Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Part III: Feelin’ groovy in St. Charles November 20, 2015

Vintage Treasures and Decor along Whitewater Avenue in downtown St. Charles, Minnesota.

Vintage Treasures and Decor along Whitewater Avenue in downtown St. Charles, Minnesota.

VINTAGE TREASURES AND HOME DECOR read the vivid yellow sign propped against a building in downtown St. Charles. That was enough to draw my husband and me into this newly-opened shop, relocated here from Byron.

Posted, but not for sale.

Posted, but not for sale.

But before I show you some of the merchandise, let’s discuss that word vintage. What defines vintage? I turned to online dictionaries to find synonyms like outdated, old-fashioned and retro. I choose retro. That seems most applicable to the merchandise from my era that captivated me at Vintage Treasures. Groovy.

This merchandise display screams 60s and 70s.

This merchandise display screams 60s and 70s.

You can say all you want about the 60s and 70s, about hippies and Woodstock and peace marches and tie-dyed and psychedelic fashion. But it really was a memorable period in our nation’s history, a time when young people began to question the establishment and the choices made. Not that previous generations didn’t speak up. But the volume seemed louder, the voices more distinct, the opinions shouted in music and fashion and protests.

These berets (or tams) were popular

I remember crocheted berets (or tams) similar to this from the 60s and 70s.

Personally, I was a shy teen coming of age in a rural area, far removed geographically from the unrest of the 60s and 70s. But I still cared. I kept up on current events, listened to rock-and-roll on KDWB, wore too-short skirts and flashed the peace sign.

One of two retro trays I purchased.

One of two retro trays I purchased.

So when I discovered a section of retro merchandise inside Vintage Treasures, I flashbacked some 40 years. This was of my generation. I didn’t need the retro tin Peace and Love trays I purchased for $2 each. But I bought them anyway and would have liked a third, except shop owner Laurie Rucker had already sold the others.

Elvis was a little before my time.

Elvis was a little before my time.

I’m thinking it would be fun sometime to host a 60s and 70s party. Wear tie-dye. Burn incense. Dip cubed bread into a cheese-filled fondue pot. Or maybe fruit into chocolate. Play some Beatles or Chicago. Serve beverages on those trays. Rock it out.

Thoughts? On the definition of vintage? The 60s and 70s?

BONUS PHOTOS: Yes, Vintage Treasures and Home Decor includes more than hippie era merchandise and here’s a sampling.

I remember one of my siblings having a papoose doll. Although not politically-correct today, these dolls are part of our past.

I remember one of my siblings having a papoose doll. Although not politically-correct today, these dolls are part of our past.

I always appreciate handcrafted, like these embroidered pieces.

I always appreciate handcrafted, like these embroidered pieces.

The toy section.

The toy section.

Humpty Dumpty, one of the toys in the toy area.

Humpty Dumpty, one of the toys in the toy area.

Aunt Jemima and Uncle Mose collectibles.

Aunt Jemima and Uncle Mose collectibles.

FYI: Click here and here to read two previous posts I published in this three-part series from an early September stop in St. Charles.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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16 Responses to “Part III: Feelin’ groovy in St. Charles”

  1. Almost Iowa Says:

    Antique is what your parents remember, Retro is what you remember.

  2. Littlesundog Says:

    I was born in 1961 so I appreciate the era you speak of here. I know everyone thinks “their time” was the coolest and the greatest, but for me the 60’s and 70’s were unlike any other. When I was in San Francisco some time ago there were retro shops everywhere. I felt quite at home!

  3. I am all for the cusp – late 60’s into the early 70’s. The fashion, the music, the parties, the cars, etc. Happy Weekend – Enjoy 🙂

  4. Don Says:

    Vintage – fond memories of things long ago. 60’s and 70’s – lucky to have lived through them, muscle cars and all that invincible youth attitude! Party…….ya what fun that would be! I think I could find some bell bottom jeans in the attic………………………………..

  5. Don Says:

    The fashions during that era …oh my… I had a pair of pants that were light purple with dark purple pockets and bell bottom to boot! What a sight I must have been!

  6. Sweet Posy Dreams Says:

    Fun shop. I own that Meet the Beatles album in your third picture. So I know those things are definitely NOT antiques! lol Vintage or retro though, for sure. The clothes really were something. I remember the girls all had to hold the backs of our skirts/dresses to keep our unmentionables from showing when we leaned over to get a drink from the water fountain. Nowadays, kids show their underwear on purpose. Times have changed, but I think we were pretty radical and wild in our own way back then.


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