Monday, April 11, 2011

Cow Town Wanna Be? Maybe. Junking Paradise? Most Definitely.

Spring thrifting has sprung.
A former friend once said "Kansas City is a cow town. St. Joseph is a cow town wanna be." Whatever. At the time, this was funny because the quoted grew up in Podunkville, Missouri, not to be confused with B.F.E. which is where his brother was from, I'm sure. Later, it was truly discounted since he turned out to be an embezzler and married to two women at the same time - not to mention that he had the same name as a U.S. President who some deemed a crook (or was that his real name).  He got to spend some time in the joint with Big Leroy. True story. Anyway, St. Joseph, Missouri may or may not be a cow town wanna be but it is for sure one of the best spots for junking!

I started my thrifting week on Thursday. I needed to make a trip to my hometown to take my mom to an appointment. I purposely scheduled her appointment for Thursday as that is the opening day for many weekend garage, estate, and rummage sales. This particular Thursday did not disappoint.  I got on the road extra early so that I could stop at a church rummage sale on my way into town. When I arrived, there were a lot of cars in the parking lot which surprised me and not in a good way. Oh no, all the good stuff will be gone. Even when I first walked in, I thought this wasn't going to be productive because all I could see were people and clothes and I don't buy clothes at rummage sales. I was el wrongo! After the seas parted (get the religious reference - church rummage sale), there was a table near the entrance along the wall with a bunch of unmarked goodies. First I picked up a Westclox Big Ben alarm clock. I don't have TOO many vintage clocks and I definitely do not have a Big Ben so I snatched it up. Next to it was a vintage ceiling mount light fixture in perfect condition - score! Then I looked up and saw this painting:

Like, I don't know how I missed this when I first walked in. It is pretty big  - 37" square. I love the retro colors of gold, avocado green, brown, and a hint of red. It's a canvas painting and is signed "R. Styles". I did a search of the artist on the internet but came up with very little except that there are other people out there with some of his or her art that don't know anything about the artist, too. I am guessing this has to be from the 1970's. Do any of you know anything about R. Styles?

Okay, so this sale is starting to pan out. As I finally made it past the hall table, there it was... ahhhhhhhhh (like angels descending from the heavens).  You have read that I have had estate sale envy of you big city folk. Seems like every blog I read, you guys find some fabulous piece of mid century modern furniture and all I find are smalls. Not that I don't mind smalls because they are easy to tote around and easy to sell on my eBay store (not so shameless plug). But finally, finally I found a Kroehler chair and no one had cabbaged on to it. It was marked $5 - $5, that's unreal.  I looked it over and it is in great shape. It has a tufted back, I believe the original upholstery with just a slight amount of staining, and, wait for it, the original metal tag on the back. And it was sitting right next to the cashier so I rushed over and told them I wanted it. They marked it sold, handed me a bag so I could get some more stuff, and I was off again. Lucky me!

I perused the other tables but was short on time. I still ended up with 2 vintage tablecloths (one Simtex), a stack of vintage paper Christmas coasters, a Homco wall plaque, a 1984 calendar towel, a 1982 book "Garden Secrets", a PIT game from Parker Brothers (1964 version), and two souvenir plaques of Jamaica - none of these items were marked. I went to the cashier to pay and asked how much I owed them (besides the $5 for the chair) and they said "It's a free will donation. Whatever you want to give."  What? How can I be this lucky? I gave them $10 for the unmarked goodies and they seemed pleased. As I was walking out, I looked over and luck struck again... look what I found:

No, not the dog. That's my silly old sow (almost 16) - she found us long ago. This beautiful mid century floor to ceiling (low ceiling) gold cone lamp. Major score. It is not in perfect shape as it is missing one of these cool metal diffusers that attaches to the bulb in one of the cones and I think the top "mount" is missing but it is still sweet.  I ran back over to the cashier, gave them another $5 and loaded up my treasures.  Twenty dollars never felt so good. I looked up the chair and some are selling for around $300.  What a great sale!

Since I have babbled on so long about this one sale, I will wait until later in the week to share my other finds over the weekend. On a personal note, I want to thank the 16 people who are officially following my blog - that makes me feel special. And I accomplished one of my goals which was to actually post for Apron Thrift Girl's Thrift Share Monday on Monday. It looks like a lot of people thrifted this weekend as she already has 56 links. Is your hometown your favorite place to thrift? What did you find that made you giddy with excitement? I know it has to be heavenly.


  1. Wow!! You really scored big time!! LOVE the chair!! Way to go!!!!

  2. total huge scores! nice work on the chair. that is a complete double fist pump sort of find. love the mustard yella' blog color too. thee floor lamp, yeah, sweeeet.

    OH, and that painting...i don't know abou the painter, but the painting is AWE. SOME.

  3. Excellent score! I love that chair. I do love thrifting in myhometown more than anywhere else, even if they have caught on and started overpricing stuff.

  4. great Scores! The art piece is called "furniture art". It's from either the 60's or 70's and was sold with a complimentary set of furniture in high end furniture stores. How do I know this? I took a piece of this art to Antiques Road show when it was in Dallas a few years ago and one of the ladies you see on Roadshow all the time pricing artwork, her name escapes me right now, clued me in. She told me this kind of art is generally worth $250 - $300. Hope this helps!

  5. Five bucks for the chair, what a smoking deal!

  6. Ok that lamp is so cool! And Kelli sure gave you a good nugget of information on that painting :) It's such a great piece!