Thrift Stores

Happy Father’s Day to everyone! I hope every dad gets exactly what he wants today and not exactly what he deserves. You dads know what I mean.

Similar to Carter’s favored sport of Dumpster Diving is my favored sport, Thrift Store shopping. I was at the ARC store on the south end of town near the Church. Not long ago we went to the Goodwill in Old Colorado City and found a CD of the original Broadway cast of Fiddler on the Roof! At Borders this was 14.99, at the Goodwill it was 2.99. I love Fiddler on the Roof! Right now I am typing in tune to the rhythm of “Tradition! Tradition!” “Without our traditions our lives would be as shaky as a fiddler on the roof.” 5 Daughters! Poor Reb Tevye. “It’s no shame to be poor, but it’s no great honor, either.” If you ever get a chance to see it, even an abridged version like they do at certain dinner theaters, you should.

I would love to see the Veggietales do, maybe, Veggie on the Roof. Bob and Larry and Junior Asparagus’ mom and dad, singing “Traditions.” Maybe Junior singing, “Miracle of Miracles.” “The Rumor”, is already kind of in that one Veggie song where the rumor weeds tell a story.

I digress. Let’s get this digression out of here before somebody steps in it. Anyway, I get lost in the records, recalling how careful you had to be with the vinyl disc. And album art! And, of course, albums that had been greatly coveted at one time. I found several Smothers Brothers albums one time and of course I recorded them to tape. There is something about listening to a phonograph record and looking at the album cover, reading the liner notes, even the ads for other records from that company.

I like having time to dawdle and diddle-potz. I saw a pair of Tony Lama boots for 12.99, but they were size 11 1/2 and I were a 10. Probably my favorite section is the books. This is where you have to really take time and look at every title. Books are the most amazing study of all. When you are at a thrift store you have to remember that the people who are shelving the books do not necessarily know or care if they are in the correct category, so sometimes you have to really look at every book. At the ARC they have people who are just working to put in time for community service (Yes, Soosan, some people actually get in trouble for driving too fast. Wonder if any Mounties caught her while she was in Canada?) And don’t always have the best attitude toward their work.

So, you have to scan the titles and pull books off the shelf and hold them in your hand and read the title and page through it. Some books from the fifties and sixties seem silly now but sometimes you can find some jewels. Today I found a book by the Cowboy Poet, Baxter Black, called “Horseshoes, Cowsocks and Duckfeet” for 1.50, and Bowdrie’s law by Louis L’Amour for .35! I saw something else that caused me to wonder.

There on the Science Fiction shelf was Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita.” Here is a book that has pushed a lot of buttons in its time. For those in my foreign audience that may not be familiar with this work, it is about a middle-aged man who falls in love/lust with his young (12, maybe?) Step-daughter, has an affair with her and the whole thing ends with a murder. I may not have all the details exactly right because I have never actually read it myself but I have read enough about it. It is one of THOSE books that libraries are constantly called into question about. I suppose it must have some literary value as it does wind up in the library. You can do an online search of your library’s card catalog and see if you have it. Pikes Peak Library District does. They even offer an annotated version. I don’t think I want to go there in a family blog!

When I was young there was a section in library that you could only go to if you were eighteen. I would suppose it would go somewhere like that, but perhaps I am naively mistaken. The library is very much like Alice’s Restaurant, you can get anything you want. Did you know that the complete writings of the Marquis De Sade are available? Oh, stop it. I haven’t read it, either or American Psycho, for that matter, which I did read excerpts of in the newspaper and was pretty shocked.

I had a point in all that, but I don’t think it had anything to do with library policies. But seriously, while a PUBLIC library (emphasize public versus school or private) ought to be a repository of all learning and literature, I do wonder now if our library system does have any safeguards in place to protect the underage from accessing some of these materials.

Oh, sorry, more digression. Anyway, there she was, on the Sci-Fi shelf at the ARC. I don’t want to read it and even if I did, if I were to bring such a thing home, I might as well pack up the old kit bag and march right on back out the door because Margaret would never tolerate such rot. It did set me to thinking about the freedom we often take for granted, the Freedom of the Press. Not too many countries where such a book on such a concept could be allowed to be published.

I also wondered about who might have donated it and why? Do you ever do that? Wonder about why someone would donate, oh, anything really, but especially books? Okay, “The Writer’s Markets” 1972 edition, yep. An 1898 printing of Jules Verne’s “A Tour of the World in Eighty Days” with a valentine stuck in it (I picked this up one time for .75). And Lolita?

“Honey, I’m home from the bookstore. You should see the great book I picked up!”

“Mm-hmm. That’s nice dear. What was it?”

“Oh, just some little murder mystery thing.”

“Mm-hmm. What is it dear?”

Sounds of rage drift down the block…crashing dishes, thuds, bangs, whacks…the police arrive as the man is being tossed off his porch, still clutching the bag from the bookstore, his wife, sweety-face, screaming at him that he better take it back to the store and get a bird book or he might as well not come back.

In the hospital where the man is getting his jaw wired back together the little man asks the nurse to dispose of the book for him. The nurses all take turns reading it on break (Okay, so now you know this is fiction. Whoever heard of a nurse getting a break. Gotta work on my characterizations, some, but, alas, I am too far into my little story to turn back, now) and they wind up telling one of the doctors about it, who remembers that he has a bag of things his wife had given him to donate to the thrift store and offers to take it along with him.

Well, except for the nurses getting a break and having time to read, it could have happened that way…

Remember the Good Book says, (You guys may not remember when I started saying this, but it was after I saw Fiddler on the Roof and copied Reb Tevye’s saying…sometimes serious, sometimes not so) “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes”

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