Kathy: I can’t remember a time when our family didn’t go to garage sales or auctions. I can remember sitting under my folks feet at auctions with coloring books when I was probably only 4 or 5 years old. It was a weekly occurrence, and we considered it just part of life. My Dad furnished our whole house with lovely American Golden Oak furniture that was picked out of dumpsters in alleys at a time when it wasn’t fashionable. He lovingly restored each piece, and several hold pride of place in my own home, as well as gracing Mom and Dad’s still. I began buying “stuff” at an early age, but I had good taste. The first piece of jewelry I ever bought was a lovely 1940s sterling silver deer pin that I purchased for the grand total of 10 cents at a school carnival thrift store. I still wear it regularly. That is not to say I have not had lapses in taste, as we all have. I also have a couple of absurd collections that I hide from most people, as I am sure they would think I was nuts. We hope to share some of our odd passions as well as our fun moments. We decided others might enjoy our amusement at those “what the heck” moments when we realized that people follow us around the thrift stores to laugh with us!
Deb: My family has always believed in reusing and recycling even before it was fashionable. It probably goes back to my Mom being the youngest of ten children during the depression, and or that there were five kids in my family. It was a special thing when you got something new—and you took care of it! We certainly were not deprived, we had Barbies, bikes, and most everything a kid could want in those days. But I can remember stopping by someone’s trash and my Mom picking up a bicycle and putting it in our car; it was lucky that my Dad could fix anything. We also got lots of hand-me-downs from cousins and friends, which we wore and passed on in our turn. My parents swapped things with friends too—cars, pool tables, and even an old player piano. So, being a secondhand “Rose” runs in my blood, as well as first-class packrattery. That comes from my Dad and Grandpa– if you ever need something go see my Dad, I’m sure he has one or two somewhere in his pole barn.
Why are we wasting time blogging when we could be shopping?
The next logical course in enjoying secondhand things is to laugh at horrible secondhand objects. It isn’t always hard to understand how things end up in a garage sale or at a thrift store—they are just so ugly that you question why they even exist. Of course we understand the concept of colors, patterns, and combinations thereof going in and out of vogue. Can anyone ever forget the love of harvest gold and avocado green of the 1970s, anything goes in the 1960s, pink & turquoise in the 1950 or even more recently the southwest color scheme of sage green and pink? So we get that things should be considered in the context of their origins. BUT there are objects out there that were never good, as we like to say to each other. Consider crocheted or knitted Afghans of whatever color Grandma had left over after a project—shudder visibly!
Having said all of that, we don’t have degrees in interior design or art. Kathy attended our local college and took art and art history classes—that’s as close as we come. However, we both are easily amused and opinionated, so that should count for something.
We would also like to it make perfectly clear that we aren’t laughing at your grandmother! We are poking gentle fun at THINGS and the sensibility that created or paid for them. Everyone has a lapse now and then– it is conceivable that the most wonderful person in the world could have dreadful taste. We will be sure to show you what dreadful things we own– some things are just so awful that we have to drag them home because they make us laugh every time we see them. That is why we decided to blog about our adventures in secondhand shopping– we want everyone to laugh with us and at us. We sure hope that you share your own “what were they thinking” things as you come across or recognize them.
OK, without further ado, here is the most horrible thing we have ever seen so far in 80+ years (that’s combined of course!) of going to garage sales, jumping into dumpsters, combing through estate sales, and visiting thrifts stores.
People have argued that this isn’t the ugliest thing they have seen–our response is that they did not see it in person, a photo does not convey the full horror! The funny thing is that was gone the next week when we went back on our weekly trek—we wonder who dragged it home. It wasn’t us, we swear, although it did cross at least one of our minds 😉