ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BRENDA CONYERS
When most people hear of Vaseline, they think of a greasy liniment. But when they hear of Vaseline glass, they might think of Boucher’s Red Barn, a new collectibles store open at 207 N. Main.
Vaseline glass is a soft green glowing glass. Boucher’s Red Barn offers Vaseline glass figures, some for under $15.
Manufacture of the glass is limited by the government because it is made with a small amount of uranium oxide, which makes it glow when a black light shine on it.
“When you see it without the black light, it looks like plain yellow glass, but it really changes with the black light,” said George Boucher, who owns the store with his wife, Carol.
The couple are happy to have their doors open for business.
“It took us a lot longer than we planned,”Carol said, “but we’re here now. That’s what counts.”
After purchasing the former laundromat, the couple had a lot of remodeling to do. Appliances had to be removed, a raised floor installed, and changes made in the walls to create the atmosphere the Bouchers were looking for.
Some years ago, Carol, from Augusta, met George, from El Dorado. They married soon afterward.
“We watched Kansas fade away in the rearview mirror,” George said with a laugh. “Now we’re back.”
George first started collecting matchbooks, and found he enjoyed the “collecting business.” Gradually the hobby turned into a money making business for the couple. They even ventured into sales on the Internet through the e-Bay auction service.
They agreed it was a lot of work, and too many people did not send payments as promised that, so they backed away from Internet marketing.
“We wanted to have our own shop and meet the people,” George said.
The couple decided they wanted to move to a small, friendly community where they could live close to their work and enjoy small-town living.
“We were so pleased and excited to see this become available with the house right next door,” Carol said.
“We have felt welcomed here,” George added. “We have felt very accepted in this community.”
The couple have a variety of items in the store and hope to attract customers of all ages.
George Boucher (the last name rhymes with “voucher”) said they have had a number of Tabor and high school students look around in the store.
“They are good kids,” he said. “We enjoyed having them come in. There are lots of good kids around here.”
The store offers antiques, collectible glassware items, marbles, new knives, older hardback books, as well as current paperback books, paper products for parties, yardsticks, and horse tac for a western home decor.
“We try to carry a variety of items-something everyone can afford,” George said. “Antiques can be very expensive, and that’s why we carry potential antiques, like the collectible character marbles.”
They also carry new knives manufactured by Remington, Smith & Wesson and Case.
In another case, a customer would find several Zippo lighters, salt and pepper sets and other “collectibles.”
In one nook, the store even has an organ with two full keyboards and a full pedal board in excellent condition. The Bouchers said it belonged to their daughter, but she did not have room for such a large piece.
“It is beautiful,” George said. “This could be a good organ for a church or even in a large home.”
Store hours are from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Besides what they already offer, the couple said they are willing to look for items people might request.
“We continue to go to auctions and sales,” Carol said. “If we know what someone is looking for, we are willing to try to find it for them.”