Yep that’s me, the “Secondhand Answer Man” way back around 1970 standing in front of the Grand Canyon. And the woman next to me, well she is the one that started it all, her name was Bonnie and I knew her as Mom.
Bonnie, a mother of four children, two girls and two boys was an amazing mother. She grew up during the depression having nearly nothing, she would tell me about eating potatoes for days on end because that was what they could afford. Growing up with nothing made her appreciate everything in life. She was the most simple and yet caring person I have ever met.
During my childhood, we never had much money but we never seem to do without. Mom always seem to be able to give us everything we wanted. Now let me say this, being the youngest I can’t speak for my brother and sisters but I never felt like I was lacking anything in life. Mom was thrifty and a very smart secondhand shopper. One of the earliest memories I have as a very young child was stepping off the bus, hand in hand with my mother, heading to a thrift store. See my mother never really learn to drive, she seemed to have a fear of driving so we would walk to the bus stop and take it to one of many thrift stores in what was probably a 10-mile radius of our apartment. As time passed on those memories seem to always begin early Saturday morning, mom had made breakfast and had already created our roadmap for the day by circling all the yard sales in the penny saver and local newspaper. My Sisters (Sharon and Bonnie), my Sister-in-law Sue and I would all pile into the car with Mom and her yard sale road map and head out looking for stuff we really didn’t need but just could not pass up. Those are very fond memories for me as well as an education in the secondhand world. Mom unknowingly or maybe knowingly trained my eye for things that have value and are passed by most secondhand shoppers every day. I can’t tell you how but it is like a gift. I can scan a yard sale or a thrift store and tell you what is valuable and desired that most people just walk by. I can tell you if it is a bargain or a waste of money. You can ask my family and friends, they will see some obscure item at a yard sale or thrift store or maybe in a picture and ask me what that is and I can’t tell you how I know but in most cases I tell them exactly what it is or what it was used for and I can also tell you if it holds any value.
Because of this gift I have decided to start this journey of blogging and sharing my stories with you and I hope that you will share your stories with me.
One final note, I have two children, Sam and Taylor whom I love to death. My daughter Taylor has the gift and I know that my mother is smiling down on her and guiding her on her thrifting journey. I hope that she will join me in sharing her gift and maybe we can help you create your secondhand eye.
Now let’s talk about the Secondhand Lifestyle!