Mr Stag, Where Are You?

A few years ago, I suddenly became interested in finding out about my heritage. This is compounded by the fact that each time I pass Penang Road, a nostalgia assails me when I see the empty lot which used to be my great grandfather’s shop on Leith Street.
And I get mad each time I think of how everyone, from aunts to uncles, simply threw out what they called ‘trash’.
The ‘trash’ was in truth antiques. The old shop was derelict, okay, that I admit, but the furniture came from a bygone era. The quality cannot be found today, because the craftsmen who carved, polished, and created those pieces are long gone.
I am sure the runners who sifted through the ‘trash’ would have gleefully taken home bits and pieces by which they could earn some moolah.
I feel indignant too that no one, except Uncle Weng (and he’s an accountant, by the way) took the trouble to keep some of their grandfather’s prized possessions. If I remember correctly, he kept an antique iron, a rosewood day bed and the towering grandfather clock.
I wished I had kept something too. One particular item would have been quite a discussion-stealer. A mounted stag head with its antlers intact. It used to stare at me when I was a gawky 8 year old each time I entered the changing room (my great grandfather the sartorial professional had this small changing room built so that his ang-moh customers could try on their coats in style and comfort). Mr Stag or rather, his antlers were used by these customers to ‘hold’ their hats!
Oh how I loved that glassy-eyed Mr Stag! He was imposing… but then again, anything would look imposing to an 8 year old child!
Once great grandfather’s shop was sold and monies distributed among his sons, the contractor tore the place down.
And Mr Stag subsequently was moved unceremoniously into my grandmother’s home… into a storage area which was once a large pigeon-rearing cage.
He sat there for a long time because no one knew what to do with him. He was considered ‘old’ and ugly and how could anyone hang him up in my grandmother’s modern home?
And he was, after all, a HEAD. A dead animal’s head. Bad feng shui.
I don’t know what happened to Mr Stag because he’s no longer in the storage area. Maybe my aunt threw him out.
I hope Mr Stag found a new home where he would be more appreciated.
As for me, I still have memories of those glassy eyes following me around.
It’s 34, Leith Street, Ah Chong Tailor, all over again.

3 thoughts on “Mr Stag, Where Are You?”

  1. hiya keat… yep, I know…some problem with the database. it’s fixed now…thank god! yeah, let’s go antique hunting…so when are you coming up to Penang?


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