By Sarah Eisenbeisz, Marketing Director for Kitchen Tune-Up
I’ve been using this recipe for years, and always have a spray bottle on hand at my home. My mom got the recipe from a dear lady that owned an antique store in Moorhead, Minnesota named Jean Evenson. Jean claimed that you would never have streaked windows or mirrors again if you used this cleaner made from a few household ingredients.
Jean and Jack Evenson operated Summer House Antiques in Moorhead since the mid 1970’s. Jean had been a homemaker, and opened the shop after her children were grown. Jack retired after a long career as a lineman for Northwestern Bell Telephone company, and then worked building replica furniture and repairing items for the antique shop. It was a small shop behind their home and they specialized in primitive antiques. The shop was surrounded by their backyard with a beautiful garden and amazing flowers.
I grew up in Jamestown, ND and my mom and grandma had to visit the antique shop every time we were in the Fargo-Moorhead area. My brother and I were always along, and we’d would hop out of the car and head to the city playground that was next door. Mom and Gram would shop for a while and then come find us and make us come over and say hello to Jean and Jack. We would put a few pennies in the gumball machine and Jack usually had a muffin or fresh baked treat to share. Then we would hear a story about a piece of furniture Jack was working on, or Jean would show us a unique piece of furniture she had recently brought in to the shop. She would explain what time period it was from, and tell us about what it was used for during the late 1800’s or early 1900’s.
At the time, I would have rather been on the playground, but looking back I credit these visits (and visits to many other antique stores that Mom & Gram drug me to) with starting my love of everything old, antique, vintage, or shabby. My husband and I are rehabbing a 1960’s home and I have a pretty random collection of mid-century pieces (instead of the awesome primitives Jean and Jack had). However, I learned so much from Jean & Jack in only about 4-6 visits to their antique shop every year.
Jean and Jack were truly unique and I continued to visit their shop throughout college whenever I visited the area. They raised 13 children at their home in Moorhead, Minnesota including 3 sets of twins! (Seriously THREE sets of twins!) I remember Jean talking about the number 13, and how even her house numbers added up to 13.
I wish I could visit just a few more times and take in some more of their stories. My last visit was in 2010 a few months before Jean passed away. Jean’s health was declining and we sat in her backyard for a while enjoying the beautiful day and had a nice visit. I most admire that Jean and Jack were small business owners that lived their passion, and their customers became their friends.