Whoa, Giddy Up, Back Up

          Forty three years of craftsmanship &

              friendly service in the Forty Acres

Ober R. Kline's frame shop on the corner of Delaware Avenue and Scott Street in the Forty Acres section of Wilmington, Delaware is one of those "great good neighborhood places" professor Ray Oldenburg writes about in his landmark book The Great Good Place. Oldenburg calls such venues "third places," describing them as "convivial community refuges from the anonymity and anomie of suburbia where "unrelated people relate . . . inclusive settings beyond home and work in which people relax in good company and do so on a regular basis." 

Over the years Kline's shop has evolved into an iconic informal neighborhood destination with the same friendly ambiance as Angelo's Luncheonette, his friend August Muzzi's eatery a block away on the corner of Shallcross and Scott. Angelo's is another example of the "third place" genre The New York Times Editor's Choice book review characterized as "the heart of a community's social vitality and the grassroots of democracy." Like Angelo's Luncheonette, Obie's shop has an aura his friend Sean Whyknot describes as "a special karma that attracts good people and promotes camaraderie, creativity and a spirit of generous inclusivity. " 

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Kline and friends enjoy some pictures at Angelo's Luncheonette.

Kline has framed pictures for thousands of customers from all walks of life since he bought the building back in 1979 where he lives in the apartment over the shop. In addition to his reputation as a skilled picture framer, Kline is also known affectionately as "The Mayor" because of his special knack in "framing" harmonious relationships with customers and neighbors by virtue of his concern for democratic values and civic discourse that respects the common good. To promote these ideals, Kline is active in neighborhood politics and has also sponsored beneficial community initiatives such as the popular Delaware Avenue Farmers' Market he and local investment guru Jim Lee established in front of the shop in 2012.

 

"Calling me Mr. Mayor, as many of my friends often do is just a fun thing," says Kline, "but as a big fan of our real mayor Mike Purzicki, the sobriquet whimsically reflects my intention to be part of the collective effort to make Wilmington the great city it has the potential to become." 

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Framing Protocols: Customers are usually open to suggestions about molding and mats," says Kline, "so I always ask what they have in mind in terms of color, where they plan to hang the picture, and the size of the mat if needed. When they're satisfied with the selections, we price the project. My advice is to keep the process simple and choose a frame that lets the artwork make the statement."

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Kline explains his Keep-it-simple philosophy to Anya Beck. Anya was a ray of sunshine when she stopped in on a rainy afternoon in the Forty Acres. 

   community connections

Kline collaborates with Shakira Hunt, Owner and Creative Director of Shakira Hunt Creative Studio in Wilmington. Shakira is a graduate of Moore College of Art and Design and Delaware College of Art and Design. shakirahunt.com

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Kline gets a preview of new customer and friend Shakira Hunt's upcoming show at The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in Wilmington, June 4 through August 21, 2021. 

  Business Connections

At Decor Molding, a New York framing supplies manufacturer/distributor serving South Jersey, Delaware and Washington, D.C., the focus is always on customer satisfaction. Mary Mintz, Decor's Baltimore-based manufacturer's representative pictured below checking product stocks in company catalogs and editing discontinued moldings at picture framer Obie Kline's Wilmington, Delaware shop, says everything the firm sells comes with a 100 percent guarantee, even supplies Decor doesn't make. "We distribute products for hundreds of manufacturers of framing supplies," says Mary, "and we're known in the industry for our quick turnaround and for having products in stock 90 percent of the time." Obie Kline, standing in the shop doorway with Mary, has been a loyal Decor customer for more than 40 years. For more information contact jkatz@decormolding.com

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 CUSTOMER GALLERY

Obie with CAELEN BIRD. Caelen and his wife SAMANTHA are owners of Trolley Square Market and Midwinter Co. www.trolley squaremarket.com www.midwinter.co

ADAM E. PETREY Home Improvement apetrey08@hotmail.com

LARRY CAROLL on a rare visit from Rehobeth

Tracy stops in for a visit.

Old friend JOHN "SKIP" SAILOR.

MICK and her daughter MORGAN brought in a faded Prayer of Saint Francis for reframing along with an antique photograph of Mom & Dad. Thanks ladies!

