7/22/08 - Sojourn Into Destiny, pt. 1 (The Battle of Jackson)

hi all - so this week, on the recommendation of a reader (and fellow blogging sensation) we decided to pack up and take a trip down the back roads to beautiful scenic jackson tennessee and sample some of the local wares. 'twere a perilous venture, fraught with danger, excitement and intrigue 'round every corner...okay not really. it was a fun day trip where we hit up a few surprisingly cool thrift stores, had a blast tooling around the mid-east tennessee back roads, took some fun pictures and ate some delicious mexican food.

so begins our sojourn into destiny.

the first sign that we were on a trip of truly majestic proportions was given to us shortly outside of the city limits, on highway 70, the disused former main thoroughfare from the pre-interstate days, which is how we chose to get from memphis to jackson. i always like to take the back roads like this if i can, partly to check out the old motels and gas stations that have inexplicably survived since the 50's, partly because there are less cars on the road, partly just because i was raised to always find the longest, most inconvenient way to get from point a to point b...thanks, mom and dad! but of course if i had taken the interstate i never would have seen this...this...well i just don't know what to call it.

i had to pull over. i had to stop the car and pull over and just cackle like a god damned deranged crazy madman for just a minute. before turning around and driving back and getting this picture, you understand. had to work quickly though because we had the windows rolled down and i think the sound of our high pitched maniacal caterwauling was upsetting the employees, who could clearly hear us convulsing and chortling our way into miniature epileptic seizures as we snapped this picture and sped off, howling the whole way. i could go on, at length, i assure you, but this isn't bitter/anuses, after all, so let's make with the thrift already, shall we?

exterior, lafayette thrift store, located right outside of historic downtown jackson tennessee, a thrilling getaway destination for man, woman, and child alike. before i get into it i should say that if any of my fellow memphians are looking for a fun way to kill a spare morning and afternoon or whatever, and aren't averse to taking it in the pooper (METAPHORICALLY COME ON PEOPLE) in re: gas prices, you could do a lot worse than getting in the car and exploring some of the surrounding country in between memphis and any neighboring semi-major city. the drive out from memphis to jackson was just breathtaking. i've always been a sucker for a nice long country drive, and although two plus hours is pushing it just a little, there was really no shortage of neat stuff to look at on the way there. i definitely plan on making some other trips out into the boonies, since this one went so well - does it shock you to learn that i'm a country boy at heart? does it excite your emotions? maybe sicken you a little? no?

jesus, what was i talking about. OH YEAH thrift stores. MAN they had so much stuff at this place. it was a weird mishmash of absolute showstopping GEMS like this strawberry shortcake pitcher and glass set (10pc i think) for something like eight or ten bucks and then a bunch of sort of newish furniture/furnishings/pottery barn kind of crap that i just think has no place at a real thrift store. on the all and all i got a pretty good feeling from this place, and if nothing else it's a cool reminder of how independent thrift stores don't really have to follow the "rules" that larger chains (your salvos, goodwills and the like) sort of adhere to...always a breath of fresh air to visit a place like this, even if you do have to sort through a few rooms worth of boring crap to get to the real finds...that's how it's supposed to be, right?

like this BEAUTIFUL colander, no more than three or four bucks i think, proving once again that "aesthetically appealing" and "sturdy and functional" do not have to be mutually exclusive terms. there was actually no end to the amount of cool kitchen stuff available for perusal and purchase, even if you're not a complete nerd for vintage appliances like i am, i think it would appeal to anyone. of course if you ARE...

MANUAL. COFFEE. GRINDER. i almost peed a little. power outage? nuclear bomb? zombie apocalypse? who cares. you can still have fresh ground coffee, whenever you want, with this bad boy. i couldn't convince myself to actually buy it and take it home but damned if i'm not second guessing that, looking at it again. i mean come on people this is how benjamin motherfucking franklin took his coffee and if that's not good enough for you then i just don't know if you love freedom. think about it.

as long as we're on the 1776 tip, can't you just picture the founding fathers all slamming shots of rye out of these bad boys after they signed off on the god damned declaration of independence? just knockin' em back, america style.

if i had any declarations to sign (or, you know, friends) i would have snapped these bad boys up in a heartbeat. alas, they remain on the shelf, just waiting for the right group of aspiring patriots to press them into service. if anyone happens to grab them and needs a sixth signature on your declaration, manifesto...the back of a cereal box, i'll sign anything, really...just drop me a line and i'll be glad to play the herbie hancock to your funky john adams.

WOW does that ever sound gross. moving on

i am guilty of a little artistic manipulation in this photograph, shooting from below so as to make this enormous percolating coffee pot seem even bigger than it really is, but take my word for it when i say that it is just huge as hell in real life even without the photo trickery. at $20 i can't really recommend that anyone rush right out and get it, since percolator coffee is kind of gross and sort of outdated at this point, but i offer this picture both as an example of the dope vintage furnishings that they had at the lafayette thrift emporium extravaganza place and also as a preview of the kind of sweet objay dart that we'll be showcasing at bittersweet books and coffee, LLC (full disclosure: i do not actually know what an LLC is. we will probably not be one. or maybe we will. i guess i should find that out.) for your amusement and general laughing at pleasure. the first thing wifely mcwifealot and i did when we saw this thing was turn to each other and say, in unison, "iced tea." like i said percolating coffee is basically like the catalytic converter of the beverage world at this point but this is more or less the dopest tea urn of all time and we will be back to buy it very shortly, i can promise you. anyway

a lot of the stuff at the lafayette thrift store seemed to tread the line between ACTUALLY vintage (huge turn on) and new, made to look like vintage (HUUUGE turn off), and in instances like this little lighter/ashtray set i was forced to defer to context and reason that A) no one makes any sort of product designed to encourage or glamorize smoking any more...thanks, federal government! and B) if this was new it would have had "PIER ONE" or "TARGET" or some such nonsense stamped on the bottom, which it did not. so therefore logically i can conclude that this is the most awesome thing ever produced in human existence. it's almost enough to make me take up smoking again. hey, i started in the first place for even dumber reasons (was 18, could buy them legally) so why not? oh, right. cancer.

speaking of glorifying unhealthy activities, i'm still kind of in a daze as to why exactly i didn't buy this unbelievably beautiful and perfect set of shotglass checkers, the perfect companion piece to the above ashtray/lighter set. i guess because if you played a full game of this with actual liquor in these glasses you would die. this has got to be a team game, or maybe you're supposed to use wine coolers or something, i don't know. regardless. well worth the 20 bucks for the privilege of looking vaguely like an intellectual (board game) whilst getting royally souced.

that wraps stop number one (of three) of our voyage into the nether regions of rural east tennessee. i think i'll chop these bad boys up into bite-sized increments for your easier digestion, dear readers, so check back in postey hastey for the next installment of our...


god bless america

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