The cabinet of memories, artifacts, history – however you want to refer to the special display cabinet on our first floor – is full of unique memorabilia. Bits and pieces of the past from the store, Fitterer family, Kittitas County and the City of Ellensburg call this place home, and some have more unique stories than others.
I’ve talked about so many of these artifacts in past blogs. If you’ve followed those stories throughout the last few years you probably know a little about them or at minimum, recall seeing a photo.
You might remember that some of these promotional materials I’ve featured in multiples , like the Fitterer’s Thermometers of various design and several branded yard sticks. I love getting these little reminders of the past from customers and adding them to the cabinet. Even if they’re duplicates, there’s usually a little difference in color or the condition of the piece, and they’re just really fun to look at.
Truth be told, what I enjoy the most is getting to meet the thoughtful people who bring these things down to the store. Its fun to talk to them and learn about who owned it before, what inspired them to bring it to us now and just have a good conversation with considerate people in our community.
One piece we have in the cabinet though, doesn’t have a duplicate, rumored to be the only one ever made. Its also one of the oldest things in the case at an age of 107.
I’ve actually featured the 1912 Madonna and Child Christmas plate before. I can’t remember off the top of my head when I wrote that particular blog, but I do know that I told a story about it when I did. I’ll be telling another story about it today, but this one is a little different. Well…thinking it over, I suppose this story is a little bit the same too.
For those of you who haven’t seen the former blog, I’ll recap.
I learned sometime upon being hired at Fitterer’s that this promotional plate is said to be the only one that was ever made. It’s over 100 years old, and its very special. I learned this while Brad was holding it, and before the end of his story he pretended to drop it onto the hardwood floor. He got a good laugh, and I think my eyes probably popped out of my head for a few seconds.
Always a practical joker, Brad regularly played this prank on unsuspecting audiences.
That’s probably why this story about the plate is a little ironic.
One afternoon a few weeks ago, someone simply walked past the cabinet. She just walked from the office back to the sales counter. Somehow, some way, a frame slid down from the top shelf and popped the doors open. The one of a kind Madonna plate hit the floor. This time it wasn’t a joke, the plate was broken.
Brad happened to be out of town visiting family, so he wasn’t ‘ in the know’ right away. Our repair manager did put it back together like a pro. She fastened it back into place with glue so well that you may not even realize it wasn’t always that way.
Though its always frustrating to break something, we did think it was little humorous that for all of the times Brad pretended to drop this plate, a completely innocent mishap is what eventually did it in.
Brad’s reaction to the snafu upon returning home is my favorite part to this series of events. When he was told what happened he simply laughed, shrugged his shoulders and said “it’s just a thing. No one is hurt, everything is ok.”
To me, that says so much of what there is to say about Brad Fitterer . His people first attitude shows in many ways everyday, and this incident was no different.