Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Silver Jew’ry, Silverware, Silver’s Silver right?

Silver Fork Necklace
If you’ve never been to the Fareast you need to have a looksee. East Texas bound (I mean far east Texas), Ruby J and I are off to Jefferson. Why you say? Well, let me explain. Ruby J heard about this famous beauty salon called Beauty and the Book. According to owner/writer Kathy Patrick it is, “The ONLY Hair Salon/Book Store in the WORLD!" Nestled in the heart of Jefferson on North Polk Street sits a little shop dedicated to GIRLS! You can get your hair done, colored, cut, dyed, shaved, spiked, gel’d, ironed, bleached, stretched, curled, extended, sprayed or just plain washed. But that’s not all, you get books, jew’ry, bags, t-shirts, more books, posters, bookmarks, and boas, did I say jew’ry, and even more books. Of course when Ruby J told me about the place, I looked up the number, called and made appointments. Now I know you are thinking, those two vintage goddesses don’t need no beautification, you just don’t mess with perfection.

Well, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but we all need a little touching up now and then. So with appointments made all we had to do was get there. When I called the shop I told Kathy we would probably need the whole morning…we need of a lot of attention. In fact I’m sure she thought I was kidding when I said we needed to clear out all the inauspicious energy (that’s a Feng Shui term for you non-Zen believers) we’d stored up since our last girl trip.

We check into the Historic Excelsior House on West Austin and are escorted to room 214, The Lady Bird Johnson Room. Besides us, other short time famous guests included Ulysses S. Grant, Oscar Wilde, and of course Lady Bird Johnson. Our room is located across the street from the historically renowned haunted Jefferson Hotel. Just so you know the Jefferson Hotel was NEVER a choice for the two of us. In fact we didn’t even want to look toward the place for fear one of the “permanent guests” might see it was “us” and try to squat in our room. Not gonna happen!

Unpacked we walk the streets, proud to be a tourist. And proud we were, there was not an architectural structure with a door on it, we didn’t venture into. After a few drop in’s, we noticed a definite theme in all the little shops. Whether it was a gift shop, jew’ry shop, sweet shop, or junk shop, when you walked in, a statuette caught our attention. In each store it was always black, however, in some stores it had a black collar and in others it had a purple one. Imagine a black 20-inch cone shape object, wider at the bottom, towering to a point at the top and on the very top was a stuffed black cat head.

Ruby J and I surmised the town has a strong following of some sort. Maybe the blacK Kat Kollar was a symbol to “other’s” that they were  members (black collar) or high priest’s (purple collar) of the organization. Our inqusitiveness got to be a challenge, and we were not let down. Every establishment we entered, within 30 seconds, the statuette was sighted. We got brave and started asking the shop owners what it was. We never saw but the one statuette in any store, so they weren’t selling them. Here’s the strange part, everyone we asked gave a different answer. Some didn’t even remember how it got there; just that it was or always had been-there. Now we are really creeped out and start thinking we’ve asked way too many questions and are looking over our shoulders as we make our way back to the hotel.

Night comes as we lay and talk about the ghostly spirits we know are lurking across the street. Then we settle on the notion that Lady Bird Johnson would never allow them in her room, so we rest peacefully. Morning comes and we can hardly wait to be beautified. We linger over a wonderful breakfast on the hotel’s garden terrace, not wanting to ever leave THIS setting. It’s a beautiful flower garden, butterflies, song birds, white linen table clothes and orange juice in champagne glasses. Can life get better than this very moment? Why yes! Remember the inauspicious energy? Coming back to reality, we down any last drops of coffee and we are off to beauty land.

Beauty and the Book is the perfect size for cozy girl time. We get there a little early and are the only customers there. We have to touch everything-twice. Oh yow, this is our kinda candy store. We were pampered, entertained, de-stressed, polished, brushed and combed for almost 4 hours. Kathy entertained us with her wit, literary passion and beauty skills as we were taken to a whole other girl-beauty world. We laughed, made fun of, praised, gawked, and ooo’d and awed with each new treasure. That’s when it happened. I didn’t see it, but Ruby J can be a very sly, sneaky woman when she wants to be. I mean the whole shop can’t be more than 300 square feet. Salon on one end, books on the other and eye candy in the middle. I never saw it coming and surly was not prepared to respond.

Starved, we leave our little bit of heaven, and say our thank you’s and goodbyes to our new best friend Kathy. We saw a wonderful little eatery with French sidewalk table ambiance just down the street so that’s where we end up, still talking and reminiscing. Sitting outside drinking refreshing herbal ice tea, Ruby J says, “Venus, I bought you a present.” Surprised, I say, “Me?” After all I had been with her all morning and never saw her buy a thing. Ruby J responds, “Yes, you-nit wad, but I don’t know if you will like it.” I’m thinking have I ever NOT liked anything you gave me, gees. Ruby J continued, “But, well it’s a, it’s a fork necklace Venus.” I sat there for what seemed like FOREVER trying to have a positive reaction. Finally I said (trying not to laugh or show the “you got me a what” emotion), “Ruby J, I’ve never had a fork necklace that is so sweet.” “Now if you don’t like it, we can take it back, or I’ll keep it,” Ruby continued. My mind is racing as I try to grasp what, why, and has Ruby J had a stroke? Quick, what’s the stupid acronym for signs of a stroke….I can’t think that fast, is it raise your arm, stick out your tongue, buy your friend a fork necklace?

Ruby J pulls out a small bag and lays it on the table. I feel bad because I didn’t buy her anything, but not that bad. I look at the bag, like maybe it needs to marinade there for a while until it turns into another jew’ry type utensil, like a silver necklace. Looking at me with that, well are you gonna open it, it’s the best present I every bought expression, I slowly pull the bag towards me. Softly I open the ends, like it might jump out and slid my hand inside. I feel tissue paper and what feels like a ladle, or a ladle that’s had the handle broken off. Smiling I gently start to unfold each layer of tissue paper, and sure enough it’s a fork.

Ah, but this fork has been tooled, heated, and curled into a beautiful piece of art. I gasp when I see its beauty and can’t believe it’s mine. No one will ever have a fork necklace like mine, because its hand made by a local Jefferson artist that places her wares in Kathy’s little shop, just so my best Lobster friend could find it for me. I know you think I should be ashamed for thinking Ruby J would ever buy me a eating utensil and expect me to wear a fork, knife, or spoon, much less a cheese grater. But I have to tell you, I come by this quite honestly. Once at the Peach Festival Ruby J bought me an Umbrella Hat. She had the same I just bought you the best gift expression. I wore it and Ruby J walked proudly beside me, all day. Nuf said.



  1. How wonderful that you both have such a friend in each other. I have never had such a friend, well maybe a neighbor friend but not someone you could share everything with. Be thankful for such a friendship. I'm sure they are few and far between.

  2. OH GAWD....Im looking for a cheese grater change purse next......RJ