Tuesday, January 5, 2016

It takes a Village.

Value Village. Of course, thrift stores exist everywhere and have all kinds of official business names and colloquial nicknames. But let me just say this: you should visit them. Regularly. And I say this not only because "thrifting" is now in vogue (in fact, that's the very last reason you should do it), but because there is just so much to be gained from visiting thrift stores. 

For starters, you can find the occasional antique, loads of vintage stuff, great deals on used books (some have been used very little, like the hardback James Herriot books I bought for Mr. P, which he has enjoyed immensely), or just plain useful things for which you have longed. (Part of this blog is devoted to sharing some of our more wonderful finds with our readers.)

One of my recent scores was a set of Libbey Irish coffee glasses. The original set had probably been six glasses, but there were only five at Value Village. That was actually a bonus, because I'd only wanted four. FYI, new sets (mostly crappy ones made in China) in stores like Stokes etc, sell for about $20 per set of 4 mugs. I paid $4.99, and these were in mint condition.

What's so great about Libbey, you ask? 
Made in the USA, that's what. That means NOT made in China. 

 Can you see the trademark cursive "L"?

So much fun! Unless you don't need anything for your house, or you don't like used novels or cool vintage stuff. That's OK. In which case, you can visit thrift shops for other reasons. Such as gaining some joy and humour in your life. I kid you not. If you need a laugh, visit the local thrift store. My daughter spotted this gem for me (we usually browse cookbooks, because I love the Company's Coming collection). 

Now I'm rather regretting not buying it. Might have made a good gift for my brother in Australia. 

It begs the question: is that Ernest on the cover, or his girlfriend? 

 Then, dear heavens, there are the old records. As in LPs. As in vinyl. For where there is vinyl, there is ALBUM COVER ART. Some are professionally produced, and they're funny enough, but others are of the "self-published" variety. Prepare to chortle.

Something tells me this album is NOT connected with the raunchy "Carry On" British films from the 1950s-1970s… (which we were NOT allowed to watch as children).

…especially if I'm in a 70s hairstyle or shirt lapel contest, 
and using Darth Vader-like font for my album title. 

Wayne, I hate to break it to you, but "Waltz King" is already taken… by Johann Strauss II. 

I'm sorry. I can't read an album cover titled "Organ Moods" without laughing. I just can't. 

Formerly titled: "Sammy Kaye and his Orchestra: Photobomb"

… so that I could stand on a big rock with my guitar and my Bible.

Leisure suit, giant saxophone, and murky waterfront. Yep, that's got "cowboy" written all over it.

… to my sideburns, my smouldering look of angst and my groovy Fortrel © plaid slacks.

A septet! I wonder if they're an offshoot of the New Main Street Singers
(Don't look now, but the rather pale-hued lady on the far right may be guilty of some cultural appropriation)

How can you miss? A Gospel quartet… and an organ. 

I'm particularly interested in hearing the singles "Hard Luck and Misery" and "Three Cheers for a Loser". I think these guys need to be cheered up by the King's Herald quartet.

I wonder what it takes to be "fabulous" on the Hammond organ. Or perhaps Ken is fabulous for other reasons. Perhaps Ken is the one on the left.  

 Featuring their hit single, "You Must be Trying for a Girl!"

Norma Jean, didn't you get the memo?Only Tammy Wynette is allowed to do Tammy Wynette Hair. And Bobo the Clown wants his outfit back. 

Let me adjust that album title for you (look closely at the backup orchestra). 

The Way is Prepared! Now let's do a quick review from Photography 101 on "group composition" and work on fixing that studio space…

Okay, STOP!! 

We are now going to have a multiple choice quiz. The photo above is a small detail enlarged from an album cover found at Value Village. I want you to guess what this man is doing:

a) Contemplating the Meaning of Life during a funeral
b) Playing the accordion at a polka dance party
c) Receiving a "guilty" verdict at his trial for Nazi war crimes
d) Setting off fireworks
e) Gazing pensively at his grandchild while she plays the piano

Click/Scroll to see the answer!!


 If you guessed b), you were CORRECT!!

The only album I truly regret not buying. The Living Voices totally rock. Or croon, swing, and harmonize if you prefer. But those guys and gals sure know how to sing.



  1. This was great! Couldn't stop laughing. And I correctly guessed b. but wished it could have been Nazi war crimes verdict.

    1. Thank you, Daria. Re: war crimes album: I guess it could have been titled "Nuremburg Serenade" or something.