4/1/2008 - Salvation Army Danny Thomas

[preface: i don't intend to make any WAAACKY april fool's jokes just because it's arbitrarily an appropriate day to do that sort of thing...not that i oppose the concept of pranks or anything, i'm not THAT much of a mirthless asshole, i just prefer to wait until no one's expecting it before i spring the really classic zingers, you know?]

so before i get started this week, a couple notes:

my mom now reads my blog, so say goodbye to any sort of cussing whatsoever, any mention of drinking or unhealthy behavior, really most opinions and thoughts in general are going to kind of get pushed to the back in favor of wholesome observations about how nice dairy products are and how sweet that nice young orlando bloom fellow is. just kidding of course, i'm sure she's grinding her teeth reading this, i just thought it was worth pointing out. oh also she asked me to mention that even though she tended bar in a bowling alley WHILE PREGNANT, that we never at any point lived in a trailer, and are not what you might venture to describe as "white trash." not that living in a trailer automatically qualifies you for inclusion in that particular category (apologies to anyone who might read this blog who actually happens to occupy a trailer...i do live in tennessee after all) or anything, she just asked me to point it out so i have.

also BIG BIG HUUUGE shout outs to a couple of my favorite local bloggers who have been kind enough to look past my shameless self-promotion and actually appreciate the twisted ambition of this little project, even going as far as mentioning my sad ass in their totally sweet blog (no one else bothered to mention that ANGELA F*CKING DAVIS is coming to town tomorrow, that should tell you something) in addition to the other totally awesome blogs around town that chronicle generally more interesting and newsworthy things than the local news manages to, and have been 100x more helpful and informative for a newcomer trying to get acclimated to this unusual and unique place than anything else i can imagine, guided tours included. please go and check out all the memphis blogs on my little list, they're all worth at least a little time and attention and are run by some genuinely nice and insightful people (and of course some people i know nothing about but happen to write interesting blogs anyway), in fact just go ahead and check out all my links anyway, i wouldn't go through all the fucking trouble of posting a web page (and it is kind of a pain in the ass really) if it wasn't worth at least fucking glancing at. ok vk and theoooooo (you have to learn to let a man take a bath, you see) you my dawgs, and on with the show

i had a huge mess of stuff to take care of this week on my lone thrifting day (i'm campaigning for the appropriation of the word "thrift" into the verb category, by the way. i think what i do can accurately be described as "thrifting" in the least amount of words and while avoiding awkward terms like "thriftumenting" and "journaliftm"), really fascinating stuff like getting an oil change and rearranging our storage unit, you know. so by the time i got done with all that nonsense it was like three, and i was feeling a little on the hurried side, but i still managed to devote a good chunk of time to the diligent investigative work and calm objective observations that this blog is known for - how could i do any less, really?


so this is the outside of the salvation army on danny thomas boulevard, at the corner of danny thomas and adams ave. i would have taken a slightly more aesthetically pleasing picture from the other side of the street, but as you locals know, danny thomas blvd is not a street for crossing, and this is from the perspective of someone who has to run across union ave during rush hour on a semi regular basis, so, rather than risk my life (sorry, i know it belies a certain lack of commitment to the whole endeavor) i settled for this.

moving on to more relevant details, THIS PLACE IS AWESOME! i have to recommend it to anyone and everyone as the starting point for your thrifting experience in memphis tennessee. it's nuts, it's a little hard to get to (not as hard as the MIFA store mind you) and if you're not paying attention you can VERY easily miss the insanely tiny parking lot (really the only big flaw in the place) or the whole damn building entirely, so be careful. BUUUT it's nicely located near some fun stuff downtown and in general is just so great that the navigational/parking difficulties are easily outweighed by its general overall awesomeness.


this place has the highest turnover rate (in terms of items available) of any thrift store i've ever been to, ever. my only really useful piece of advice about going here is if you see something you like, BUY IT. for god's sake, just buy it, even if it's slightly overpriced (as some of their shit inevitably will be). when we first moved to town there were four (4) separate pieces of furniture that we looked at in an effort to furnish our apartment but passed on for ONE (1) day and were ALL (all) gone when we came back the next day. good stuff goes literally THAT fast, so browser beware. i think if anything that's good though, because it encourages people who shop there to actually buy things instead of just looking and leaving like so many of us do. i digress.


their furniture selection especially seems to turn over quickly, case in point i expect that the next time i go back this really nice two part desk won't be there any more, especially since it's only 70 bucks and is literally perfect for someone with a larger work room than i have. the workers here chose to kind of amusingly put a computer monitor (also for sale, although i didn't see how much) in the exact middle of the desk even though it's OBVIOUSLY (look at the two holes in it for the power cords to run through) designed for two computers. blatantly nitpicking but whatever


there were massive, copious quantities of the salvation army's internal publication, amusingly titled "WAR CRY" (which seems so aggressive for an ostensibly charitable organization), scattered all over the freaking place. various topics included baseball, jesus, and i think birds or something. i don't remember.


