The Music Shop at the End of the Street

Christine Collier -

The shop was at the end of Maple Street. It was actually on the corner of Maple and First but so many people described it as that pretty music shop at the end of the street that the Thomas family actually used this description in their ads.

It was a beautiful brick landmark with leaded windows and antique light fixtures positioned near the front door.  It was impossible to properly describe the building. The front door was carved from massive dark oak panels and had an etched murky glass doorknob. Centered on the door an old brass knocker shaped like a piano rested, waiting for music lovers of all ages to knock and enter one more time.

While it may sound like this shop had few problems, this was not the case. It had major trouble and the culprit was the mall. A hip new music store with the latest CDs, keyboards, electric amps and guitars was taking away their business at an alarming rate.

Jenna Elizabeth Carter lived on a quiet little street in Oakdale with her family. Their home was about ten blocks from the Thomas Music Shop. She took piano lessons there every Tuesday evening with Mrs. Thomas.

Jenna loved the beautiful old music shop. She was ten and a good student at Oakdale Middle School. As usual Jenna walked into the music shop exactly five minutes before her lesson. In the corner of the piano room was an exact replica of the shop in miniature, very similar to a doll house. It was an architect’s model with an open floor. The original owner, George W. Thomas, had commissioned an artist to build this identical copy of the then new store in 1920. It had every detail of the main shop, even a tiny brass doorknocker shaped like a piano. The small replica had been a conversation piece for years. The artist who created it, Preston Corbett, became very famous in later years.

Jenna was in the middle of her lesson; the metronome merrily keeping time when all of a sudden Mrs. Thomas gasped...

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