A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Ace is the Place…

…for matching the copper sash chains in our house!

Our windows had been updated with copper coated chains by the PO, but it turns out the upper sashes still had rope chains. The window guys started to replace them with new chain, but they only had silver and asked me if that was alright. Pete had mentioned to me that the PO left behind a small roll of copper chain, so I found that and gave it to them to use instead. They quickly ran out, and I offered to go out and buy more, thinking that it was a commonly-stocked item. They suggested that I go to Ace instead of Menards even though it’s closer to our house.

I went to the local Ace Hardware in Skokie. This place has been around as long as I can remember, but I don’t usually think to go to it (when I do go to Ace, I go to the one across from Trader Joe’s in Glenview). However having grown up in Skokie, I often went there with my father on Saturday morning errands. The store is right in downtown Skokie and is a little unusual in that it has a large staircase in the middle of the store that leads downstairs to more square footage. I remember playing around those stairs a lot (Jacks, I believe) while he shopped around.

My father died suddenly a very long time ago at a younger age than I currently am, which is still hard for me to fathom. He fully expected to live well into his 80s just like his parents and grandparents. He died just after I turned 13, and I was well into my 20s before I was even able to say to someone that my father was dead without bursting into tears.

Anyway, among other things I still have the workbench where he kept all his tools and where he had all his nails, screws and what-not neatly organized. He was always puttering around and working on different projects even though we rented an apartment for most of my childhood.

So going to that Ace made me think fondly about those errands. I’m sure at the time I was bored to tears waiting for him, but today it felt good as the Helpful Hardware Man took me down the aforementioned stairs. I thought I was out of luck when they had no copper chain and didn’t stock it either. 2007100601.jpgBut then he walked over to a wall of wood cabinets and drawers that I’m certain existed during those Saturday morning errand runs (I like to think he was somehow drawn to it). He opened a door and fished around a bit. He said that people often come to the store and give them old hardware and things when they move. Then he took out a cloth sack that was filled with 100 feet of copper chain. Score!

They definitely don’t make packaging like that any longer. Unfortunately, I didn’t pay $3.59 like it says on the package either; it was more like 10x that amount.

But no matter——if I hadn’t asked that particular guy, I doubt I would have walked out of there with that chain.

So thanks for everything, Ace. —I’ll be seeing you again some Saturday morning, for sure.

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