Thrift Store Triumph & Tragedy

Been blog-absent for some time now, sorry. Finishing up a new book that y’all can watch this space for in a few weeks – not the new Wagstaff novel, but the first entry in a NEW series, this one a young adult scifi adventure tale that I’m sure adults can enjoy as well – and I’ve also devoted much time to work, an interesting investment exercise, and sports sports sports.

But in the meantime, a tale I’m inspired by today’s events to tell.

About a week ago while rummaging through yet another thrift store, I came across a pristine jet black 100% cashmere sport coat which I took as a sign from God to buy since it fit me PERFECTLY. The price tag was a tad steep for the thrift store universe since it had a Dior label, but between knowing the money would go to charity and a surprise $25 refund from my eye doctor the very same day, I figured I could simply average it with the other 100% cashmere blazer I found in a thrift store some months ago for a mere $3 and call it a day.

So today, I’m out running some errands and figure that I may as well hit the Goodwill to see what’s turned up in the book bin mostly, and lo and behold… another beautiful jet black blazer, only this time, 100% camels hair. I got a gray and a navy blue camels hair jacket, why not another black one? Evan-Piccone for Macy’s, too, a decent make. And this one was tagged at only ten bucks AND it was the discount color of the week making it only FIVE BUCKS!!!! This thing new would have been at least $150 or more.


A 43 large, as it turned out. If I was 2 inches taller and 15 pounds heavier I might have gotten away with it, but that wasn’t happening. I’m a 40 regular and can get away with a 39, but that’s about it.

What a bummer. It deeply hurt me to have to put such an amazing bargain back on the rack even when I’ve already got a nice black jacket.

Actually, I have three. One is regular wool, and the other a velvety cotton number that I like to think of as my Dracula-as-pimp jacket. But the camels hair would have been a nice addition to the upper-end of the Wagstaff wardrobe.

AND the book selection at Goodwill was meager. Bah.


Was this payback for my dream the other night where Fred “Rerun” Berry from What’s Happening? followed me to my car and asked me to drive him to Pasadena because there’d be “a few beers in it” for me and I turned him down, breaking HIS heart?

Yes, I really have dreams like that. Either the shrimp marinara for dinner that night, or my own insanity.

So, I’m only batting .500 for nice jackets this September.

But soon…. watch this space…. I think my batting average for novels worth reading will remain at 1.000 with the new YA entry. Stay tuned!




’70s Fashion Hell

Nothing like a little academic research for a modern American culture class I’m putting together to come across some of the more truly amazin’ stuff out there on the web. Via the always entertaining Learning To Share blog, I found this wonderful collection of scanned catalogs from Sears, JC Penny and Montgomery Ward ranging from the late 1940s to the early 1980s, and GOOD GOD did people actually WEAR this shit???

I must confess that I remember far too many of the outfits featured in the mid-70s Christmas catalogs… especially for the kids, since that’s what my little school mates of the day were parading in. The wide wide world of belts on red bell bottoms and bright orange and brown shirts!!! It was clearly the best decade in the history of the world to be color blind.

Click on the thumbnail if you want to see what was all the rage on the 1976 Bar Mitzvah party circuit… oooh, the memories… ooh the pain… crank up the Wild Cherry and Leo Sayer and you’ve got everything you need to par-tee down!!!

Hey baby, I’m wearin’ one-hundred percent polyester…. that’s right, nothin’ but the best for me! Double knit for double your pleasure, if you know what I mean? Let’s boogie!

For a solid antidote to the clothes, however, the toy ads are a soothing trip down memory lane. I want my Hot Wheels set back!!!

And here, courtesy the 1955 Spiegel catalog (Chicago 60609! Back to you Monty!) is a page filled with the kind of crap I dream about finding at yardsales… I want the “Uranium Rush” game AND the “Dragnet” game, Santa!!!

Powered by

Up ↑