A Doors-Filled Story (Fourth Edition)

A lovely day it was indeed. The Sun beamed and gleamed. The skies, nary a cloud within them, were an expanse of blue at its finest. Unexpectedly mild for winter (51°F/11°C), a steady breeze on hand to keep me refreshed, the afternoon of February the ninth presented to me a perfect opportunity to go out and peruse doors in Hatboro, a town in the Philadelphia burbs that’s a couple of miles from the one I call home. I grabbed the opportunity.

Doors? Yes, doors are a favored subject for a fair number of WordPress scribes, including, occasionally, yours truly. I’ve written about them three times before. And, it should be noted, the hub on WordPress for all things doors is the Thursday Doors project run by Dan Antion on his No Facilities blog. So, if you click here you will be directed to Dan’s handsome site, where links to the writings of and photographs by doors enthusiasts may be found.

As I drove to Hatboro I was confident about what I’d find, because I’ve been there a multitude of times over the years — to shop, to dine, to stretch my legs on its sidewalks. It’s a down-to-earth community with pleasant residential blocks and a commercial area that, though hanging in there, has seen better days. Sure, maybe a unique or snazzy door or two awaited me. But no more than that, I figured.

And you know what? I was right. Of the hundreds of doors that passed before my eyes that afternoon as I wandered around many of Hatboro’s streets, alleys and parking areas, nearly all were of one standard style or another and also plain as can be in the color department.

And you know what else? I was absolutely fine with that, as I’ve long believed there is value and beauty in just about everything if I look hard enough and, when needed, adjust my way of thinking. After all, who am I not to admire the seemingly ordinary? I mean, I understand what it’s like to be ignored. I ain’t exactly Bradley Cooper when it comes to looks, you dig, proof of which is the fact that I can count on two hands, probably one, the number of times in my life that a girl has given me the eye. And those occurrences were decades ago. Shit, now that I’m pretty damn deep into my senior citizen era, there ain’t a chance in the world that I’ll ever again be gazed upon with interest, unless it’s by somebody working on a doctoral thesis about old farts. Boo hoo, man! Boo f*cking hoo!

Ordinary and admirable
Ordinary and very admirable

Among the “ordinary” portals that made a real impression on me in Hatboro, two of whose portraits I’ve included above, my top pick is the one identified by a nice big 3A. It more or less stopped me in my tracks because, I now realize in hindsight, its grey-green coloration struck an oceanic chord within me. I’m an ocean lover, and over the years I’ve seen the Atlantic’s waters take on a hue similar to 3A’s. Plus, how could I not fall for a door with a newspaper sticking out of its mail slot, like a tongue looking for attention?

Still, there were two doors that I preferred to 3A, both of which struck me as being a step or two above “ordinary”: a swinging door made of wood planks and metal, and the front door to a house. The latter, alive in orangey-red and decorated with a display of shadows that dazzled, easily garnered the gold medal in the doors competition that day.

In honor of Hatboro’s très cool red door, I’m going to end these proceedings by presenting an equally cool song titled — what else? — The Red Door. It was recorded in 1952 by a group led by tenor saxophonist John “Zoot” Sims and was released the next year. Zoot, who co-wrote the tune with Gerry Mulligan, takes the first sax solo. Mulligan, by the way, doesn’t appear on the recording.

Sims, a hell of a musician, was a presence in the jazz world for about 35 years (he died in 1985, having made it to only age 59). I had chance after chance to see him perform in New York City clubs during the 1970s and 80s, but, stupidly, let them pass me by. I’ve regretted those decisions ever since.

Here then is Zoot and his compadres on the lovely, swinging tune that The Red Door is. Enjoy.

134 thoughts on “A Doors-Filled Story (Fourth Edition)

  1. johnlmalone March 3, 2022 / 12:23 am

    I would love to have seen this live; it has, as you say, a real swing’; hey, Neil, there’s another door song came out roughly the same period, ‘The Green Door’ by Jim Lowe. Do you know it? I had it on an old vinyl 78. It’s sort of sinister and mysterious, creepy but fun 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. thelongview March 3, 2022 / 12:58 am

    Never heard of anyone chasing doors, but it sounds like a fun thing to do. Love the red door!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lynette d'Arty-Cross March 3, 2022 / 1:00 am

    Thanks for sharing Zoot and that red door! Terrific takeaways from your trip to Hatboro. I would love to find out the genesis of that name sometime.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Audrey Driscoll March 3, 2022 / 1:03 am

    That “3A” door’s two square windows look like eyes. Perfect with the newspaper tongue!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. cindy knoke March 3, 2022 / 2:14 am

    First off. Why would anyone pay attention to Bradley Cooper?
    I seriously don’t understand.
    He seems nice.
    But you seem much more interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Paddy Tobin March 3, 2022 / 3:24 am

