The reality of Covid and what it wrought struck home to me recently. A good friend passed away. Toni Noble from Houston, who lit up a room, has seen her light extinguished. I knew Toni and her husband Noel through waiting in lines for shows to open in Manchester during Antiques’ Week. We spent hours solving the world’s problems, talking antiques, families and the like. The last two years we made sure to get together for lunch or dinner. Had we gotten to know each other earlier in our lives we would have been the best of friends. But friends we were, none the less.
It struck me that more auctions are now online, that more shows are online. Our coming together as an antique community has been diminished. I will not say it is different although it is. Diminished is how I perceive it. Nothing replaces someone’s smile, their muted but wonderful Southern accent, their energy. A hug has nothing to compare with it on social media or the internet. We have lost something that may never be replaced.
I think we will need to be intentional. We will need to visit folks we enjoy even if it entails commercial aviation (fine when it works the way it is supposed to, a horror at other times). I was going to visit a collector I had been friends with again because of time spent at Antiques Week and at Manchester’s and then Baltimore’s airport as I headed to Milwaukee and he Kansas City. Then Covid struck. We have not been together since. I will have to do something about that.
The casual connection is easier than ever. A meaningful connection more difficult, especially for those of us in the American antique community who do not reside in New England or them parts. For those of you who live on the east coast do not take running into friends and acquaintances for granted. Treasure the moments. You may not know how lucky you truly are.