Meeting Buck 

As you may know, my cousin, Susie, has the need for a new wood burning stove for their new cabin in Rhododendron, OR, AKA as Green Gables.  That is because the current stove is an antique nickel affair that was originally a coal burning stove.  Here is a pic.


In her search, she discovered Buck and his antique shop in Portland.  As he was described to me, he was a character that marched to his own tune.  She said I ought to meet Buck and I thought it would fun.  So, she invited me along to meet him today because she had made an appointment with him for last week which he cancelled.  The plan cancelled was that he would travel to Green Gables (the cabin’s name) to assess the situation so she could buy a new wood burning stove that would work more efficiently after the removal of the antique affair.  I accepted and off we went to Buck’s.  

When we arrived, two men were seated outside the front door shooting the breeze.  “I’m here to see Buck.’, my cousin announced.  The first man who sported a long pony tail which he had gathered together and cinched up at the nape of his neck announced that Buck had gone to the bank.  He invited us into the store.

When he spoke, I was mesmerized by his teeth.  There were quite a few missing.  He must be English, I secretly thought as we stepped inside after verifying the two men had been vaccinated.  His name was Erik and he was very knowledgable and gabbed with us as we waited for Buck.  Sue had arranged to meet Buck at 1 p.m.  Erik said Buck would return in 15 minutes.  Sigh.  Was Buck avoiding her, I wondered?  

The phone rang.  It was Buck.  He was in line at the bank and he would get back in about 15 minutes and that was at 1:10 p.m.  Considering that …this was not a boring place, my cousin was extremely motivated to get this business taken care of so, therefore, there was no way we were going to leave without achieving her goals.

Buck’s shop was full of stoves.  It was full of antiques including this marvelous mantel he later informed us was from some old home somewhere…I forget where.  His store also had a sofa and two chairs.  The chair next to the sofa was serving as a table on which had been placed a bottle of water, a pad for ordering stoves, and a half eaten salad in the top of a plastic container.  

Buck and me

Buck arrived.  And he was everything you would ever want in an iconoclastic antique stove store owner.  After being introduced I asked him if he was avoiding Sue…that was my icebreaker.   He assured us he was not and then launched into the stories about the line at the bank, the time he got locked in the bank parking lot, how he was the last person in line to get service today which left two people behind him in the lurch, how he once got left in the lurch but he had sold a stove to a higher up at said bank and thought to call him and report the situation which lead to yada yada yada.

When he arrived Sue was standing, I was sitting on the couch and Buck asked if it was okay to sit on the couch with me.  And he flopped down.  And the discussion of the stoves began.  I would be remiss if I did not also mention that this was the kind of couch that was easy to sink into and very hard to get out of….sort of like Buck’s store.

At this point, I need to inform you that Sue has a bad foot and is getting it operated on next month.  She has a hard time walking as it is painful.  As she was standing, Buck asked her to fetch this and that.  At one point, she was with tape measure measuring a steel frame that was 4 x 5 feet which his helper Erik had brought in from outside and place down on the floor.  He had a hard time finding a place to put it on the floor so Sue moved the chair so the frame could be laid down.  Then he took one measurement and announced it was 51” across.  Buck didn’t buy that and that is why Sue found herself leaning over to do measurements as Erik had left the room.  

Sue stepped on the tape with her foot and it buckled and wouldn’t pop back to its original straight self.  By this time, I was highly amused at the entire situation.  While she measured, I fooled around and found a hat I couldn’t resist modeling.  Notice the nordic hat on the mantle?  Notice the hat on my head?  ha ha.



After the measurement was done, he needed to look at her pictures of Old Ironsides, the old stove.  That brought up more questions.  Sue called her daughter who was at Green Gables to do some measurements of the stove and its surroundings including the 10 foot pipe that rose to the ceiling from Old Ironsides.  They were Face Timing.  Well, Buck wanted to talk to Kristen, Sue’s daughter, and when Sue handed him her phone, he put it to his ear.  It was all I could do not to laugh out loud.  And that is where the phone stayed while Kristen crawled around measuring stuff.  Finally, I took the phone to show Buck that he could see Kristen if he moved the phone away from his ear.  That seemed to nonplus Buck.  It was a hoot.Sue decided she needed to sit down so she asked if she could move the stuff sitting on the chair.  Buck said sure so I handed Buck the sales pad, the bottle of the water, and half eaten breakfast of wilted salad greens.  And then he proceeded to finish the salad as discussion continued.


It turns out replacing Old Ironsides with a new stove was very complicated.  And that is why Sue kept begging Buck to go to the cabin with her to assess the situation.  She bribed him with  egg salad sandwiches and a good review on Yelp.  They dickered back and forth…would he go, would he not.  She offered to drive him up and back.  He hesitated.  She begged him some more.  

Finally (read about 2 hours), a new stove was selected, a trade-in price was reached, the removal of Old Ironsides price was approved and it seemed like a done deal.  So if hell doesn’t freeze over, Buck will go to Green Gables tomorrow with or without the new stove and presto magic, Old Ironsides may be removed and the new stove may be installed.  The appointment is between noon and 2 p.m.  

Sue informed Buck that she needed to go to the store to buy eggs and oh, by the way, would rye bread be okay with him?  

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