Thrift Store Archeology 1

I'm sure you've heard it said that the only two things certain in this world are death and taxes. I would like to add another certainty to that list.  All things, no matter how uber super cool will eventually and ultimately...wind up in a thrift store.  Yes, it's TRUE! Its completely unavoidable.

The other day I was lounging in the Pratt-Cave and I was in a particular warm and fuzzy mood.  I sat back in my manly man lazy boy chair and I took stock of the Pratt-Cave and all of its contents.  I've been blessed with a productive, healthy life.  I've worked hard and I've managed to get many things that I'm proud of and that make me very happy.

Just looking around at all of the movies I dearly love-sitting in nice little rows in nice little boxes burned on nice little dvds-that's joy my friend!  And I got to thinking about what a super awesome cool time it is to be alive.  Oh sure, the world is a mess and times are uncertain but when has that little fact NOT been true to one degree or another?

We have computers and cell phones and wi-fi and giant hi def tvs and on and on and on....truly we live in a remarkable age.  Then I got to thinking...people in 2000 thought those thoughts about everything they had then.  People in 1990 thought those thoughts about their world too.  The people in 1980. Same deal.  1970. get the drift, right?  Hell, there was a day when wheels and flint were cutting edge. And guess what?  At some point all of that awesomeness was forsaken. Abandoned.  Discarded....left to future generations to chuckle over and buy for a quarter.

I'm 41 and just in my lifetime so many things have come and then gone and I've rediscovered it on a thrift store shelf and thought to myself "I remember this! I had one of these!  They were SOOO COOOL...back in the day!"

I made a list (no particular order) of just a few of the odds and ends I used to have and thought was brain shatteringly awesome way back when and can now be bought for a buck or two at the local Salvation Army!


Yes, ladies and gentlemen back in 1986/7 I had me a rockin' 1978 Chevette with a factory installed 8 Track player.  It was a complete chick magnet.  Once the girls at school learned what I was packing in my car I couldn't beat em off me with a stick.  Yeah. Ok, so...ah, maybe that's not COMPLETELY the truth but close enough, right?
Anyways, I was living in Fredonia, Ks at the time and I remember going to ALCO and buying this thing of uber-awesomeness for only 45 dollars!  Now I could play my cassettes man-USING MY AWESOME 8 TRACK ADAPTOR!! Dude, I totally ruled the universe!

 In 1985 I was 16 years old and completely obsessed with movies.  Wow, things have REALLY changed since then, huh? Haha.
I went through a brief period of time where I thought I wanted to make my own movies-just like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg did in their teens.
I finally scraped together enough money from mowing lawns and what not to buy a super-8 camera and some film.  Holy Cow! My own movie camera! I was practically on the road to fame and fortune!  I ran into trouble, however, when I realized that films of my sister's dog running around were-well....boring. I read lots of magazines on creating special effects-stop motion and animation and what not and I wanted to do those things very badly. Unfortunately, that took even more money which I didn't have.  It also took experience, patience, practice, and dedication and despite my blockbuster dreams I didn't have those things either. When no one wanted to be in my movies and I couldn't be George Lucas in five minutes the camera stopped rolling.

 You know, I missed the whole Atari craze.  Oh, I wanted one and probably pestered my mom and dad for one a time or two but I never got too bent out of shape for it. My friend David had one and I enjoyed playing his, even long after Atari 2600's prime. It was a different thing all together though when Nintendo hit the shelves.  Everyone had one and damn it, I wanted one too!

Mom and dad made up for never getting me an Atari by surprising me with a shiny new Nintendo on my birthday back in 90 or 91. I think it was probably 91. Wow! That was another time I felt like I was hot stuff.  My very own Nintendo! I loved playing Super Mario 3, Star Trek, and Gyrus. They were my favorite games and I played them continuously!  If I wasn't at work or watching a movie or sleeping I was probably on my Nintendo trying (and failing) to save the Princess or complete the next Star Trek mission.
I don't know-I just thought the graphics on a Nintendo were the be-all and end-all of gaming. Then my friend Dave got something called a Genesis and I was pretty jealous.  It had better graphics.  Better!  Ahhhhg!
I played the Nintendo for several years and then my enthusiasm for it waned. Eventually it sat tucked away in a nice little box and then finally one day around 2005 I sold it in a garage sale.  
Now I have a playstation 3 and I constantly wonder "how could they ever make anything better than this? Try as I might, I just can't imagine my ps3 mildewing in a thrift store-although that's exactly what will happen to it someday. Some pimply faced teenager will see it all dusted over sitting on a lonely shelf and he'll pick it up and go, "Ohhhh a PS3! I can't believe people actually played with this junk and liked it!" with a big smirk on his face.  I hope Im there to bop him upside the head with my cane and say, "TEENAGERS!  HMMPH!"
Oh man! CBs RULED in the late 70s! Just like everyone else, my mom and dad got caught up in the craze and bought a cb for the car.  I don't know how many hours we spent riding around at night talking on the cb and learning all of the cb lingo.  It's like everyone lost their mind for a while.  Phone?  Who needs a phone when you can jump in the car and drive within a few miles of each other and warn each other about all the smokies in the neighborhood.
Another advantage to talking to each other on the cb as apposed to the phone is that you could go by your super cool sounding handle like Mama Bear or GI Joe.
The snobby people in the neighborhood not only had car cbs but they had base units in their homes.  I guess mom and dad weren't rich enough (or interested enough) to buy a base unit.  We just had to settle for riding around in the car half the night. haha. 
Don't ask me why but in 1983 I talked someone in our church into turning my car cb into a base unit that I could talk on in my bedroom. It was a cobbled together thing but it worked and it made me happy. When I could ride the skip I'd talk to people all over the place.

What are some of your favorite treasures that became junk?

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1 comments: said...

Things that I had that became "junk" (can be seen at almost any thrift store).
* Atari 2600.
* An actual word processor that was in two parts (keyboard and the monitor/printer/disk drive.
* And more and more VHS movies.

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