The answer? TEN!
Bachmann's Store was honored recently by a visit from Eastern Michigan University's Historic Preservation students and their instructor, Dr. Ted Ligibel. He's the tall guy in the picture. I'm the itty-bitty face way in the back.
Students in this program are working toward Master's Degrees and certification in "rescuing and restoring" historic buildings. Like everyone else, when they visited Bachmann's, they were drawn to our old vault. As they all crammed in to take the picture, I nearly had a panic attack. The family and store rule has always been "NO ONE BUT PAPA ALLOWED IN THE VAULT!" When I was a little kid, I remember standing in the doorway watching Papa work, my toes touching the line I was not allowed to cross. But I never stepped inside the magical room where Papa stored the Brach's chocolate and smoked cigars. Uncle Mike had the same rule, but I was a little older by then, so the forbidden territory was not as tempting. When I signed the papers to buy the store in 2011, my FIRST thought was, "Now I can finally step inside the vault." I have retained the "NO TRESPASSING" tradition for no other reason except that it has always been the rule. Plus it makes me feel powerful. In my little grasshopper world, I'll take any shred of power I can get, real or imagined.
So when the EMU students stormed inside for a picture, I had heart palpitations, seriously. I imagined Papa wearing his classic white shirt, his hand up in a "stop" gesture, saying what he ALWAYS said when I asked if I could step inside:
"That's out, Katy."
Papa used that expression instead of just saying straight up "no." I have no idea where this term came from, and I am clueless as to who Katy was.
After the picture was taken, I eventually stopped hyperventilating and no earthquakes shook the earth to signal impending doom. I guess it's OK for the occasional non-Bachmann to see what the vault looks like from the inside....once every seventy-five years. Otherwise, "That's out, Katy!"