That was Joan Silbersher's shop, Antiques and Tools of Business and Kitchen, a mainstay on Westchester Avenue in Scotts Corners, Pound Ridge, N.Y. since 1990. You could find antique pulleys; mid-century casserole dishes and match books from long-closed nightclubs and restaurants; fishing equipment; sail boats; musical instruments and sheet music; medical tools from the dark ages; rotary dial telephones; and more and more and more. To welcome both collectors and browsers, Joan had a jar full of gummy candy on the right as you walked into the shop. On Sunday mornings, you'd hear WNYC radio blasting with either classical music or host Jonathan Schwartz and his retro selection of show tunes.
In my book, POUND RIDGE PAST: Remembrances of Our Townsfolk*, Joan said people enjoyed going to her shop because "... they like the feeling of things that are old -- really old -- no reproduction, and no phony stuff. You go to some places and there are ten urns, all identical. You know it's all phony, brand new, reproduction. So the kind of person who likes my place is sort of down-to-earth."
As Joan closes the shop's doors for new ventures, we salute her many successes as a contributing resident and businessperson of Pound Ridge. She galvanized the group of people who created the Pound Ridge Tennis Club; started The Country Shopper newspaper; launched an early beautification effort to have flower boxes on the avenue; initiated the Sunday farmers' market, second Sunday antiques markets and the annual town-wide yard sales (including maps with sale locations/days/hours). For pedestrians, cyclists, and a general rest spot, Joan instituted the fountain and benches in front of the former Bank of America, as well as the restriction for a 3-hour parking maximum in the town's business district. And ... who didn't bring their children to her annual Halloween parade and Christmas walk?
A dedicated and outspoken Democrat, Joan also encouraged everyone to be participating voices in American democracy, both on the local and national levels.
Joan Silbersher -- La Doyenne Du Funk -- will forever be a Pound Ridge icon. Her spunk, sassiness, intelligence, and wit will surely land her into an exciting new chapter.
We send Joan a million good wishes!
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* POUND RIDGE PAST is available at
Booksy Galore in Pound Ridge; Red Fox Gallery in Bedford;