Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Life of Carpet

I subscribe to a page called "Vancouver - Then" on Facebook, which regularly posts photographs of our fair city from days gone by.  This photograph of a swimwear fashion show at the Vancouver Hudson's Bay Co. in 1932 caught my eye the other day, not just because post-baby me would be so excited to buy a bathing suit like those ones, instead of the bare-all suits that are ubiquitous now, but because of the carpet on the floor (not the carpet on the catwalk).

I grew up in the house where my Mom grew up, and where my parents still live. My parents bought the house from my grandparents the year my parents were married, and my grandparents and uncle, who also got married that summer, both built new houses right next door. I recall being told that the carpet in our basement came from a department store in downtown Vancouver that was getting rid of it. My great-uncle worked there, and thriftiness must run pretty far back in the family because he scooped it up for my grandmother, his sister.  I checked the high-resolution photograph in the Vancouver archives, and, sure enough, it is the exact carpet we had in our basement.

Here it is in my mom's early days:

And, from my childhood days, you can see a bit of the carpet peeking out underneath the piano. This is my "saying goodbye to the piano" picture. My parents saved up to buy a brand new, beautiful piano for us, but I was terribly attached to our old ugly piano, and cried pitifully for days about having to give it away. Sidenote: I am also rocking the early 80's plaid fad in this photo.

The best thing about this carpet was that it was virtually indestructible. Both my mom and I remember ice skating on this carpet as kids.  It was fireproof, so we didn't need to put any tiles around the fireplace either.

The carpet, which had seen sale crowds, swimsuit fashion shows, ice skating children, and teenage sleepovers was finally laid to rest in the mid-nineties when my parents finished the basement. A life well lived...for carpet.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty cool connection! And to think you noticed it amidst all the other things in the photo. How fun is that. :)


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