3/18/2008 - Salvation Army Austin Peay

sorry, btw, if the pictures are too small and relevant details are lost, or if too much squinting is involved on you, the dear reader's, end. gave up with my struggles with blogger and photobucket re: clipping my pictures almost in half and decided to start preshrinking them until i come up with a better solution. anyway squinting a lot makes you look pensive and deep - just ask james dean.

anyway on to the salvation army on austin peay highway, northeast of the interstate loop but technically still in memphis i guess? that's what trusty old google maps is saying anyway.


i love this store. love love love it. been in once before in the middle of a long exploratory trek and didn't have time to just wander around and appreciate the vastness of it, its hustle and bustle (really busy for being in such a relatively out of the way location), the loud shouty gospel music on the radio, and of course the finest feature



wave after wave of cascading blue neon lights, running literally around the entire store. salvation army has a habit of moving into old unoccupied storefronts and buildings and really disturbing them only as little as they possibly have to to set up their own operation...it's a beautiful thing, especially when they move into what i have to assume was like a custom car audio electronics store showroom thing or something (does anyone know? i bet someone knows. i also bet that that someone will never ever read this blog either.) and leave the wonderful wonderful neon lighting up. i just wanted to hang out here all day.


i don't really know if the pictures do justice to the enormity of this place either. it's gotta be the biggest thrift store i've been to in memphis, i think, although maybe the neon and the fact that it's almost all just one big open spacious room kind of make it seem bigger than it is, i don't know, but it just FEELS big. i know i say "you could get lost" about a lot of the stores i visit but i actually found myself wandering around halfway lost once or twice while i was here. on one of those meanderings i happened to stumble across a quintessential thrift store requirement though


the wolf picture. i'm going to come right out and say it explicitly, for the record:


t shirt, poster, assembled jigsaw puzzle that someone just could not resist framing, commemorative beer stein...whatever, what have you, i don't care. unless there's a wolf of some variety (preferably airbrushed or otherwise encased in a mystical fog of some kind) engaged in some wolflike activity (standing on a rock, staring at the moon, gazing downwards at its own reflection in a pool of crystalline spring water), YOU DO NOT HAVE A THRIFT STORE. you might have an amazing collection of secondhand shit, you might have antiques, you might have a f*cking flea market that would make the pope weep, but you. do. not. have. a. thrift. store.

we clear? cool.


i mentioned this last time, but seeing these made me think it was worth bringing up again...does anyone reading this (yes, all three of you) know anything about slide carousels? it's frustratingly just at the fringes of my knowledge (as someone who majored in photography for two solid years, that's a little embarassing to say) and i'm really starting to fall in love with the idea of getting a slide projector and going around and buying all the slides i see and just throwing parties where people sit around and take turns narrating other people's vacations or something. i don't know, i just know i don't want to bother buying a slide projector and getting all liquored up and whatnot just to find out the damn thing doesn't fit the slide carousels i bought. i guess i should just shut up and do some research on my own, figure this f-ing thing out.


anyway on to the books, which were in their own little room, and were very reasonably priced (mostly around a dollar or less i think) if a little strangely organized and themed. before i get to that though i just want to mention that the gentleman in this picture has never heard of a "choose your own adventure" book. i know this because immediately after i took this picture i walked into the tiny little book room and overheard his friend that he was with explaining the concept to him, to his mostly complete and utter bafflement. this perturbed me, more than a little. they were both around my age (mid to late twenties, early to mid thirties or something) and i just automatically assume that anyone who grew up in this country in or around the nineteen eighties is just inherently familiar with the idea behind choosing your own adventure, in book form anyway. wow what a silly, faux-profound insight into the shortcomings of my generation - maybe if we'd all taken the lessons of those books a little more to heart and chosen our own adventures in real life we'd be out there conquering the world like the god damned greatest generation instead of sitting around writing about thrift stores at 1 AM - but i digress.


wonderful kaleidoscope of silly pseudo new age self help books, christian life advice masquerading as hippie nonsense, and pop psychology for stoners...i'll leave it up to you to determine which is which. i can't remember.


i did not buy this. i wanted to. SO badly. but i also kind of felt cheated somehow that mimes would talk that much (it was a pretty long book) about anything, even miming.


this is what i ended up getting. some pretty good stuff actually.


before we move on, and while i'm speaking of "pretty good stuff actually," i need to mention this couch. this couch is $89.99. this couch is in great shape. this couch is over six feet long, which means i can nap on it without my head or feet touching the arm rests, which almost never happens. this couch is in great shape for being as old as it is. taylor and i both laid on this couch (SEPARATELY COME ON PEOPLE GIVE US SOME CREDIT) and nearly drifted off into a peaceful slumber. this couch almost came away with us, well with taylor specifically. i cannot afford this couch, nor do i have room for it. this couch will not be there the next time i come back to this store. maybe you will go there and buy it? i hope you will.

anyway there were TONS of other great furniture finds, book cases, chairs, i mean i could have done a whole day on this store alone, there was just so much great stuff. oddly enough though, no kitchen table for shatooteroonie (taylor). i began to get a little curious about that at this point. i had mentioned in the car on the way over to this store that often, when i need one specific thing, it's like the ambient thrift store energy in the universe just conspires to make sure that it's not there. i only find cool stuff when i'm going with no specific objectives in mind. taylor responded with good-natured disbelief when i said that, and i conceded that she was probably right. how hard would it be to find a table? if only we had known. if only.

total spending:
7 books of varying price w/tax: $6.81

plus $8.67 in prior totals equals

$15.48 so far

Salvation Army
3329 Austin Peay Hwy
Memphis, TN 38128
(901) 373-3245

m-sat 10-7
sun closed i think

usual color coded discounts that almost all salvos have, and which i cannot make heads or tails of, despite all my years of thrifting...do you think they have like a secret chart or something that tells when the colors are? who would i have to mug/blow/bribe/all of the above to get a copy?


also as you can see the coats were half off, but i'd take the flimsy piece of paper to mean that it's not really a long-term sale thing...then again it's salvo, who the hell knows

music: loud shouty gospel, like i said. i think there was some t.d. jakes? is he a gospel musician or just a religious person whose name i heard once? i can honestly profess almost complete ignorance of modern popular gospel music. my gospel knowledge begins with preservation hall jazz band's "precious lord" and ends with aretha franklin's gospel album from back in the day that i have on vinyl where she's wearing a headdress that makes erykah badu look like a f*cking drag queen (sorry i love "worldwide underground" as much as anyone but it's true), but anyway

next up: the goodwill (the second of three i would visit this day) a little further up austin peay. i was about to say "see you there" but i was already there and i didn't see you anywhere! dude where the hell where you?


ps in addition to the coats thing my receipt also says "WED 50 OFF CLOTHING" at the bottom which i would assume means either 50 cents off or 50 percent off clothes on wednesdays, although i question the validity of such an ambiguous register receipt postscript. it also says "!! DONATE YOUR CAR !!"

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