Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Thrifting at the mall March 28, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:28 AM
Tags: , , , , , ,

Terry's Curiosities and Collectables offers mostly collectible glassware, not at thrift store prices, but lower than at an antique store. So for purposes of this post, I'm terming Terry's a thrift store.

LONG BEFORE thrifting became fashionable, I thrifted. I shopped primarily at garage and rummage sales because second-hand stores simply weren’t all that common nearly 27 years ago.

Yes, I’ve been thrifting that long, since before my first-born was born. Baby clothes and kids’ clothes, books and toys comprised those early bargain purchases.

As the years passed, my shopping habits shifted away from the needs of my growing-into-teenagers kids toward myself—to the vintage tablecloths, drinking glasses and prints/paintings/miscellaneous artwork I collect.

And as the years have passed and thrift stores have opened in my community of Faribault, I find myself turning more to those stores than to rummage sales to shop on the cheap.

I also focus more on nostalgia, discovering that which connects me to days gone-by. The older I grow, the more I appreciate my past.

Let me show you some of the merchandise I perused on a recent stop at Terry’s Curiosities and Collectables (sic) and the Salvation Army Store in the Faribo West Mall.

As long as you’re tagging along with me on this shopping trip, let’s play a little game. I’ll show you the goods and you guess which I purchased.

Here we go:

I remember when my mom popped these Sylvania flashbulbs into her camera.

I remember the time my son saw a rotary dial phone in a thrift store and had no clue how to use it. Heck, I remember life without a phone growing up on the southwestern Minnesota prairie.

This vintage piece is as much clock as art. I call her "The Girl with Attitude."

A working General Electric alarm clock made from wood.

A hand-stitched rural scene.

I found games packing shelves at the Salvation Army, including this vintage version of Password.

Alright then, have you made your guesses? Which of the above two did I buy?

And which of the above two did I wish I’d purchased?

PURCHASED: The General Electric alarm clock for $4 and the needlework art for $2.

SHOULD HAVE PURCHASED: The Password game at the Salvation Army and “The Girl with Attitude” clock (which I think was out of my thrifty price range) at Terry’s Curiosities and Collectables.

Would you have bought any of these items?

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


8 Responses to “Thrifting at the mall”

  1. virgil Says:

    I got the needlework but thought you might have also purchased the phone because it has a loud ringer (I have one in the garage).
    SHP? I guessed password & GE clock. We like to do thrifting also.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I could kick myself for not buying that vintage Password game. I decided to buy it during my next visit, but, alas, it was gone. That’s one thing I’ve learned about thrift shopping. If you’re even thinking about buying something, carry it around the store with you until you’re completely done shopping.

      Welcome back to Minnesota, Virgil. Glad to have you back on board as a reader and commenter.

  2. ceciliag Says:

    I would have bought the girl with an attitude and certainly the GE clock, I love clocks though lately i seem to have lost my sense of time! I miss shops like these, here it is garage sales but i am going to try and find where the auctions are, no flea markets sadly.. c

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Yes, I think I must return and check on the “Girl with an Attitude” and see if I can afford her as I don’t remember her price. I like her fashion, her sass, her style.

  3. Amy Says:

    1. That is what I guessed you purchased, although I couldn’t decide between the two thinking you purchased only one…good thing I guessed them both!
    2. I had one of those cameras as my first camera. I am fairly certain it was my mom’s and when I was 8 or 9, they still made the flash bulbs for them!
    3. I recently used a rotary phone. Recall the story we shared with you right before we left Kansas? He had a rotary phone, and I really did have to stop and think about how to use it in light of the events…my mind was blank for a moment (even though I used one periodically as a grade-school child)! But I knew it would work better than a cell phone for emergency purposes!

    I wish I had the patience to shop thrift stores. I can only last about 10 minutes, unless I start finding things. Maybe one day it will get better!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Oh, Amy, I really had no time for thrift shops when I was your age either. But there weren’t as many around back then. I don’t recall the rotary phone story. Not at all. You must retell it. If you don’t want to share it publicly in a comment, please e-mail me.

  4. I enjoy thrift stores – there are several we enjoy in Iowa. It’s been awhile since I’ve been to one and now you’re making me scheme how I can get to one fast! I’m inspired! I’ve always thought that a fun church youth group activity would be to give teams of kids $5 and set them loose in a thrift store and see what team can come up with the best stuff!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.