Owning and operating one of the largest architectural salvage stores in the nation, I could list a number of things that I love about my job. I love discovering the history behind many of the artifacts that we rescue. I love the challenge of salvaging an old building. I also love being creative by re-purposing salvaged goods and finding new ways to give them life. But, the thing that I truly love the most are the people who float in and out of Southern Accents each day.
A few Saturdays ago, a young boy by the name of Walker Mallos visited our showroom with his parents and grandparents. He looked up at the huge flag that we have hanging over the staircase and asked if I had anything from the Presidents. I didn’t quite understand his question. His Grandfather came to my rescue and explained that his grandson loved the Presidents. He encouraged me to quiz him… “ask him anything about any President.” I asked him to list the first ten Presidents, thinking this would be a challenging task for any 9 year old. Walker laughed as he quickly proceeded to name each President, from George Washington to Barack Obama, in order. I was intrigued with my new young friend. Determined to stump him, I then asked if he could name the Vice-Presidents. To my disbelief, he named each one, in order, along with the name of their wife. To say that I was impressed would be an understatement. I then asked Walker if I could video him. He obliged and offered to state an interesting fact about each President as he named them. You can watch a clip of this video on our YouTube channel.
People come in and out of our showroom every day. The gifts that they share with us are one of the reasons that we do what we do. It is the fellowship with our customers and the sense of community that inspires us. Our continuing thirst for knowledge helps in creating and cultivating relationships across the nation. That makes Southern Accents not just a salvage store but a place where relationships can grow based on a love of history and architectural antiques. In that, we learn to be more appreciative of our surroundings.
This 9 year old boy shared with me a history lesson on our Presidents. In return I was able to share something with him. One of the rare door knobs in my collection is a knob that came from JFK’s New York apartment. Walker got to hold, in his hand, the same knob that was many times grasped by his idol, President John F. Kennedy. I was honored to have had the opportunity to link this child’s passion with one of mine through a piece of salvage that will be memorialized for us both.
Rescuing, restoring and protecting artifacts of historical significance is our passion at Southern Accents. Sharing stories and historical facts that we’ve been able to gather about these artifacts is a way we keep history alive for future generations. The opportunity to connect with a young 9 year old boy who shares a love of history is a gift. He may one day be creating the history that my grandsons will be collecting!
We appreciate our customers. Your business allows us to continue doing what we love. Your stories and conversations inspire us. Stop by our showroom, grab a coke or bottle of water and stay awhile. Let’s share a story or two together!
Written by: Garlan Gudger, Jr. & Lisa Jones