In 1996, EBay was a fledgling online auction site that I immediately decided to take advantage of. I saw ‘dollar sign’ potential.
As I have said before, after moving to Castle Rock in June, 1996 I was instantly intrigued by this huge white barn in downtown Castle Rock. It kind of loomed over everything else. The name on the building at that time was “Country Palace Antiques” and I don’t think anyone who remembers this place would disagree that it was a bona fide dump.
Being the antiques enthusiast that I was (and still am), I spent many an hour pouring through all the junk that was in this place…it was like an indoor yard sale. Dust and dirt were everywhere. The gentleman who ran this charming establishment was, and I say this as gently as possible, not a nice person. I did, however, forge a reasonably good relationship with him because I was constantly there and he probably just got used to me being around.
If you are familiar with The Barn, you know that there is a room to the right of the main building (currently occupied by Paw Paws). This room was where Mr. Country Palace Antiques put his most prized pieces. One day while rummaging though, I noticed two large glass cases with various glass and carved looking items inside. The stuff in those cases had been there so long that there was heavy dust inside the cases. Anyway, I found out that these items were Stueben glass and carved ivory pieces.
Well…. it was hard to contain my excitement over this bit of information, but I managed as much of a deadpan face as possible.
I promptly negotiated a good discount with Mr. Country Palace and he allowed me to take pictures of his pieces. I took those pictures and listed the items on EBay with the hopes that I could make some money. Back then EBay was much simpler to use than it is today and the fees were MUCH LESS.
Anyway, I would sell the items, receive the money and promptly go to Mr. Country Palace, pay him for the items (less my discount) and then ship the pieces to the buyer. I practically liquidated both of his glass cases and I made a bundle! Mr. Country Palace never asked me how I was doing this, but he didn’t seem to care…he was making money as well!
Anyway, my relationship with Mr. Country Palace blossomed until he really didn’t have anything left for me to sell of value. I moved on to open an antiques shop over in a warehouse on Park Street in Castle Rock. It was then that I met my next Landlord (the crazy guy, remember?) and I decided to make a play for renting the barn in Castle Rock.
More to come….