Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Asay "F.A."

F.A. Snyder Store Lovell, Wyoming

Story of An Unusual Piece of Furniture
 by Joy Marostica

Sitting inside the front door of the Asay household in all its glory was the "F.A." When lifting the lid of this - thing - one could find hats, mittens, scarves, sweaters and odds and ends that had no reason for being there.
 This piece of "furniture" was a direct result of Delbert's deals with F.A. Snyder, proprietor of the general store. Fred Snyder was a large man with a handle-bar mustache. He waited on customers in his bare feet and with a friendly smile welcomed one and all to his store. Fred liked to sing to his customers; "That Old Brown Coat On Me" was his favorite song; if he wasn't humming it, he was singing it.

His store was not the typical business with jars of this and bolts of that neatly arranged. This was pure chaos... clothing was draped over cans of honey, toys displayed among the tools, candy jars squeezed in between boots and hats, but no one seemed to mind. It was a real experience to wander through F.A.'s "displays".

The Asay children often brought in eggs to exchange for flour, sugar, and other needs, and on rare occasions Delila allowed them to trade for his delicious old fashioned chocolates. Most people charged or traded and if a bill was paid Fred's reward was a sack of candy.

When F.A. Snyder had a sale, Delbert would often buy it all - bringing home baskets of items to be shared with everyone. Friends and neighbors would drop in at the Asays to try on shoes for school or pick up other things from Delbert's boxes of bargains.

His children were still laughing about the time he paid 50cents for an interesting box of something. They excitedly crowded around their Papa and helped tear off the pretty paper. To their surprise they discovered nothing but men’s' old fashioned stiff white collars!

It was Delila who first noticed the possibilities of the tall, oblong box with the hinged lid. Delbert had proudly brought it home full of one of F.A.'s latest sales, and when it was empty Delila placed the container by the door where it quickly became a "Fiber McGee's closet." It remained there for many years and kept Delila's home free from clutter. Grandchildren also enjoyed it finding its' top just the right height for sitting on to look out the window.

Delbert gave this, monstrosity to some or beloved piece of furniture to others, its' name. When something was lost he'd say, "Go look in the "F.A." Other families in Lovell had their buffet, but the Asay children always felt a bit unique being the only ones with an "F.A."

* Note: Photo is not the "F.A." If one exists please share.

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