I don’t really know why we chose Wages Funeral Home in Stone Mountain to handle a family tragedy several years ago. Perhaps it was because we often visited the village and drove by their place of business.
I liked Billy Wages the moment we met. When the next need arose we naturally returned to where the service was wonderfully compassionate and professional.
Billy Wages and I became friends and I would sometime stop by just to talk. Among his interests he said he liked chess. I took my favorite set to his office and we often played. He wanted a chess set like mine so I gave him the one with which we were playing; rich mahogany, polished brass and steel chess pieces, leather lined tombs, from Noble Games collection of classic board games.
We had an occasion three more times to use the service. I sometime walked around while waiting and admired the antiques.
We have been in Wages several times; some for family services and once for a friend. I enjoy talking to the staff and have had several good conversations with Jeffrey. He likes wilderness fishing, also. My wife, on the other hand, strolls around “oohing and aahing” at the fascinating antiques. I tell her the Bible says “Thou shall not covet.” She says she’s not coveting anything but I know better. She appreciates creativity.
She also loves touching anything she admires except of course, paintings. She just stands and studies them. I asked her a couple weeks ago where she would like to go for dinner. She said Wages would be okay. I thought she was suggesting a new restaurant. Obviously she wasn’t listening to me.
We attended funeral services for a close friend and as others began to go into the chapel she told me to get seats and she would be right in. She never made it and when everyone walked out she was still ambling around intrigued by the exquisite antiques.
I recently drove by Wages Funeral Home in the village. I felt an urge to stop in and see Billy’s collection of antiques again. I walked around in the peaceful silence, looking and thinking of the time and effort he devoted to finding unique items usually found only in chateaus and castles; a large display case overflowing with bells in porcelain and glass from around the world, a case with Royal Doulton bust-caricatures of famous people, a Michelangelo stone carving of Madonna and Child on a magnificent pedestal, Tiffany stained glass windows, a Howard Miller grandfather clock, a bronze American Indian sculpture depicting the plains Indian culture, a Czechoslovakian chandelier with teardrop prisms, a bronze sculpture of an Alaskan whale boat, a brass clock mantled by miniature roses, large urns from the Yuan Dynasty in China, bold paintings, dozens of interesting figurines.
It would take twice this space to itemize all of the collection. You could spend hours admiring the displays of his life-long obsession. If you appreciate unusual artistry you must see this great collection.
You are welcome to visit Wages Funeral Home on Main Street in the Stone Mountain village and see the fascinating results of a man’s dreams. Your time will be well spent.
Bill York can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.