I have long thought that the most important attribute of an antique dealer is to be able to impart knowledge to a client. It isn’t all that simple as it requires an attentive buyer and the dealer must pace their words and speak as a teacher, not as parent.

A good leader often gets you to understand what he wants through the release of information. It is a form of teaching that virtually none of the presidents in my life time have practiced. Instead, they lead as a parent admonishing us about the dangers of taking the wrong path, usually the path leading against their wishes. Hillary Clinton’s health care initiative died because of its secrecy. Dick Cheney’s obsession for secrecy belies the role of a public servant.

I would like to see a leader that tries to let the country know just how much power lobbyists have over the Congress. I would like to see the role of lobbyists vastly diminished. I would like to see the people responding to their politicians in a working fashion, both at the polls, which is a reactive proposition and with their elected officials, an interactive proposition.

Obama seems to understand the interactive concept well. Neither Hillary or McCain seem to. Huckabee is open because he is a long shot. Would he be nearly so open if he were the Republican candidate?

I do have a preference this fall. I would like to see America as the victor in the polls, not one party. The potential with the three major candidates is better than it has been for awhile, but no one can possibly know what is going to happen until the new president starts to govern. Frankly, I would suggest to anyone in the process of thinking about who to vote for to spend a little time learning about antiques. It is more relaxing and if they get interested, they can always buy one and take it home.

I got into the antiques business because I have a passion for antiques. Most of the people that I know in the business also have a passion for it, but a few of them particularly shine out.

My friend, the conservator Yuri Yanchyshyn, is one of those people. He cares immensely for what he does. He handles wonderful objects and furniture and his sole purpose is to see that they last for as long as possible. His work requires great skill in a number of different areas including a vast knowledge of materials, finishes and adhesives as well as a good grasp of chemistry and particularly solvents. He is good at wading into unknown territory in order to solve problems and he does it with skill and panache as I have learned on more than one occasion. He is a credit to the American Institute of Conservators as well as a leading light in his field. His business is called Period Furniture Conservation and you should google him and visit his website.

Another person, equally passionate about antiques, is John Fiske, an antiquarian who, with his wife Lisa Freeman, own the business of Fiske and Freeman which is just moving to Ipswich, Mass from far away Vermont. In the most recent issue of “The New England Antiques Journal”, John writes eloquently of the connection that antiques gives us to humanity in general. He is worth the read and worth the visit in Ipswich.