A Downey house full of hidden treasures

DOWNEY - There's just something about hunting for hidden treasure that lures us all, kids, grandparents and everybody in between.Would you like to look for hidden treasure right here in Downey, success assured, and have a great afternoon of fun doing it? Read on. There's a half-acre parcel of land you've never seen where Downey residents, generations ago, worked and farmed and raised their families. Some eventually got streets named after them, the Halls, the Buckles. The Rose family moved into the small brown-shingled, two-bedroom house, but it got pretty crowded with five kids, so the boys slept in the barn. As years passed and these families moved away, they didn't bother to take everything with them - you know how that is. When the current owners, Gene and Mary Hauk, bought the property in 2000, they kept finding wonderful old things left behind, hidden away. Tools, kitchen utensils, household goods, 27 skittish cats, a box of wedding gifts stored in the attic, fertile soil that still sends up unexpected plants. There were several houses on the land, the cottage, that barn, sagging parts of an old rail fence, workshop areas, but everything needed attention badly. If ever there was a bunch of fixer-uppers... Now, though, it is all in the right hands. Gene can renovate anything, Mary can design and lay out a pathway with the best of them. They are appreciators and collectors, and have devoted years to preserve the history of this site, salvaging, researching and seamlessly restoring. And that is to be treasured, and that is what you can discover on a walking tour for a special three-hour period, 2-5 p.m., on Sunday afternoon, April 28. Help yourself to refreshments, stroll around in your comfy flat shoes, sit for a while in one of the patios for a good cup of coffee or something icy cold. Browse the boutique tables, have an ice cream and delight in the music of another Downey treasure, the wonderful (unhidden) Bob Flynn. Your donation of $12 for adults, $5 for kids, supports the Downey Symphony and Music in the Schools. Admission is by advance reservation only, so hurry! RSVPs must be in on Monday, April 22. Call Joyce at (562) 928-4122 for lots more information and to make sure you can experience this exceptional "Afternoon of Hidden Treasures." -Joyce Sherwin, Downey Symphony

********** Published: April 18, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 01