Locksmithing is apparently one of those dying trades. I’m not sure why, since there are ever more doors and locks. I called a locksmith after Robert spent half an hour going up and down Main Street trying to locate him from the address in the phone book. The neighboring businesses disavowed all knowledge.
“Where exactly are you located?” I said.
“On 19 across from CVS,” he said. This is nowhere near Main Street, but about half a mile from our house and we’re by there regularly to the supermarket, CVS, and the Go-Mart (which stocks the best brand of pepperoni rolls.)
“Oh”, I said “You’re not on Main Street?”
“No,” he said, “Never have been, but the phone book has been wrong for about 5 years. I’m not there anyway, I’m in Fairmont.”
“When might you be back?”
“Don’t know, I’m working on a safe.”
“Oh, well, we’re going to Food Lion anyway, so we’ll check then.” So we did, and there was a sign on the door (which has faint old Subaru dealership signs, but is now a trailer and U-Haul place, plus there was a “Safe Sale” sign) that said “Back in 30 minutes.” We went grocery shopping and went back; there was someone there, but the locksmith had gone home for the day. We went looking for another locksmith, but since the address was a home with no signs, we didn’t go knock.
All this was in aid of getting a key for the lock on the basement door so there is a door besides the front we can get into from the outside. It was a nice old Yale lock, and we like to repair things rather than replace them if we can. The next day, Robert called the first locksmith, who was in Philippi working on a safe this time. He called the second one, who said yes, he worked out of his house, but if his truck hadn’t been there, he wasn’t there anyway. Robert took the lock over, but the locksmith couldn’t get into it, had no barrel that would fit, and “it’s a spring lock that you could open with a credit card anyway – get a deadlock.”
So we went off to the Ace Hardware in Bridgeport, got a deadlock, and Robert installed it. (That makes it sound easier than it was, but he is very handy.)