Well, they've gone and done the unthinkable...they've renovated my beloved Rivergate Goodwill. It's been like that for a couple months now but I think I've still been too much in shock to report back to you guys about my grief process. I know that in any other context, putting a fresh face on an old favorite would be a positive change. Better dressing rooms! Thousands of extra square feet! More room for dresses! But those of you who know thrift stores are also aware that when a business you frequent for "junk" or oldies changes, it is 'ere so rarely for the better. I have been coming up empty for the last three or four runs, and this never happens at the Rivergate Goodwill. There's always a plate or a sash or a handbag or a knickknack I just couldn't possibly live without, and yet lately, I've been slinking out of the double doors of said establishment with the most hangdog face. Cue the Ray Charles music. It's just sad!
The other day, I'd just about given up on the trip, when I saw a white plastic frame peeking out from behind some framed prints of geese in bonnets and downtown Milwaukee. Never lose faith! It was THIS:
Oh, just a mint condition, framed photo of John F. Kennedy. I saw a memorial picture almost identical to this hanging in Peggy Olsen's apartment in the third episode of this season of Mad Men. SCORE, SCORE, SCORE!
JUST A SECOND PRINT OF A SMILING JFK. No freakin' way, dude! How did this happen?! I very carefully tucked the picture back into the cardboard backing of the frame, and practically skipped up to the cash registers to pay $2.99 for TWO, COUNT 'EM, TWO JFK PRINTS. In perfect condition. How! It seems like as soon as I lose faith in my good fortune at sales or stores, somethings pops up on the shore that restores my picker's confidence. Ugh! Look at his dreamy/creepy blue eyes! Isn't it strange how all the Kennedys with those eyes looks vaguely like old Civil War daguerrotypes? What is it about their permanently grave expression?
I think I almost like this second "artist's rendering" of the fallen president better than his official office portrait. Kennedy-ana is something that definitely appeals to me as a vintage shopper. I've been heartbroken more than once at not being able to afford a memorial wall hanging of JFK and Bobby Kennedy (like this one) on the two or three occasions I've seen it for sale in a shop or at the flea market. Dang, I went to look for some online to link you to an example and actually went "These are pretty affordable! I should try and get a few!" before mentally slapping my own wrist and clicking back to this blog window. NO EBAY. I AM NOT ALLOWED TO BE ON EBAY. My Pringle-like addiction to scooping up online goodies must be held at bay.
Here are some plates I have hanging in the kitchen of the Kennedys, the first pair of which were picked up in Louisville. Kentucky, man! That state loves their presidents! I also have Eisenhower and LBJ plates from that same excursion:
This next plate was a neat find because I love how it includes Jackie and the children. See her chic head covering for attending church services on Easter Sunday, 1962.
A little Googling turned up the actual picture the plate was based on! I wonder why they reversed the direction of John F.'s head? Everyone else looks exactly the same as the photograph.
Last but not least, from the pre-renovation Rivergate Goodwill, a plate from the JFK Museum in Dallas, TX comparing the Lincoln assassination with Kennedy's own demise. What? THE SIMILARITIES ARE EERIE. Or completely coincidental. But I love, love, love this stuff, so of course I bought it. Does it eek you out at all that the museum listed at the bottom of the plate is on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, the site where Lee Harvey Oswald was said to have been stationed when he fired upon the presidential motorcade? It's like the National Civil Rights museum, which is in the Lorraine hotel in Memphis where Dr. King was shot and killed in 1968. I understand the historical significance of those places, but sheesh. I'd much rather have a memorial to those great men in a field somewhere, far from the bad vibrations and negative associations of those formerly innocuous, now sinister buildings. But nobody asked me!
Do you collect any kind of presidential memorabilia? What is it about the Kennedys that particularly appeals (or doesn't) to you? Which of the two portraits from my Goodwill find do you think I should display in a place of pride?
PS: I SOLD THE CHAIR! A nice couple who just moved to East Nashville from Washington state sent me an email yesterday afternoon not even asking to look at it, just wanting to know where and when they could pick it up! I hope that was just the thing to make their new house feel like home.
Have a great Wednesday, and I'll see you folks tomorrow!!