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Joan and Larry Kindler Antiques AdThis time, rather than weather, antiques, food, family, house, and myriad other things, I'd like to say a word about my old friends Joan and Larry Kindler of Whitestone, NY. Joan, Larry and I have known each other through thick and thin (and fat for me!), since the very early 1970's when Kathy Schoemer Antiques was positively embryonic, and my focus was American stoneware and redware pottery. Yes, we shared that first passion and then moved on to dolls, Joan having a much more cerebral and wide-ranging interest, while I focused on cloth dolls. Not to say that Joan wasn't the champion of cloth too; she has a very sensitive eye for that subject and so we crossed paths often.

I spent some of my happiest times in that house on 140 St in Whitestone, just over the big bridge of the same name. Joan and Larry's daughter, Janet, can laugh with me about well-remembered events
of that time, because, as far as I know, all Kindlers are very, very funny people (especially son, Andy, who is a real, professional comedian). The main source of that incredible humor was Larry. All of us who did shows in those years can close our eyes and see and hear Larry - his wonderful voice resounding and embracing all of us. A warmer, sweeter, more adorable man does not exist in my experience, and so when I heard that Larry had passed into eternity in January, the world shut down for a few minutes, and a disturbing quiet came over my world to imagine life without him, and to try and imagine Joan without that teddy bear next to her, always protective, always caring, always totally attentive. The Kindler kids had the best marriage on the planet to emulate. Joan's daughter told me that her son, at Larry's service, said something like -"There's a rumor that Larry Kindler died. That rumor is not true." (Forgive me if that quote is not exactly accurate, Kindlers.) Oh, that is so true.

Such a spirit lives!! On my last visit not long ago, to Joan and Larry to purchase - what else? - a great cloth doll, as we were winding up our delightful chatter, Larry reminded Joan that they were going to gift a doll to me, a doll I had always admired, sitting in a chair in that beloved living room, where so many happy hours were spent. He jumped up and got the doll - a real beauty which turns out to be a highly desired rubber doll from the American 19th century. The doll had been missing lower arms, and I enlisted the master, Michelle Camden, to restore them. This all comes to mind because on April 19th, at the Sturbridge Doll Show, Michelle brought the doll back to me, with exceptionally perfect old arms.Thank you, Michelle. Thank you, Joan. Most of all, thank you, darling Larry, for leaving this delightful piece of Kindler-dom with me to cherish, and Godspeed, Larry, to the land of the origin of humor and love. We will never forget you.





On May 7th, Kipp and Maddy ran out into our tiny fenced-in yard for their morning joyful run and a few moments later, there was a squeal, and an hour later our beautiful 9 year-old Aussie was dead of an apparent catastrophic heart event. Like a bolt of lightening. Gone. Eno and I have suffered the aftermath of having a huge collection of animals in our 34 years together. They die, and we mourn. But, we have never had a dog stolen by death so quickly, and we are bereft. He seemed the picture of health and was the leader of our little pack of dogs and cats.

Kipp and Maddy

Our 4 year-old Aussie, Maddy, was always at his side, and all the other animals loved him. Our young cat, Boo, slept curled up at his side every night. This was a prince of a dog - majestic, polite, deeply kind and respectful. He was named after my father's sailboat. Since my father died in 1964, long after his sailing days were behind him, it was such an honor to have that name -Kippewa - back in my life. It brought my father to me and to Eno, who never knew him. Kipp was the perfect recipient of the treasured name.

Did you ever see the movie "Babe" ? Well, Kipp always reminded us of Rex, the powerful border collie who was the master of the fictional farm in the movie. Kipp abided with us - rarely asked for anything but love and food. (If you missed it, a bit about Kipp appeared in my Notes column for November 2013 - "Moving Into Winter". )

I think that when a beloved pet dies, it brings back to us all the loss we have suffered - people and animals. So, it doesn't get easier, even though we have experienced it numerous times. It also brings our own mortality to the front of our minds. In our seventies, Eno and I feel we may be too old to start building a new family of dogs. For 34 years, they have been the main focus of our life together. Our Jack Russell, Annie, is now over 16, and going strong, but……the writing is on the wall, and, Polly, our older cat is 14 this coming September. Kippy's beloved companion, Maddy, is 4, and Boo Radley, our younger grey cat will be 3 this year. What to do ? We'll see where the fates lead us.