Photo Feature: Quonset Hut | Austin, Texas

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Ed, the owner of Quonset Hut, was raised in a military family. Although Ed did not pursue a career as a serviceman, his gratitude, respect, and memories from his time spent in a military household as a child still live on. The items adorning the walls, covering the counters, and hanging from the ceilings are not just things to Ed; they are an integral part of who he is.

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As you meander throughout the store, you become wholly engrossed in the stories each of the items displayed might hold. Photos are taped into frames with letters, cases are stuffed with metals that have begun to rust, and rare guns rest along the back walls; everything fighting for its space within the store- begging you to pick it up next, so it can tell its story.

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You’d be hard-pressed to find a nook, corner, or cranny of this store that was not occupied by some obscure item you may or may not have seen before.

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Ed has provided props for movies like War of the Worlds, driven trucks used in World War II to events commemorating veterans, and sold items to people looking to give new life to military items from the past. Here, a man is purchasing a war tent from the 1920’s, which he hopes to sew it into a sofa cover. After hearing the man’s plans for the extremely rare piece of memorabilia, Ed said nothing, but the expression captured here really says it all.

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Ed doesn’t just want to make a sale, he wants to build a relationship, and he typically does. Ed often receives letters and photographs from customers who have grown to consider Ed a close friend, and he values them as much as the items he sells all throughout the store.  This particular photo is a group of young men stationed abroad attempting to recreate a scene from Iwo Jima in Japan.

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While posed photos are certainly not something I am ever in favor of, when asked what Ed’s favorite items were, he seemed all too eager to pull them all out, and set them up for a photo. It was as if he was a young boy again, dressing up as a soldier to emulate his father. This is a photo of a man who is truly passionate about what he is doing. Ed loves Quonset Hut, he loves people, and he loves what he has done with his life; an true rarity in the world we live in today.

-Hilary

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