"I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day." - VINCENT VAN GOGH

REFLECTIONS IN THE FRAME

Mary, Paul & Obie

Fred's framed picture is a reminder to "Follow your dreams."

Margot, an old friend from the good old days . . .

Saint Patrick's Day

JACK'S daughter AMELIA and crew at the shop

Obie's friend AUGUST MUZZI, proprietor of Angelo's Luncheonette, enjoys the show . . .

JIMMY GROOME & AUGUST MUZZI at the counter in Angelo's Luncheonette

This beautiful painting by the late, great contemporary abstract artist MOE BROOKER was brought in for a frame by Moe's niece Holly. The Stanek Gallery in Philadelphia says, "His brilliantly colored abstract canvases are characterized by a varied array of mark-making and recessive space, with layered, juxtaposed patterns and a lively sense of formal invention." Check out Moe's other work on artsy.net, especially: On the Way to Somehow(US$80,000).

MARTEL NEVILLE in the doorway at the store. Thanks for stopping in, Martel!

OBIE & OBIE Ober O'Brian Ober Kline

JOHN MATLUSKY & OBIE at the store

JEAN, OBIE & SHARON at the shop.

Kline with Kennett Square, PA painter PETER WILLARD. "Let the paint do the talking," says Peter.

Kline's friend TRACY SCOFIELD sets the tone . . .

MANDELL J. MUCH, JR. Psychologist/Entrepreneur "Life is not about dodging the raindrops; it's about learning to dance in the rain." In memory of Leigh Johnstone

Obie's Palette

MARK and OBIE at the store.

JEFF

BOB FORWOOD on a rare visit North of the canal

MICHELLE, my pal . . .

CARL WILLIAMS Artist

BERT MONIZ "To hell with humdrum, let's break new ground."

LANCE makes a big mistake and walks into Obie's thinking it was a frame shop . . .

and comes out with a new tattoo

JACKIE showed up and fit right in to the conversation. Great to meet you Jackie!

AMY LINCOLN Our "Maine" woman

BRANDON GREGG Wilmington Fireman

BRIDGETTE HUG gives Obie a Christmas kiss and a present from LOUISE!

Jack likes his Leica!

A "Scrumptious" Leica moment at the shop

OBIE & JEFF

DAVEY & JESS

CONOR, OBIE & KARA

KARA & CONOR with Blue Bird of Happiness

SUSAN TOWNSEND Chadds Ford, PA

NICK DiPINTO

LARRY LOGAN

OBIE, NINA & BUMBLE

The Philosophers

LAUREL OLDENBURG & ROBERT CURTIS

iPhone You

JAN FORTE

Wearing their summer issue white habits, MOTHER MARGARET & SISTER FRANCIS of The Little Sisters of the Poor drop off a print of a Catholic dignitary for framing at Obie's shop. Sister Francis is Obie's deceased friend Mike Reynold's sister. In addition to vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, the sisters promise a fourth vow of hospitality, placing unconditional confidence in Divine Providence to facilitate their endeavors.

In November, now dressed in their traditional black habits with grey vails, MOTHER MARGARET AND SISTER FRANCIS with their framed picture. According to Susie Loyld writing in the Catholic Digest, The Little Sisters of the Poor traces its origins to France in 1839. By 1868 the order had opened houses across Europe and Great Britain and are currently found in 31 countries on every continent. Their mission is to serve the elderly poor in all aspects of care.

MATT, our new Dad in The Forty Acres

DENNIS O'SULLIVAN

Dennis, you've been framed!

GIOVANNI RAMANOLI

TIM FARLEY and his daughter KAYLA

PAUL TINKLEPAUGH

ROB McCREARY and his wife MARY are regulars at the shop.

Pennsylvania artist BOB VOYNOW bobvoynowart.com

JACK & RUSS

CARSON ZULLINGER Artist/Photographer carsonzullinger.com

KEVIN KELLY

The world's most beautiful women end up in Kline's doorway . . . JAN ARMSTRONG STRANSKY & GINA MARSILII

GINA MARSILII

CONY MADARIAGA Artist www.conymadariaga.com

BRETT JONES

W.L. Gore Engineer JASON FIGUERUA with his mother SARA and father ERNESTO Welcome to Wilmington, Jason.