this place, like so many other thrift stores i've been to, was almost aggressively religious - like LOUD gospel music playing on the stereo, bible quotations on the dry erase board that had the sales and daily specials on it, even going so far as to have two mormon missionaries (yes it is literally that easy to spot them) wander in while i was standing around near the front and engage one of the guys who works there in an impromptu chit chat about god and all the things he makes you do. it was awesome. you've never heard so many awkward pauses in your life. i felt bad for the guys, though, because i could rant and rave about god at length with almost no provocation and i'm just some guy who hangs out and thinks a lot, these dudes were supposed to be dedicating their whole lives to this supposedly higher endeavor and they all stuttered like head injury victims the whole time. must be a bummer. i did not, by the way, take this picture standing at all close to them, i snuck halfway across the store like a freak and used the super digital zoom to clandestinely photograph them. i figured it was embarrassing enough having to have a conversation about what jesus means to you in a loud voice in front of strangers, having to pose for pictures at the same time would just drive anyone to suicide, and that's not what this blog is about, people. really. i promise.


moving on, to the highlight of my whole day. i came to memphis for the first time about nine months ago, and wife squared and i of course popped into this particular thriftical location, and were both drooling over this AWESOME poster of the "Einstein Centennial Celebration" that apparently happened in our fair city in the ancient era of 1979 (or so, can't remember exactly what the poster said) but it was ten bucks and although the picture doesn't do it justice, it's HORRIBLY framed and mounted and i just didn't want to spend the money on such a painfully busted piece, especially in the middle of a road trip, as we were. fast forward to today, when it happened to be BLUE TAG DAY (more on that later) and lo and behold, old albert has a blue tag and is accordingly 50 percent off, so for five bucks i kind of couldn't say no. it was a sign from the gods. the thrift store pricing scheme coincidence gods. there are probably several.


on to more prosaic stuff. all these suits were $15 a piece, the sport coats were $5, not TERRIBLE prices but not great considering the tags didn't have the sizing on them so you would have had to try on anything and everything that caught your fancy


tons and tons and craploads of bric a brac a brickety brack, again ever changing at an extremely fast rate, just like the furniture. if you see anything here, grab it, like


these completely sweet coffee mugs. that's a george dickel sponsored merle haggard tour mug on the right and a gevalia mug that reads "by appointment to his majesty the king of sweden" on the left...no clue as to its legitimacy but no doubts as to its hilarity


also saw a huuuge collection of suspenders, probably the most i've ever seen. i was tempted by several pairs but suspenders have always struck me as a little too S&M lite to wear around every day, so i passed. so, just to state it publicly and explicitly, the rainbow suspenders are still there, for you, my dear readers, to buy. godspeed


really nice pair of speakers (semi-vintage, if that's an acceptable term to use) for $5 for the pair. someone clipped the wires kind of short in the back but if you can't wind together speaker wire you probably shouldn't bother going to thrift stores in the first place, CAPEEESH?


i don't get this. nothing more to add. i know what clogging is, i'm familiar with orlando florida (unfortunately) and i know that CSI is a show of some popularity, i just......it doesn't fucking add up. whatever


the books are fairly reasonable, which makes up for the general suckiness of the selection. paperbacks are .59/.99, hardbacks .99/1.50, which is not too bad. salvo generally has good prices for books. i found these:



also saw a whole messload of purses by the register, for 3-5 bucks a pop, if you're looking for some new purses (and who isn't, really?) and don't feel like spending too much money just go downtown and case through these, there are some genuinely nice ones.

closing notes:

this is a really great store. hustling, bustling, cheap and dirty and fun and weird, everything i like about thrift stores is epitomized here. also, salvation army genuinely helps people, the MASSIVE rehab center directly next door to the thrift store stands as a testament to that fact, so i feel good spending money there. also making me feel good today: the people in front of and directly behind me in line were both buying books - crap books, but books nonetheless, which gives me some meager faith that there's a potential audience out there for the kind of business i want to open (that is what this blog is about, ostensibly).

ALSO on the colored tag/discount note, today was a blue tag day as i mentioned, and i asked at the front counter if they had a schedule for when the tag colors changed, and the totally cool, friendly guy working informed me that they did, but that it was a secret, which i've suspected for a long time, since they choose not to publicize that information. kind of intriguing, and also frustrating if you have your eye on that $18 vintage prom dress that won't be worth the tag price until it's a "green" day, you know what i mean?

also worth mentioning is the "AS-IS AUCTION" every monday. i have no idea what that is but it sounds like you could get a hell of a lot of stuff for super cheap, so call them and find out, okay?

total spending:

roughly $11 between the einstein poster (which i took home and immediately tore out of the kindergarten frame job and will soon reframe myself) and the books and two coffee mugs

Salvation Army
130 N Danny Thomas Blvd
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 525-6676

m-sat 10-6
sun cl

loud modern gospel blasting through a tiny stereo. i still know nothing about this form of music and have no plans to learn.

every wednesday it's 50% off clothing which is ludicrously cheap already. also the colored tags are 50% off, depending on what tag they're selling at the moment, but don't ask the counter people what the tag schedule is or you'll clearly make them uncomfortable, and they're all so friendly and helpful that it would seem kind of rude. trust me.

okay time to press on. for anyone other than my mom: i was totally high on mescaline while i went to all these stores, but that didn't stop me from drinking and driving! for my mom: hi mom i love you and i'm glad we can keep in touch. call me soon.



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