LONGLEAF STORIES

full circle in the hundred acre wood

Home Depot, Office Depot, Cabinet Depot, Ceramic Tile Depot, Carpet Depot, Flooring Depot, Hot Tub Depot, Hardware Depot, Bar Stool Depot, Light Depot, AAARRGGHH!!

The meaning of “depot” according to Merriam-Webster’s on-line dictionary:

Main Entry: de·pot
Pronunciation: 1 & 2 are ˈde-(ˌ)pō also ˈdē-, 3 is ˈdē- sometimes ˈde-
Function: noun
Etymology: French dépôt, from Middle French depost, from Medieval Latin depositum, from Latin, neuter of depositus
Date: 1795

1 a : a place for storing goods or motor vehicles b : store, cache <a fat depot in the body>
2 a : a place for the storage of military supplies b : a place for the reception and forwarding of military replacements
3 : a building for railroad or bus passengers or freight

Depot gets my vote for the most over-used, mostly inappropriately used, word out there in retail land today.

Whether it’s a “big box” retail store, a cookie-cutter franchise, or a tiny hole-in-the-wall outfit, the word “depot” is ubiquitous among business names in the home construction arena. The only way that word is mellifluous to my ears is when I think, nostalgically, of old train stations in small town America, as in “down at the depot.”

Okay. No more ranting and raving. Here’s something wonderful, instead.

Discouraged by assembly line kitchen cabinets and distressed by post-Hurricane Ivan prices, Buck and I drilled deeper. We heard about a family-owned and operated cabinet and furniture maker just over the Florida line in Alabama, about an hour’s drive from Pensacola. We took a nice drive in the country, and found the Country Pine Furniture Company in Flomaton, Alabama.

Robert Carden, his wife, and their staff are artisans. A thick layer of sawdust has settled into the walls, lending a yellowish, old book feel to the place. A shaft of light showers motes onto the head of a young man carefully shaping and smoothing a table leg. It’s quiet here at this hour of the late afternoon. Something about the atmosphere reminds me of the good feeling I get being in a library with time to soak in literary waters.

Mr. Carden had to leave us for a few minutes to sign for a delivery. Buck said to me, “Well, Twitchy Baby, I’ve seen all I need to see.” When Buck speaks those words, it’s a clear thumbs up or thumbs down. “He’s got all the equipment to make us some beautiful cabinets.” Ah, good. He agrees with me!

I love the thought of being able to “visit” our cabinets as they are being made, run my hands over the smooth curing wood, and dream of Thanksgiving.

p.s. You might think these custom-made cabinets are more expensive than those from a mass retailer. Not so. We bid the work, and saved more than 30% by going with the local, independent, family-operated business.

 

Yep. Another “lost post” restored. Original written April 17, 2005.

 

 

0 thoughts on “Depot Mania vs. Rural Artistry

  1. I love the way all things mega create niches for those who fly under their radar . . . or wings, or something. But as this shows, one must take a wee bit of trouble to find and reward them.

    Like

  2. fletch says:

    I wish we could all become artisans and farmers again, meeting the needs of our neighbors at a local level with whatever skills and talents that have been taught us from our elders. Maybe it will come around to that by necessity one day. I’m assuming it would be improper for your blog friends to address you as “Twitchy Baby”.

    Like

  3. Shaddy says:

    I assumed you paid big bucks for these cabinets but am thrilled to hear you actually saved. Wonders never cease!!

    Like

  4. Dick says:

    Somehow we seem to have got along pretty well without such promiscuous use of the word ‘depot’. Nor can I think of any equivalent that has similar currency. Two nations separated by a common language!

    Like

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