I’m not a big yard sale fan. Years of running from sale to sale only to find baby clothes and brand new knick-knacks in neighborhoods full of cookie cutter houses did me in.
One fall morning, I was running late getting to the warehouse and came across a sign that read “Warehouse Sale.” Located around the back of some storage units in an older area of town, something told me this sale in a nonresidential area may not be full of “new junk.” The
sale wasn’t busy, but looking around, it seemed I had been suckered into just another yard sale—until I saw a wonderful orange enamel stove with all the original pipes.
So as not to seem super interested, I didn’t rush over immediately. Continuing to walk as if scoping out the other merchandise, I slowly made my way over. Pretending to almost trip over it, I inquired about the unique stove. The lady having the sale told me it had been in her house in Michigan and that she had brought it with her years ago when moving to Hickory, North Carolina. Honestly, I was shocked she had thought enough about the stove to move it and still have it in her possession.
Keeping this apparent attachment in mind, I asked the price. Seeming surprised that anyone would ask about the stove, she replied “$30.” Without hesitation, I pulled out the cash, loaded it up and headed home.
Knowing that someday my wife Tina and I would own our forever midcentury home, we decided to hang on to the stove. Years later while working on the remodel plans for our 1963 midcentury home, it was finally time to bring the stove into the mix. We had the perfect spot for it in our basement and even based the accent wall paint off the stove’s original finish. Not wanting to deal with the mess associated with bringing firewood in the house, we found a set of gas logs that finished the stove off perfectly.
Chad Baker is a knowledgable midcentury enthusiast who has been digging for mid mod treasure
for more than 10 years. As a result, he has a plethora of stories about rescuing, restoring and
scoring great finds. Along with his wife Tina, Chad lives in a stunning North Carolina home that the couple has lovingly preserved. For more on Chad, visit facebook.com/simplychad.