Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Big Score

Thrifters are like any other sort of collectors - book scouts, vinyl LP freaks, fez fanatics. (I once met one of the latter; it took an hour to get away without being rude.)

We haunt our thrift shops and watch for one-offs: church events, estate sales, and obits of men who were bankers or prep school headmasters.

And those with the collecting disease wind up with piles of stuff we never use, because while searching for The Big Score we find lots of minor scores that somebody might want or might just come in handy some day...

It's autumn in New England, and our towns indulge in Fall Festivals.

These festivities usually include: book sales; bake sales; booths of arts 'n' crafts ranging in scope from the mildly interesting to outright gimcrackery; clever scarecrows; historical exhibits manned by determined ladies of indeterminate age and fierce bearing; and second-hand clothing.

I am usually a donor to the efforts of our Episcopal outfitters, but this year I scored these shell cordovan Aldens (in my size), plus the two bows, for $19 - considerably under the retail price. *

Episcopalians are always the best denomination for this sort of thing. Congregationalists are historically wary of anything that might be considered ornate, and the Catholic bins are full of man clogs and t-shirts that read "World's Greatest Grandpa" and "I Went All the Way to Lourdes and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt!"

* Thanks to Georgia at The Curriculum for the link.


Anonymous said...


Can you provide a link to the paper you write for in real life? I'm curious to see if they let you stretch the way you do in this blog.

Tony Ventresca said...

Shell cordo monks, for $19? Lucky bastard.

heavy tweed jacket said...

Those monk straps look like they were worn to church (Episcopal), like, twice. Maybe to brunch on the way home from church, once. Nice find, and, btw, those bow ties look like gift wrapping on the shoes. I think it's called the "collecting gene."

Patrick said...

Interested parties will find my professional output at

I hope you have a large tolerance for stories about zoning regulations.

Tony, the shoes were $15 - the two bows added on the extra four bucks. Almost a deal-breaker.

HTJ, I have had some nice finds in my time, but I think this is the Big One.