a call to the previous owner of the building the coat tree was in. not owning the building the coat tree was in, anymore, he gave a number which led to a call to the attorney that aided in the sale of the building the coat tree was in. he had the paper work, but needed to dig them out of the archives. a few weeks later he had the number to the current owner of the building the coat tree was in. that number however, led to a guy that never answered his phone. a message was left. finally, after a few weeks, he called back! finding out he knew of the above mentioned coat tree, and not having a use for it, a deal was struck.

i met the owner at the building last week. we talked briefly about development downtown, and future plans for the building. business cards were exchanged, and i rode home with a "white whale" in the back of my truck.

so as promised, here are the pictures, and the post, commending the efforts of those involved. although cell phones replaced harpoons in this battle, the feat was still as intense.....well, as intense as it gets in wichita.

thank you.


Anonymous said...

Great story, great process. I think the tree was worth the efforts...and very well photographed too.


Helen E said...

Did you Really read Moby Dick?