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Vern Telken fixes and sells vintage cars at Tin Lizzie Antiques. He says male customers appreciate having the opportunity to look at the cars while their wives shop for antiques. (Riham Feshir / Enterprise)

Tin Lizzie Antiques opens in Lake George

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As a child, Paula Telken would shop for antique gifts for her father instead of cute little things other kids would buy.

"I would go to the store and pick something that I had absolutely no idea what it was and give it to him as a present," she said.

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And now, many years later, she's got a store full of antique furniture, table settings, decorative items and all kinds of glassware.

Paula and her husband Vern are the owners of Tin Lizzie in Lake George.

The couple bought the antique store in April, but they're not new to the area.

The Telkens owned the Lake George Store and Café in the early 1980s, moved out of the area, came back in the 90s and bought the Wigwam Store.

Now they're back living in Alida and working with familiar faces in the small town north of Park Rapids.

The store houses a variety of antiques, but glassware is a dominant feature.

Paula said she has collected glassware and antiques for as long as she can remember. Anything that caught her eye, she would buy.

She didn't plan on opening a store until one day she ran out of room in the house to the point that she had a walk-in closet filled with boxes of glassware.

"I guess it became kind of an obsession," she said. "I just love glass."

Her store offers a variety of colors: From the deep reds and blues, to the gold and clear.

As customers walk into Tin Lizzie, they instantly see shelves of glass, but as they walk further to the back of the store, they run into a surprise.

Antique cars.

Vern is responsible for fixing up classic cars and selling or showing them to the husbands who are forced to come into the shop with their wives.

"This is where all the guys gravitate," he said.

And while Paula said she didn't think the things Vern used to build or fix up cars were worth the time and effort, after seeing the finished products, she began to appreciate them.

"He came home one day with a huge flat bed of car pieces. I thought it was a pile of junk," she said. "But then he turned them into beautiful cars."

Tin Lizzie will be open from noon to 6 p.m. for the rest of the summer and fall season, then it will be open weekends only starting this November.

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