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Unlocking the Mystery

I love a mystery. I listen to classic radio mysteries on my way to work, watch 'Murder She Wrote' on the Hallmark Channel and the last book I read was, The Dollhouse Murders. I think it might have something to do with my love of conspiracy theories (that’s another Blog).

Let me start at the beginning. I bought an antique oak desk back in April or May of this year. I put it in my JENGA pile of furniture in my garage and proceeded to pile stuff on and around it. Fast forward to Labor Day Weekend. With the kitchen almost completed I uncovered it because I planned to use it in the kitchen. I open the roll-top, pull out the writing surface. I’m thinking, “This is going to be easy.” Then it begins...the drawers won’t open. I think ok, with the humidity this summer, everything is swollen. I have to jiggle it or get the rubber mallet. I start to de-construct what I can. Because the piece is solid oak, I can’t get the back off or bottom off, so I removed the writing surface and I could see into the top drawer. I took the mallet (ok I wiggled first) and from the inside I tried to pound open the drawer. The drawer did move sightly on the right side but was not budging on the left. Then the bulb came on (very dim); It has a SECRET LOCK mechanism! YES! Treasure awaits. Gold bars? Declaration of Independence? Al Capone’s lock box, Who killed JFK papers, Missing 18 minutes of the Watergate tapes? I just had to get it open and I would get my own show on TLC. Antique Shop Hi-Jinks or something like that.

On to Google and Facebook to talk to experts and collectors. I have to say these guys were great, very knowledgable and as excited as I was. They gave me wonderful information, which allowed me to find the mechanism and attempt to release the drawers. They did give me the disclaimer that metal pieces within the mechanism (springs) break over time.

Now comes trial and error, and very dirty fingers. My brother, sister-in-law and the hubs are now involved in the mystery. We tip it from side to side, front and back. We had to re-rack the mechanism. Apparently someone jammed the hooks into the drawer back with a hammer. Finally, TA-DA, open! And the drawers are empty. Oh well, it’s the journey and some fun spent with the family. The lock mechanism is missing a wedge piece that disengages the lock when the writing surface is in the proper position.

This is why I love what I do.

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