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Upholstery and Gifts

August 13, 2014

the laundry

view of Walmart from the laundry

The "people's" laundry in Cortez is up the hill from Walmart. I'm calling it "the peoples' " laundry because the rates are low enough that anyone can afford to wash their clothes. The top-loading machines cost only 75 cents, and the dryers are 25 cents for every 8 minutes of drying.

There's a large pool table with a vinyl cover on it... which can be used to fold clothes, I guess. I didn't ask, but it's possible you can rent it and play a game of pool while your clothes are getting washed. Several washers, dryers, and vending machines have a note on them... "out of order." The soap vender has an "out of order" sign taped to it... and also a partly torn-off sign... "pull lever out all the way or it will jam."

Having started my washer, I had 30 minutes time to waste. I watched the traffic through the large windows for a time... then noticed that there was an upholstery shop next door. I'd been wanting to price padding material for an idea I had for the cot in my van, so... I walked on over.

There is a neon sign in the window... "GIFTS"... which I didn't think much about. I was just going in to price the padding. The man at the desk smiled as we greeted each other. He then walked me back to his working area and I saw a couple of rolls of material that had possibilities. I was thinking that wool would be a good padding... but he didn't have that.

We began talking about paddings and all. I mentioned that I had been thinking of using carpet padding, as I thought it would be firmer... to help keep the cot mattress in place... but, when I saw the shop sign, I remembered that... when my husband and I started our hostel in Alaska, we asked upholsterers for their scraps... and that I had hand-sewn the mattresses for most of the bunks. I added... "Of course... I had to piece things together like a quilt... but it worked well enough."

He said he didn't have any scrap material. Then he told me the story about how...
a year ago, he'd met a woman he hadn't seen since they were 14 years old and living in Mancos. (He's grey-haired, now). He sewed upholstery... and she designed costumes and gifts. Then he pointed to an area behind me... and I turned and looked.

Hanging on hooks from the ceiling was an array of various dragons and mythical creatures... and they were just BEAUTIFUL...!! These were not just "toys"... these were ART. And... on shelves lining the far wall... were dolls with custom dresses and unique faces and hair.
"We have dozens of doll molds that we make the bodies and faces from," he said.

I said, "These are just so well-done...! How much would something like this cost... this dragon...?" He replied, "She's asking $150. for that one." And I added... "And worth it. These are fabulous."

Then I heard a voice coming from behind a desk/working area. This surprised me because I hadn't seen anyone else in the shop. I walked over and looked, and said, "Were you talking to me? I couldn't hear you."

"I can make any doll you want," she said.
I told her... "They're beautiful. Are you a designer, then, too?"
She replied, "Some of them I use a pattern for."

The man's wife was resting on an extended recliner... laying down. She had oxygen tubes in her nose. I apologized for disturbing her... as I hadn't seen her. She said, "Just don't talk so loud. I was only resting-- not asleep."

She was a large woman... and quite over-weight... but quite nice. She said, "You can have any of those that you want." To which I replied, chuckling... "I don't have $150...!!" I apologized again for disturbing her.

As I began to leave the shop, I asked the man, "Would you mind if I took some pictures?" He said, "Sure. Go ahead." So... I went to the van and got the i-Pod that my son sent to me... AND HERE ARE THE PICS...!!!

Oops... left the i-Pod in the car... do not want to leave the laptop on the table. So... check back later for the updates.

Back to regular programming... the pics...

----- ----- ----- ----- upholstery shop ----- ----- -----

pink silk dragon -- $150. ----- ----- monster in back corner -- $??






August 14, The Cortez Library

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