I love beads. I live for beads. I string beads. I know lots about them and know where to get the steals and deals. My favorites are vintage Swarovski crystals and Venetian glass. I was thinking about my obsession with beads and where it came from.
Here in 'Burque we have great bead stores. But the one place I miss buying them was a store on Central called Freed's. Freed's was where the NM Holocaust and Intolerance Museum is located now.
As soon as you walked in the door, the first thing you noticed was the pungent smell of incense assaulting your nose. Freed's wasn't just beads. Think of a much funkier version of Jackalope. There were clothes from India, Africa, and China. Handmade baskets and masks hung from the walls. There were statues, drums and bolts of fabric from all over the world.
But for me, the sight of the strands of beads hanging behind the counter was as overpowering as the smell of the incense. African trade beads, Czech glass beads, gemstone beads - I wanted them all. As a child I remember shopping with my mom downtown and we always had to look at their window displays and then go in. I think that as a little girl, the memory of all those strands hanging behind the counter stayed with me.
Even better than all the beads was a sweet old man that greeted everyone as they walked in. I always assumed it was Mr. Freed. Maybe he was the manager, I don't know. But if he liked you, and I think he liked everybody, he would give you a lollypop and a great big smile. I spent a lot of time at Freed's before they closed...and I always got a lollypop.
( Go to the Adelita page for a clue to the next story.)