    There are still some older buildings and older doors around town here which provide moments of interest as they catch the eye, often a reminder of past times etc.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Alyson March 3, 2022 / 5:14 am

    Fourth edition! Always going to be more doors though – If you multiply up the number of houses/businesses in the world by the number of doors each one has, that’s an awful lot of doors. This series could run and run.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. swabby429 March 3, 2022 / 6:06 am

    I too, love front doors. The red doors are especially inviting. Just to be different, I painted my old door dark green.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Dan Antion March 3, 2022 / 6:25 am

    These are great “ordinary” doors. I like how 3A looks like a stretched out face. I like the originality of the metal door and I love that album cover. I always like a red door, and the song as well. Talk about ordinary Joes, it’s full of them.

    Thansk for joining us today and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Laurie Graves March 3, 2022 / 8:02 am

    Wonderful music! I think when you used the word “portals,” you hit upon why doors are more than just ways to get in and out of a place. We humans are story-making machines, and doors, as portals, have a symbolic significance as well as a practical use. Knock, knock, knock. And, yes, that red door really pops.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. JOYCE HAMILTON March 3, 2022 / 8:30 am

    Always interested in your door photos. I am surprised you never added mine. It is hand crafted after a hand crafted garage door in Switzerland.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. rivertoprambles March 3, 2022 / 9:58 am

    The Sims sax is a good play, as are those jazzed-up doorways to the eye. Ordinary, perhaps, but cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 3, 2022 / 3:37 pm

      Zoot Sims used to play often at the Half Note club in Manhattan. I should have gone to see him.


  13. Fictionophile March 3, 2022 / 10:16 am

    Loved that red door Neil. My favorite doors are those with rounded, arched tops. I always wished I had one…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 3, 2022 / 3:40 pm

      Afternoon, Lynne. I like that type of door too. I think that quite a few churches have them.


  14. tylerus March 3, 2022 / 10:21 am

    Let me try this again . . . technology is NOT my friend these days (xo$!@#). I enjoyed your post – you have a knack for making the ordinary most extraordinary. (And I rather like that plank door.)

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Jacqui Murray March 3, 2022 / 10:58 am

    You have some excellent doors, Neil, but you made other comments (as you are wont to do) that caught my attention. “there ain’t a chance in the world that I’ll ever again be gazed upon with interest”–that just isn’t true. Now, your intellect and beautiful mind will shine through and isn’t that better than fragile, deteriorating looks?

    And “there is value and beauty in just about everything if I look hard enough and, when needed, adjust my way of thinking.” I need to quote you on that. My critique group tore my last submission apart. I had to stop them mid-sentence and remind them, ‘Say something nice. Anything…”

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Rosaliene Bacchus March 3, 2022 / 11:02 am

    The red door in the shadows gets my vote. The “ordinary” door can be mysterious for the unexpected beauty and warmth that may lie beyond its threshold.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. talebender March 3, 2022 / 11:36 am

    Best door: the wood-plank. Best photo: the red door with shadows. But I enjoyed reading about ‘em all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 3, 2022 / 3:45 pm

      Hi. It’s fun walking around a town or city, checking out the doors. I guess I’ll do another piece about doors in half a year or so.


  18. sniderjerry March 3, 2022 / 4:29 pm

    Hey there Neil, How about “When love comes knockin at you door’ by the Monkees or
    ‘Knock Knock Knocking on Heaven,s Door’ Bob Dylan and as a wise man said long ago, When one door closes sometimes you need to nail a board over it.” Have a great day Jerry

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 3, 2022 / 7:20 pm

      Hi. Bob D is amazing. He’s in his early 80s and still doing lots of touring. Not only is he a brilliant songwriter, he’s tireless!


  19. andrewcferguson March 3, 2022 / 4:38 pm

    I must admit I was expecting a track by The Doors at the end, but who can resist a jazzer called Zoot Sims? And don’t worry about those women – they’re just more subtle about checking you out these days, and it’s easy for a man to miss (or so I tell myself….)

    Seriously, great pics, great piece, as ever Neil.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. sustainabilitea March 3, 2022 / 6:13 pm

    I like those last two doors that you like as well, but seeing the newspaper sticking out like a tongue made me smile. That’s the sort of thing I think when I see things. I can’t listen to the music right now but it sounds like something I might like. We moved to the Phoenix area two year ago and I was disappointed to find they don’t have a jazz station!! As for Philly, one of our daughters lives there and I’ve found many a cool door while visiting, although today mine are from Arizona, land of mostly uniformly boring doors.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 3, 2022 / 7:27 pm

      Hi Janet. Thanks for dropping by. You know, one of these days I’ll do a doors story based on what I find in one of Philly’s neighborhoods, such as the Mt. Airy section.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Ann Coleman March 3, 2022 / 6:16 pm

    I think most of us are ordinary in the looks department, and nothing wrong with that! Just look at the ordinary doors…they’re interesting and functional!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. alhenry March 3, 2022 / 6:19 pm

    Loved this line about Hatsboro’s plain doors: “I was absolutely fine with that [the plain doors], as I’ve long believed there is value and beauty in just about everything if I look hard enough and, when needed, adjust my way of thinking.”

