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My Antique Brass Bed

Publisher Tracy Patterson with her dog sitting in the desert resting up from a hike

Tracy Patterson

For some reason the article on page 38 in this issue reminded me of the old becoming new to me, via the numerous antiques I received earlier in my life—a brass bed, a secretary desk, a trunk, a couple of small china cabinets, and a variety of dishes and knickknacks.

I don’t even remember where I got most of my beloved treasures, but the brass bed was a Christmas present that came from an attic in an old cottage at a lake that my family used to visit when I was very young. It was quite a bed with its rickety brass frame, old wire mesh on wood supports, and a piece of plywood that lay between the mesh and the mattress. And what a mattress it was, a three-quarter size that was as basic as it gets, and no box spring.

I was horse crazy, and when my mum decorated my room, she made a wonderful bedspread with horses on it and a bright green skirt. My antique brass bed became a playground of sorts that I used to make a “fort” or a “yacht” right on the bed, tying rope from the headboard to the footboard and draping blankets to make a cozy area inside. It also served as a hospital bed for my dogs when I would bandage them up and “cure” them of whatever ailed them in the particular scene I had created at the time.

Looking back, it was the perfect bed for a child, and I didn’t notice it then, but as I grew older I realized that my bed was darn uncomfortable! Still, I persevered for many years, into my 30s actually, before I realized that I wasn’t getting a good night’s sleep and that it would be in my best interest to find a more comfortable bed. My brass bed then became a spare bed, which wasn’t ideal for company on two levels—comfort, and if there were two people it was a mighty tight fit.

The day came when I made the very sad decision that my brass bed had to find a new home. I no longer had space to have it set up in a spare bedroom, and I didn’t have the room to store it. I was very emotionally attached to my bed, so it wasn’t easy parting with it. I took it to an antique store and had to just walk away and not look back.

I’ve often wondered what became of my antique brass bed. Perhaps it was a Christmas present for another young girl, like I was when I received the bed, and that it helped to serve as a source for her imagination and play growing up.