Saturday, September 20, 2008

Thrift Store Au-Go-Go!

Things have been bustling here at GLENMULLALY.COM world headquarters recently with a pile of deadlines and preparation work frantically being completed before I'm off on a road trip this week. So to celebrate and tide you over until I'm back from the exotic vacation destination known as the Pacific Northwest of the good old U.S. of A., here's some high ( and low ) lights from a one day road trip I took not too long ago with friends.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s on any given day off there were better than even odds that a thrift store visit was in the cards for me. Sometimes just a quick stop at a local Salvation Army or St. Vincent de Paul. Other times a whole day of out of town thrifting trying to hit as many stores as possible to pick up all those .25¢ vintage records or $1 tiki mugs I was actively collecting at the time. As the years went on and my collections grew to fill out my humble abode I slowly cut back on the frequency of these visits to the point of only a small number of thrift visits in the past year.

That went out the window a not long ago with a day long Thriftaganzaroad trip with good friends to as many out-of-town locations as we could fit into the often limited opening hours of these meccas of household miscellanea. We made it to 9 stores ( the cream of the crop that we could hit in a day ) in around 12 hours. Not exactly rapid fire, but we spent most of our time driving the 250 or so kilometre distance between them dodging roadkill ( one that was half the size of our car! ) and enjoying the sights.

At our second stop we were regaled with the splendor that was this original oil ( or maybe more specifically indoor/outdoor alkyd ) painting. Note the subtle highlights and soothing bright orange colour scheme ( not unlike my website's, actually! ) that would fit well with the average 1978 family's chocolate brown velour couch and matching end tables. A photo to remember it by was enough for me.

At the same location my eyes fell upon this touching inscription in the endpapers of a late 70s early 80s copy of Nancy Drew's classic adventure, "The Double Jinx Mystery". What a rebellious rapscallion that Santa can be after too much egg nog.

A good time was had by all. Much loot was bagged. Vittles were had. But nothing, not anything, could have foreshadowed what we were to find at our last stop...

Over 60 copies of the record sleeve to Kim "Tootie from the Facts of Life" Field's 1984 7" single "I Love You Michael"! No records mind you, just the sleeves. 60 plus copies of this single turning up at a mid-sized Canadian thrift store?.. sure, that was bound to happen one day. But with no records inside? They're obviously used - notice the wear from the heartfelt vinyl that once lay nestled betwixt the cellulose sandwich of these covers. So just how did these paegns to bad celebrity synth pop turn up? Who went to the trouble of collecting, or at least storing these obscure treasures for 24 years only to give them up to a Nanaimo charity shop? How could I have not bought them?! Better minds than I have pondered these weighty questions. Best left to the ages, perhaps...

On the other hand I did bring home a trunkload of great finds! From mint condition cool vinyl from the 1950's - 70's to tons of amazing kid's books from the likes of Mary Blair and Alice & Martin Provensen. In fact I picked up an entire set of 1964 Childcraft Encyclopedias containing art from just about every top kid's book illustrator working at the time, for 99¢. Not 99¢ a volume, but 99¢ for THE WHOLE SET! Kirby comics, a classic Clue board game ( the version I grew up with ) and even a few vintage tiki items and an vintage paper bag from the Island Casuals shop at the International Market Place in Waikiki. Grand total for the whole shebang? Under $20. Yep.

A big thanks to the fine folks at Urban Eye Photography for photos #2, #3 and #4. In fact, scoot on over for UEP co-conspirator Little Acorn's posting on this self same topic, why dontcha! In the meantime I'll see you in week or so, rested, relaxed and rarin' to go with some more content-filled posts.

I hope.


Ward Jenkins said...

Glen, it was such a blast to finally meet you! I had a great time checking out musty old books and magazines with a fellow Retro Kid -- truly a fun experience. I'm kicking myself now for not getting any shots of us together! What wuz I thinking? Argh. Oh well. Hope you had a safe trip back home and hope to see you again soon. This time, the Jenkins' will drop by! Don't say I didn't warn you...

Glen Mullaly said...

Thanks Ward!- the same goes for me. An hour after I dropped you off I slapped my head with a big "Geez!" realizing that I completely forgot to document our visit photographically.

I may have to photoshop something up.

You've got a great family and I was really happy to finally meet you and them as well.

I'll hopefully get posting some of my Stateside roadtrip finds not too long after I get back. Just wrapping things up in Seattle today. Saw a bunch of Chesley Bonestall Colliers originals as well as originals by many others that were used for 1920's - 1960s sci-fi books and mags today at the Sci-Fi museum here. I'll go into more details on a later post. If you get a chance check them out!

Talk to you soon!