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where there's smoke: A building under construction next to the Logan Police Station caught fire from a welder's spark. Damage was estimated at $50,000. / Photo by Gideon Oakes

Today's word on journalism

August 27, 2008

On protests at political conventions:

"The citizens of Denver and St. Paul, and Americans everywhere, should hope officials in those cities already have considered both the constitutional and monetary costs of silencing voices that have a right to be heard. . . . Well-expressed or wacky. Irritating or illuminating. Respectful or raucous. There's nothing in the 45 words of the First Amendment that sets out any such qualifications or limits on protests. Time and again in our history, from women's suffrage to civil rights to tax protests, to name just some, voices first raised in the streets -- to the disgust or disappointment of some -- have led to significant, positive changes in law and American life."

--Gene Policinski, executive director, First Amendment Center, 2008

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Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Antiques store owner offers plenty of ‘Hidden Treasures'

By Amanda Mears

May 8, 2008 | When Logan resident Shawn Fullmer began collecting G.I. Joes, his favorite childhood toy, he never dreamed it would lead to a whole new career path. Fullmer, who did not have any previous experience in antique dealing when he opened Hidden Treasures, said he took over the store when its former owner decided she wanted out of the antique business.

Two years later, the store, which is at 692 N. 600 West, holds everything from collector pottery to vintage vending machines and has allowed Fullmer to quit his previous job and focus on something he enjoys.

Fullmer said he lives and breathes antiques and is happy to be able to turn something he loves into a profession. Fullmer said although he spends most of his time in the store, even his free time revolves around antiques.

In order to price the items in his store, Fullmer said he reads as many books about appraising and antiques as he can get his hands. Pointing to a stack of worn paperback books that rests on the counter, he explains that knowledge is what a customer is paying for.

Fullmer said he also has another hobby that helps him when it comes to deciding how much an item is worth.

"I watch Antiques Roadshow [on PBS] every day," Fullmer said. "I never miss it. I also spend a lot of time looking for collectibles and things people would be interested in buying." Most mornings, Fullmer said he wakes up early to stop by garage sales and take a look around the D.I.

"You don't find a lot there because the regulars will wait and fight over anything of real value, but I've had a few good finds," Fullmer said.

One of those finds, Fullmer said, was an original photo of the Salt Lake City temple taken in 1893, matted and signed by H.H. Thomas and O'Dell. The photo, which Fullmer bought for $25, turned out to be worth over $8,000.

It's finds like this that Fullmer said make his job exciting and unique. In addition to scouring local thrift shops, Fullmer said he often gets calls from people who want to bring in old items they have lying around.

"I get excited when people bring things down," Fullmer said. "Like you would on your wedding day."

Much like the rest of his antique career, Fullmer said he stumbled upon the name Hidden Treasures almost by fate.

"I saw the name on a book at borders and pulled it out," Fullmer said. "Then I saw it was written by the appraisers on Antiques Roadshow."

Fullmer said he knew instantly that he name was a perfect fit for his small store, placed inconveniently on an industrial road.

"It's way out here," Fullmer said, "but we get a lot of people who keep comin' back."

One of the reasons Fullmer said his shop had been able to flourish is the fact that he is able to connect with his customers on a personal level, unlike some antique stores around town.

"You get places like Country Village and they have a bunch of vendors just selling stuff," Fullmer said. "You try and ask them a question and chances are they won't know a thing about the item."

Another attribute that Fullmer said comes in handy when attracting potential buyers is his well-known selling methods.

"I am famous for wheelin' and dealin'," Fullmer said, chuckling in his deep voice. "People know I'll get ‘em a good deal."

Fullmer said only one other person, his father, has the key to his store and that is just in case Fullmer needs to take a sick day. Being the only employee of his store had allowed Fullmer the freedom to set prices and interact with his customers on a one-on-one basis.

"I'm doing it all by myself," Fullmer said. "I put in a lot of time."

As one shopper pushes open the dusty glass door and steps inside Fullmer greets her with a curt nod and a brisk hello. It's not his style to be overbearing or pushy.

Stopping to marvel at a vintage juke box, Logan resident Mary Jo Hanson makes her way to where Fullmer is perched behind a large wooden desk complete with an 18th century cash register.

"I'm looking for a certain cookbook for my mother-she collects them," Hanson explains.

For the next 24 minutes, Fullmer explains exactly where she can get what she's looking for. Although he currently does not have any at Hidden Treasures, Fullmer writes down her name and number and promises to give her a call as soon as he spots one.

His understated enthusiasm for his career makes Hidden Treasures one of the most successful antique stores in Cache Valley. Although Fullmer said there can be dry spells in the antique business, it's evident by the flow of customers that antiquing is still a popular pastime in Logan.

"Ebay put a damper on antique sales," Fullmer said, "but there are still people getting into it."

Currently, Fullmer said one of the most exciting things he has in the store is a combination doctor/dentist chair that was once owned by Dr. Hale. Fullmer said he had his eye on the chair for quite awhile, but until recently it was only sold as part of Dr. Hale's house.

"I'm hoping it will be bought by a doctor or a dentist in town who can use it as a display or something," Fullmer said. "You don't see these every day."

The excitement of a rare find is why Fullmer said he enjoys waking up everyday and coming to work.

"That's what's nice about this business," Fullmer said. "It's like treasure hunting."



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