What Lurks Beneath

I posted a photo of this poster on Instagram, along with a plea for followers to encourage me to buy it. I left it in the antique store where I spotted it, but I could not forget about it. So a month later I decided to go back to the store, and if the poster was still there, I would buy it. And so I did

Not only is this a great piece of sports ephemera, it’s a bit of Asheville history. According to my mother, everyone roller skated in the 1940s, and so the Skateland Rollerdrome was opened in 1946 to capitalize from the fad. The craze faded, and the rink was closed in 1962, The building was converted to a music venue in the late 1960s, first as the Jade Club, and later as the Orange Peel. Both clubs were mainly R & B, and later, Soul, and the clientele came mainly from the nearby Black community. But being the Seventies, the club was not segregated, and White music lovers crowded in to see nationally known acts like The Commodores. By 1980 the (Almighty) Orange Peel had closed, along with everything else in downtown Asheville. But the late 1990s brought a revitalization, and in 2002, the Orange Peel was reborn.

So I bought the poster and brought it home. I knew that antique frame was not the right fit for a mid-century poster. An examination of the poster in the frame showed that it was mounted on some questionable paper, and needed to be removed.

The back showed some interesting mounting, including some tape and corrugated cardboard. It was all going to have to go.

But then came the big surprise.

Between the cardboard and the poster was this early twentieth century portrait. Unfortunately, there was nothing at all written on the back, so I have no clue as to who she might be. What a shame!
At any rate, the portrait is a much better fit for the frame, which has, unfortunately, been painted with blue enamel with a dark overglaze. Still, it’s a lovely portrait which did not deserve to be hidden away. I’ll not be keeping the frame and the portrait. I’m donating them to a local animal rescue group that runs a thrift store with an area for collectibles. I hope she goes to a good home.

5 Comments

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5 responses to “What Lurks Beneath

  1. What a fantastic surprise! Hope she gets identified and you get to hear about it. Thanks for letting us know, Lizzie.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jacq staubs

    I was told by antiquarians “l if something is not quite as it should be – that is your first clue”. You have demonstrated this for many years. The frame (as you stated) was your clue. Great frame/wonderful surprise.

    Like

  3. Skating remained popular during the 50s in southern California, there was a rink I believe called Skate Ranch in Santa Ana made to look like an old barn — maybe it *was* an old barn. It was in area at the edge of the enlarging city that had once been orange groves.
    bonnie in provence

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  4. I don’t mind the paint colour on the frame, it relates to her frilled collar. Will you name her? She might be a Bess, or perhaps Helen. Roller Disco has endured in Montréal, as has roller derby, and the women’s team has the best-ever name, the Sexpos (after our now-defunct baseball team, the Expos.)

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