My husband collects bells and the large school house bell in the middle was the one my mother rang when she was a child in a one room school house. As the American Pickers would say, it is the story behind the piece that makes it special. How we obtained it, is quite the story.
The fall sign began with a piece of wood from our deck. It needed to be replaced and so I kept some of the old boards. This one was just the right size - rather chewed up on both ends.
I purchased these letters from Walmart. I think they were around $2.
I taped them to the board.
Now it was time to apply the joint compound. It was handy and already mixed.
I just "slapped" it on. No special skills needed.
All seems to be going fine. The letters are all filled in.
Wait!!! Wet joint compound and "paper" letters. What was I thinking? I was worried that now the letters would deteriorate, so I kept an eye on them and as soon as the joint compound was dry - or close to being dry. I removed the letters. As you can see, some of the joint compound came off with the letters. Not to worry! I used a small paint brush and filled in the mistakes.Next, I mixed up some grey wash and applied it over the board and letters. Then I wiped off some of the paint on the letters so the white joint compound shone through.Ok, so what about the schoolhouse bell? I didn't forget. Where my family grew up there was a one room school house. My mother and father both attended it. Instead of tearing it down, this couple bought it and turned it into their home.
Some items from the school were sold, including the school house bell. A lady living in the neighborhood, bought it. She was younger and had not attended the school. Now we are not talking a couple of years, but many, many years. My mother is 88.
Many years later, this same lady was having a garage sale. Yes, she was selling the school house bell. ($3) As she was talking about where she had purchased it, my mother said that she went to this school and on special occasions they were allowed to ring the bell - time for school to begin. After 80 years to find a special treasure. What a surprise for my mother as she remembered ringing the bell! She kept it for a little while and then gave it to my husband for his collection.
It is funny how somethings come full circle. What is the likelihood that you would find an item that was actually part of your past? I was wondering if there is anything special that I may come across in the future. How can we know? What a wonderful thing to think about!
Has anyone had a similar experience - found an item that belonged to your family that was NOT handed down? Love to hear your story.For now, we just enjoy the bell and it's history. Hope you enjoyed the school house bell story.