always got what she wanted.
TO TALBOT MYSTERY SECTION
always. As owner of Seattle's largest and most successful antiques
shop, All Things Old--"including me," she often said--Blanche
could afford anything she desired. One of Jeff Talbot's self-appointed
missions was to try and locate everything on Blanche's extensive
wish list. He considered her a friend; the very best kind of
friend, one that paid better than anyone else in the business.
an old warehouse down by the waterfront, customizing it into
a three-story antiques mecca. With the large parking lot, it
took up a city block. The walls of the ground floor's formidable
main room stretched upward twenty-eight feet, and a massive oak
staircase led to a gallery that bisected the room's height. The
Widow's Walk, as Blanche had named the gallery, was edged all
around with an elaborately scrolled wrought-iron railing. It
showcased a fortune in antique porcelains and only those produced
by European factories such as Sevres, Meissen, Chantilly, Minton,
The rest of the
main floor was segmented into several large rooms which housed
everything from toys to swords, from cut glass to gas pumps,
from furniture to books.
was split in half. On one side was TLC (Tender Loving Care),
for the do-it-yourselfers, with barrister bookcases in want of
glass and chairs whose seats needed re-caning. On the other side
was George's, named for Blanche's late husband. George's was
jam-packed with antique tools, weathervanes, fishing gear, sports
and railroad memorabilia, and architectural hardware. Although
she showed no propensity toward discrimination of the sexes,
Blanche Appleby assigned railroad china to George's as well in
order to entice those females who might not normally frequent
fourth floor was The Cabbage Rose, a tea room which offered a
large luncheon menu that included three varieties of quiche,
several homemade desserts and, in answer to Seattle's major obsession,
more blends of coffee than any other establishment in the city.
about her penchant for naming the sections of her establishment,
Blanche declared that she would call the bathrooms Fred and Ethel
if she took a mind to. George and Blanche never had children.