PAUL SCOFIELD, Attorney at Law . . .

CEILY GALLAGHER

HIEP LY Advertising Genius

JOE WRIGHT, wearing his Greenville sunglasses!

Ellen Cappard Books & Bagels 1139 W. 7th St. Wilmington, Delaware

JACK & SUSAN

JIMMY THOMPSON, Artist, City Painting thompsoncitypainting.com

REGINA & OBIE

TED STEIN CEO, Blue Marble Great to see you back in the Hood, Ted. We missed you!

SHERRY JARRELL Retired Professor

Investment guru JIM LEE who also started the Delaware Avenue Farmers Market with Obie Kline back in 2012.

GRACIE BURRUS Home from college for the summer

LYNN is a customer who lives in the hood . . .

MARY JANE SIMMONS Patron of the Arts, freelance volunteer and happily retired.

MARIA VANDEGRIFT

Obie tickled RICH COLLIN'S Funny Bone . . .

HAYES stops by for a visit . . .

KATIE LEACH Pediatric Nurse Practitioner & Nursing Professor

SUTTON HAYS & FERN FORWOOD in the doorway . . .

SUTTON HAYS

Dear friend KENNY HENDERSON

ALFONSO GALLO, an A.I. High School classmate and friend shows up for a visit after 28 years in the wilds of Alaska.

Longtime friend and customer DR. JOHN SWANSON

JUDY GREEN Retired & Happy

Long time customers SUSAN & BILL RAHN Delaware City, Delaware and Belfast, Maine

Good friend and regular Farmers' Market customer BRYAN KEENAN

JOAN BERNARD & RON GALLIMORE in the door at the store.

QUAKER takes JOHN and PAM out for a walk . . .

Obie & Mandy, Farmers' Market opening day, May 20,2021

BOB RAUSCH Business Advisor Delaware SBDC

SUSAN & JULLIET

CHRISTINE & FRIEND

TOM & KELLY ROSS

WILLIAM, long-distance walker . . .

The iconic FRED BOURDON Owner, Jackson Inn

PAULA GATOS

DOCTOR FORWOOD I presume . . .

VOILA!

Another satisfied customer!

MARTIN checks in from the UK.

OBIE with his indispensable ace TOMMY

CELESTE is the best!

TOMMY & CELESTE

US Coast Guard chopper pilot MIKE HENNEBERY stops in for a visit . . .

MIKE NIMAN is still waiting for his picture!

LARRY DINISIO contractor to the stars . . .

"The people you see when you don't have a gun!" - JIMMY GALLAGHER

Mystery Man of the Forty Acres

A good friend and frequent customer over the years, EVAN WILNER served as Delaware's first Public Advocate for 12 years followed by a career with Darwin & Baum law firm until his retirement in 2000. Wilner is currently a member of the Eighth Ward Democratic Committee which is an example of what he calls "ground level" democracy in Wilmington, Delaware.

Professor BILL DEERING back from France . . .

HIEP LY and the Butterfly.

SUE and JEFF DOBBS stop by for a visit on their way back to Atlanta.

LANCE is back from Florida . . .

ROB BURRUS brings in another work of art . . .

PETE'S picture finally gets framed.

DR. ALI LUND loves her picture!

MIKE OSHINSKY CEO Autobutler

Framing Peter Ralston's work brings back memories of Obie's friend Andy Wyeth.

PETER RALSTON'S website is a great source of iconic Maine images as well as many photographs of his friends Jamie and Andy Wyeth.

The work of Maine-based photographer PETER RALSTON (ralstongallery.com), is popular among Wyeth fans in Delaware. Mr. Wyeth was a friend and frequent visitor to the shop for many years.

BRIAN DONNELLY stops for a visit . . .

PEARCE DONNELLY, Artist

Wilmington artist CARL WILLIAMS. For more about Carl and his work click on Birds of a Feather in the menu bar.

CARL WILLIAMS with two more framed pictures for his upcoming show.

LINDA SOBIESKI Artist

Apples & Oranges; Apple & Rolex; Does anybody know what time it is?