My favorite American Indian bead dealer called me the other day and told me he had found a box of old Japanese glass pearls in the shape of a scallop shell - with a small loop attached at the top. Years ago, he had sent me a small bag of the same glass shells and (almost) every time I have talked to him since, I ask if he has anymore of the glass shells. None, nada, nothing, zippo - is always the answer. And then, out of nowhere - this box turns up with hundreds of these same glass shells. I wanted to call him and say "These are the shells I have been asking you about for years - where did you find them??" But every time I ask him where he found something he says "G-d dammit Kaari - you know I can't tell you that" - and I laugh - because, as always, I don't really care exactly where he found them - I just want to know the story of how, after all these many years, a box of one of my very favorite beads (ever!) just turns up. Who cleaned out their basement or their warehouse and how did this box of shells end up with me again? In fact when he called to say he had found shells - I don't think he even knew they were the same one's I had been waiting for all these years.
So - it got me thinking - what else is still out there? How many boxes of old glass pearls are hidden in the basement of the Providence buildings? I think it's time I take a trip back east and explore my old stomping grounds - the old bead warehouses that have been overlooked for years. The boxes and boxes of glass cabachons, beads and charms that were manufactured in the twenties, thirties and forties - gross after gross after gross - packed away protected from dust and dampness. I wonder if it's all still there? I wonder if I got to Providence, rented a car and drove out to the treasure troves - would it all still be there - or has someone beat me to it?