A visit to the White Elephant Thrift Store

Barb volunteers at the White Elephant Shop in Green Valley.  Being a fan of thrift shops, I was excited to check it out.

The store is open Monday-Saturday from 9:00am to Noon.  We got there before 9:00, because they run out of parking spaces, and stood in line.

“Some old lady could have died in that sweater.”  So said one of my classmates to another classmate wearing a sweater bought at a thrift shop.  This was in the late 80s, when not so many people were thrifting, at least not in my social strata.  We’d really start hitting the thrift stores once I got to high school.  They had tons of stuff, and I was pretty sure that the odds of someone dying in a particular item of clothing was pretty slim.

Visiting a thrift store in a town that is mostly comprised of retirement communities is a slightly more depressing trip.  I felt like all of the stuff present had been dragged from different points all over the US, and then been donated to the thrift store when people died.  And I also have a lot of stuff that will have to go somewhere when I die. This feeling probably contributed to me buying clothing, and not stuff.  But here are a few things I found.

Look at this great 45 record!

Which someone originally got for free with a carton of Fresca!  So cool!

There were a lot of various hobby supplies and results on display.  Which tapped into the feeling that all the time I spend creating thing results in items with little inherent value and only serves to pass the time until my inevitable end.  Here, for example, is David’s effort at wood sculpture.  Someone priced it very high at $5.00, and I would be surprised if it sold for its reduced price.  Good effort, David.  Hopefully you got better at your craft.  But I suspect you died.

Clothing, however, worked really well for me.  I got four shirts and a dress for at total of $11.00  For that, I love the White Elephant Shop!

(And yes, some lady might have died wearing them.  But I washed them, so we’re good.)

4 thoughts on “A visit to the White Elephant Thrift Store”

  1. Oh my goodness that sounds like something I would say. We didn’t quite know each other until the very last moment of the 80’s. But 89 still counts. Was it me?!?!?!

    And good finds, are good finds, right?!?!? Aunt Hazel’s green cardigan sweater lasted a long time!!!

    1. It was Tony Gonzalas in Mrs. [I just blanked on her name] 8th grade English class. He said it to Terra Alvord.

      There were some very good finds and the prices were so incredible. I’m wearing the dress I bought there as I type this.

  2. Not to be morbid (Who am I kidding? I’m great at being morbid!) but I highly doubt that the vast majority of clothing that people die in survives those deaths. If it’s an accident/something violent, the clothing is likely torn and/or bloody. If it’s a health issue, it’s probably stained (because, uh, bodily functions happen when we die) and/or was torn or cut by paramedics. So I think that very few of us have ever bought someone’s death clothes at a thrift store.

    Perhaps that’s comforting.

    I get why Trini Lopez and his babes are covered by fake snow (The Blizzard Song) but I’m not sure why the babes are in what appear to be “Native American” dresses?

    1. Point well taken. Though I think a cardigan could still be donated.

      They are wearing “native american” dresses because “native american” dresses are cool, duh. 🙂 Do I need to unearth photos of a very young me in Indian Guides?

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