Melody Euchman has lived in six different residences in several Atlanta zip codes. She found the perfect home in Huntley Hills in Chamblee, a neighborhood of 1960s ranch houses with charming colorful gardens of flowers and shrubbery. Affable joggers, parents with toddlers and babies in strollers echo the friendly ambience, and Euchman’s collection of angels is perfectly suited to the serene environment. A welcoming seraph greets a visitor at her driveway’s entrance, and the stage is set for an afternoon among angels.
After successfully selling real estate in New York, Euchman left the Big Apple and moved to Atlanta in December 1994, seeking a more laid-back city. She is a devoted community volunteer for citywide Jewish events, pet rescue organizations and most recently at Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center. Euchman enjoys using her 15 years working at The Home Depot to update her 1964 home, especially applying her knowledge of appliances in her kitchen. “My home now feels perfect for me, my dog Schatzi and my angels!”
Euchman says, “I don’t recall why I started to collect angels. I was drawn to them when I moved from the hustle and pressure of New York to the less stressful Atlanta life of the ‘90s. I purchased my first angel at a folk art store in Buckhead. What attracted me to every piece in my collection is the face of the angel; each one has a beatific smile and exudes kindness. I don’t think of them as idols, and they have no religious symbolism for me. My angels are pieces of art and handmade crafts that appeal to me esthetically and emotionally. What I like about having angels around my home, in my car and in my garden is that they make me feel that they are watching over me,” she said.
“I have found angels in flea markets and resale shops, looked them over long and hard, intended to buy one, but something just wasn’t ‘right’ and I would finally leave the angel on the shelf. I hardly ever search online for angels. I need to see them in person. I don’t think of my collection as a group of ornamental objects, although they are decorative. Once I find the right place in my home for an angel, it usually remains there, where it seems to perfectly belong,” Euchman continues.
“I have a delightful cherub with a small, attached planter that I found several years ago, as soon as I walked into ‘Tossed Out Treasures,’ a Sandy Springs yearly thrift market sale. I marched around with her until I was ready to check out. She was pretty heavy, but I wasn’t giving her up. She resides peacefully on my back porch, in the company of a beautiful plaster plaque reading ‘angels welcome here.’”
Euchman’s favorite angel sits on her front porch. She has a kind, peaceful face, and is holding a little bird in her hands. It was a gift from a friend. “I was won over as soon as I unwrapped the present. She is the only angel I ever got as a gift because I don’t encourage others to buy angels for me. I want to feel a connection before I make an angel part of my home.”
The angel lover is selective when adding to her collection. The winged figures she treasures, while not all of great monetary worth. They vary in rarity, provenance and materials, and collectively present a consistent benevolence. As a visitor leaves, a protective cherub bids a warm goodbye from its lofty post above the door.
“I hope that one day I will find a doorpost mezuzah with an angel design or shape that, completed with a kosher scroll inside, will protect me and all that exists within my home.”