Lane furniture dating
Winds were so strong that the conflagration could not be contained, and the adjacent Bassett Table Company became engulfed, too.Firefighters did manage to keep the flames away from a nearby company warehouse that was stocked with the imports that had rendered the two factories—and the seven hundred workers who’d once worked in them—obsolete.Maxine Brown, a laid-off worker, told me, “China could get our jobs, our timber, our whole nine yards.But when the building caught fire I thought, At least that’s one brick you won’t get.”Over the next year, dozens of people stopped by the charred remains of the plant to collect a keepsake brick. Sure, they were proud of the work they’d done in those factories, of the friendships they’d formed while culling lumber and carpooling to save on gas.Displaced workers from across the county drove old pickups and dented sedans to pay their respects, getting as close as they could to the smoke and flames.False rumors had been circulating, before the fire, that Bassett planned to ship the bricks from the Superior building to China.Bassett employed thousands of local people in several factories in town. Then, in recent decades, came a familiar challenge: Bassett was undercut by imports from Asia and under pressure from shareholders to improve its profit margins.
Counting those stores, corporate and warehouse facilities, and its two remaining factories—both outside of Bassett—it now employs fifteen hundred people, down from ten thousand workers at its peak in the eighties. factories closed—furniture and clothing mills, shoe and machine-tool factories.
Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award and will be published July 15th by Little, Brown and Company.
Lane is seen toting what she refers to as the Mojo bible of music around, aiming to procure every last record in it.
In a corner of the lot stood a neat stack of bricks he’d pulled from the pile.
He picked one out and, with a degree of ceremony, chinked off the mortar before passing it to me carefully, the way one might hand over a sleeping baby or a rising loaf of bread.