My cousin Bruce emailed me a while back with a very nice offer: he had come into possession of this vintage gate and, as he put it, “It looks like it would fit right in if you ever reconstitute the [Manse’s] front fence – and you may need to if you get a beagle.” (That last comment was of course in reference to Raymond’s newly acquired interest in having a beagle named Kip to ride shotgun with him in his red truck.)
I have fond memories of the old fence and gate that used to run the length of the Manse’s front yard when I was a kid growing up there. It wasn’t the fanciest of fences, though it did have those decorative metal maple leaves that are now very hard to find, and valuable. (Why oh why do people – including us at the Manse many years ago, I guess – throw stuff like that out? Why does that kind of thing seem like old junk at the time, only to be revealed as a much-sought-after treasure a few decades later?) Raymond and I have no particular need for a fence – unless, of course, Kip comes to join us. But as I nostalgically long for so many things about the way life used to be in Queensborough, I also long for that fence, and that gate.
(I wrote here about the row of natural flagstones that used to run from the main door of the Manse to that gate – and how thrilled I was last year when I discovered that they are still there, buried under a layer or two of lawn turf. I swear I will dig them up and bring them back!)
Anyway, here’s one final photo, of the front gate at a neighbouring house to the Manse, which looks as it did when my old piano teacher Evelyn Lynn lived there. And that is precisely the look I am seeking. And, people, we’ve discovered an antique barn that, while it doesn’t have any of the old maple-leaf fence, does have some of the old maple leaves – which, with a bit of metalworking expertise could perhaps be incorporated into the gate Bruce is giving us… and come to think of it, there is a metalworking genius, Jos Pronk, who has a shop in Queensborough… Hmmm…