Bill, my stepmother's live-with of perhaps 50 years, stopped by the other day to say hello. He and my stepmother live in the eastern part of Massachusetts while I live in the west. But Bill has a house up in the hills near here, so occasionally he drops in.
Bill was once an antiques dealer. He dealt in the kind of antiques you see behind the ropes in museums, not just oak. Americana is/was his thing.
But times have changed in the antiques business. True, it's still a rich man's dalliance, but the rich these days do not love antiques so much as they covet them. They have the money and they can see the investment potential, but they do not love. They are merchants. And Bill, who has done his share of playing the merchant, still maintains the eye and heart that can see and feel the story -- the beauty -- of what was so lovingly built in another time.
So Bill stays pretty much out of it now, doing some consulting with the merchant-minded who want to know that they are making a good investment, but otherwise being "bored" as my stepmother puts it.
It takes effort and hands-on knowledge to see beauty. And it takes courage not to surrender and become a mere merchant.