Florence Shops Appeal to All

By Rita Derego
   Who says some antiques and collectibles can’t be fun and funny at times? Well, I’ve never heard myself say it and I’ve never heard anyone in Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado, ever utter such folderol.
   Since Florence is home to more antiques stores per capita than anywhere else in the state, many people from all over Colorado, the nation and other countries visit our tiny burg to see what’s new—or rather see what’s old. And while what customers from Japan appreciate might differ from Midwestern customers’ tastes, one thing remains constant—many people enjoy antiques and collectibles that convey a sense of humor and fun.
   I’ve even dallied with the notion that Florence should be referred to as: The FUNkytown of Fremont County. Why? Two reasons. One is that many of the shop owners and employees in Florence consider dealing in antiques as fun. Second, we have a lot of semi-amusing treasures hidden among our wares.
   So let’s go on a brief tour of some of the antiques and collectibles that garner the most comments from visitors to Florence—and some that make me smile.
   The most commented-on antique is this lovely child’s barber chair. Not only is it a unique work of art–people love the idea of thinking of how a barber (perhaps 100 or more years ago) used this equine beauty to make a child’s haircut fun.
   It doesn’t matter what side of politics folks enjoy—seeing Ronald and Nancy Reagan in their patriotic undergarments and depicted as paper dolls brightens many people’s day.
   It appears the former Presidential couple cut trim figures, so they probably weren’t eating lots of potato chips. BUT if they were, they might have chosen a tin of these alkaline chips. Potato chips as health food? If you are ever in Florence, reading the back of this tin is a hoot and a testament to reining in misleading advertising.
   Speaking of advertising, Florence has one of the most vast amounts of advertising antiques imaginable. But this straw hat polish had me at: Any one can use it. My question is: But would I want to? Of course, I would. Now I just have to browse more of Florence to find myself a spiffy straw hat to polish.
   So, next time we meet in the pages of the Mountain States Collector, you just might find me sharing all the cool hats I found in Florence. Or maybe not. You just never know what can be found in Florence.

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