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Old stomping grounds

March 18, 2010

When I was in high school kids cutting class could be found at the mall, the closest fast food joint, or a friend’s house. I’m sure you can think of the places the truant officer would scope out the “juevies” in your day.
Me? I was never caught.
Yes, this girl used to sneak out of school and cut classes. Despite a friend that tried to detour me (you know who you are) I would slip out a side door and worry about the consequences later. Now I look back and think about my irresponsibility and cringe. Ahh, the value of hindsight…

So, where did I go to hang out? Thrift stores. Goodwill, Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul stores were the place to be. I’ll never forget the first time my friend took me to a thrift store. It was like heaven on earth. Where else could we find the grunge/bohemian look we were striving for?
Well, recently I found myself haunting my old stomping grounds.
As you may know, these days I participate in a weekly photo challenge group over at Flickr. Every week there is a theme and I try my best to find interesting ways to interpret that theme with my handy dandy camera.
A few weeks ago the weekly theme was “suitcase.” I was so excited because I knew of a wonderful place that would be sure to have a suitcase of two lying about. In fact, I knew they had a whole WALL of old suitcases stacked to the ceiling. When I read shutterboo’s photo challenge list months ago I knew then that “suitcase” could be found in this particular thrift store. One of my favorite thrift stores from the old days and today…

You can imagine my disappointment when I got there and found it to be closed.
Yup. Closed! Door locked, no sign, just closed.
It was Tuesday! I know for a fact that they are open Tuesday through Saturday.
So, I got on my cell phone and dialed Google 411. There had to be a mistake.
Well, it wasn’t. It was a renovation. And it wasn’t just closed for the day or week, it was closed for possibly months! Heartbroken.
Trying to think of plan b, I decided to call back and explain my situation.
…Drove 45 minutes away, part of an online photo group, this week’s theme is suitcase, you have BUNCHES of them, I planned this months ago, I won’t be purchasing anything, I had my heart set on this, just let me in!!!….
She took my name and number and said someone would call me back…. ?!?
So, I went to a goodwill near by and found one lonely looking suitcase that did not want it’s picture taken. I didn’t argue. There was a stack of art books that I picked up for the kids. Not a total loss, I guess.
Then, someone did call back! The other Goodwill patrons looked at me from the corner of their eyes as I explained my situation, with a hopeful and LOUD voice to the gentleman on the phone.
Finally, he said, “Yeah, that’s fine. Come on back.” Meaning: yeah whatever lady, I got construction goin’ on here, come take your silly pictures.
Back I went.
And like I had hoped there was a bunch of suitcases!
The suitcase wall was partially dismantled, possibly because of the renovation? I’m not sure.

suitcase wall @St. Vincent"s

Remember what I said up above about the value of hindsight? Once again, I regret not thinking to take many, many pictures of this amazing old place. I have a few but when I look at them now it doesn’t seem to capture what this place has always been to me. And really, I might not be able to capture something that abstract.

headboards @St Vincent's

There’s something about walking in to this place that always gave me the idea of endless possibilities. Even though there are pile of old and discarded things everywhere, I felt that here they could get another chance to be something else.

piles of walkers @ St. Vincent's

Which leads me to tell you that while I was walking around reminiscing I found shots of things that I missed earlier in the photo challenge.
photo challenge ~ chair
I think I want this in my home.

photo challenge ~window
photo challenge ~ red
Next week’s theme is reflection. Too bad I can’t use this one from three weeks ago…
reflection @ St. Vincent's
Four possible shots from one place. I love that thrift store. Not to mention this was only one floor. This place has three levels of possibilities!
I’ll be calling every week to see when the renovation is over. Or finding an excuse to drive by because I have a feeling that after more than a dozen calls they’ll stop answering the phone.

Hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane.
Until next time,

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Linda permalink
    March 19, 2010 9:52 am

    Thank you for answering a question I had. I happened to drive by that building not long ago and remember thinking “What exciting things could I find in there?” but alas, it was closed. So now I know something about what I’ll find and when I will find it. Loved the photos.

  2. March 18, 2010 9:31 pm

    You have the touch! Love this special place – you make it look so inviting!

    • Victoria permalink*
      March 18, 2010 11:06 pm

      Thanks, Brenda! :)

  3. March 18, 2010 10:53 am

    Those suitcases are awesome! It is so hard to find the hard cases like that. I think it’s totally cool they let you in to take photos – most retailers cringe at the idea of someone photographing on their property. Now I want to go to Unique and see what I can find!

    • Victoria permalink*
      March 18, 2010 11:45 am

      What’s Unique? It sounds like fun.
      And I agree. I don’t see too many suitcases as colorful as these now-a-days

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