    C’est vrai! And may you always see beyond the plain to the true beauty.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. liliannemilgrom March 3, 2022 / 6:26 pm

    I go nuts photographing doors and door knockers when I’m in France…

    Liked by 2 people

  24. shoreacres March 3, 2022 / 8:05 pm

    My favorite is the plank door, but the Red Door music is great. I saw your first commenter — and you — remembered the song “Green Door,” too. Anyone with a door can get creative these days. I once saw a woman who wanted a purple door show up at Home Depot with an eggplant in her hand. That’s the color she wanted, so they scanned the eggplant and mixed the paint.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Annika Perry March 4, 2022 / 9:17 am

    I remember in my early days of blogging totally bemused by the fascination with doors … I was soon converted and enjoy the chance to see doors from around the world! I like the swinging slat door – reminds me the western saloon-style door in the kitchen when I was young. It’s interesting to read John’s ‘Green Door’ comment – the version I know is that of Shakin Stevens in the 80s – I had no idea it was a cover of Lowe’s song!

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Ally Bean March 4, 2022 / 10:20 am

    I have to like any post that has doors and a swing tune. What a great combo. Thanks for the Friday smile.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Jan Milusich March 4, 2022 / 11:20 am

    You’ve got me thinking about doors. I like the personality of 3A’s off sized indicators as well as its newspaper tongue.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Paula B March 4, 2022 / 4:42 pm

    Out here in CA, it seems that red doors are the latest incredibly popular “thing,” so I really appreciate best the novelty of the plank door. As for your line about there being value and beauty in just about everything, I’ll venture to say that that applies to you also.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 4, 2022 / 8:44 pm

      Evening, Paula. Maybe the trend to red will make its way to my region pretty soon. It’s very possible, I suppose. Thanks for adding your observations. Much appreciated, as always.


  29. Michele Anderson March 4, 2022 / 6:23 pm

    Yep, the red door did it for me too. It looks cozy and inviting. But, I have to say that the 3A green door I found very soothing like the sea.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Jeff the Chef March 4, 2022 / 9:03 pm

    I’ve always loved red doors, and have always though that green was the next best. But thoss swinging wooden ones are awesome.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 4, 2022 / 10:39 pm

      Jeff, the more I look at the photo of the swinging doors, the more I admire them. They are cool as can be.


  31. iglengel March 5, 2022 / 12:17 pm

    There is definitely something to be said about red doors. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. viewfromoverthehill March 5, 2022 / 7:32 pm

    I love your doors, especially the ones with reflections in them. Just had surgery. Doing embarrassingly well. Take care, Muriel

    Liked by 1 person

  33. ellie894 March 6, 2022 / 12:49 pm

    The ‘ordinary’ 3A caught my attention too. It has a happy and welcoming face that hints at a lightness of heart and humor within, all good things in a door. And that wonderful old fashioned mail slot!! I used to live in a house that had one, Good Stuff. Take care, Neil. Suzanne ☺️


    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 6, 2022 / 4:32 pm

      Hi Suzanne. I like your description of the possible ambience behind the 3A door. I have a feeling that you’re correct.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Crystal Byers March 6, 2022 / 1:16 pm

    I do love me a good door. I have a Pinterest collection of them, not that I Pinterest much any more. You’re introduction to this piece was especially strong, Neil. 💪🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  35. annieasksyou March 6, 2022 / 9:54 pm

    I enjoyed your paean to the ordinary and your willingness to rethink if things seem ordinary.
    Despite a love for the Atlantic so great that my ashes will one day be riding the waves, I didn’t think of the ocean when I looked at that door. I did, however, see the face sticking out its tongue—and then read your description. Fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. selizabryangmailcom March 7, 2022 / 1:52 pm

    It’s true: all of the doors above are attractive. And I loved the jazzy music. I remember hearing this music all the time while growing up because my father was a jazz field.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. selizabryangmailcom March 7, 2022 / 1:52 pm

    And just as I hit “send” I saw field, of course, lol.
    Jazz fiend is what I meant.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Christy B March 7, 2022 / 2:01 pm

    A door says so many things about the homeowner, doesn’t it? I remember at one point my parents had a bright pink front door and we said it was like baskin robbins lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Pam Lazos March 7, 2022 / 3:30 pm

    Love that red door, Neil. The one with the handicap grip was a little sad looking. :0(


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