I was so sad to leave Boulder, where I wish I'd had more time to poke around. But as this trip goes, it's back to another marathon driving session, followed by marathon documenting session-- then back to sitting and driving a marathon to the next city-- rinse, repeat.
I started the day in Boulder, where I grabbed a much-longed-for Razzmatazz Jamba for breakfast-- thanks to my generous mom-in-law Pat's stack of gift cards. (Thanks, Pat!) I had a serious Jamba addiction about 11 years ago when I was an intern in Utah. I went so often the employees knew me and gave me free Jamba swag. It got to be a bit of a problem actually. Luckily I live where they aren't as readily available anymore.
So down to Denver I went. On the way to my meeting time with Goodwill®, I drove past a thrift store called Safari Seconds. The name alone was enough to make me hit the brakes and take a look. Inside I found an inviting store full of smiles, ethnic art and handmade goods for sale near the door. In the back among the racks is a small setup of computers for training. Talking to some of the staff, I came to learn that the store generates funds from donations for a refugee employment training program that helps refugees recover from trauma and gain self-sufficiency. The store itself is run by some of the people it helps and it's an amazing thing to see. I wanted so badly to take some photos but their point-person wasn't available and time was tight. If you get a chance to stop in, I'd definitely recommend it.
Back in HaRVey, I headed to the South Broadway Goodwill® store to meet a local thrift blogger DeeAnna who writes A Little Junk In My Trunk. We bonded over the thrill of the hunt and a pair of orange pumps (her size, darn!). DeeAnna got into thrifting while recovering from a serious injury, simply because she needed a project to keep her busy. Like a lot of people, she walked in and got totally hooked. We chatted a little bit about the environmental benefits and the idea of thrift stores as a cultural landscape. I love meeting kindred spirits like DeeAnna. It's the people like her who make this trip so much fun.
We did a short video portrait of DeeAnna and Ed helped me find some awesome stuff to photograph, including a PIMP chalice that I just couldn't pass up. It's now for sale in the store to help continue to feed HaRVey's seemingly endless thirst for unleaded. Take a look!
The Goodwill® store on Broadway itself is nestled along trendy businesses, restaurants and a really craftacular fabric store that I long to live near (sigh). The thrift store's windows are big and bright and the place has the feel of a refurbished old department store, complete with metal ceiling tiles, original wood floors and white columns that give it a grandiose feel.
I bumped into Matthew, who had just dropped off some donations with a friend. They came inside on a whim-- neither of them are thrifters they say-- and found probably the most exciting thing a twenthysomething young man could find. A revolving liquor dispenser. They were obviously excited by their find and I'm sure they'll be putting it to good use very soon. And I hope they'll come back again next time they donate!
I also picked up a Second City t-shirt, which gave me an idea for a new-- second hand SIDE mission. I want Tina Fey to buy this shirt to help support the second hand documentary project.
I know she got her start at Second City in Chicago, where this shirt is from and where I'll be here in a few days, and while I know she'd probably be swimming in this shirt because it's so big, I would be so honored if my clever hero actually DID buy it!
You are awesome. You are clever. And you should totally buy this t-shirt to support my project!
Isnt' it cool that a GREEN Second City t-shirt appeared in a Goodwill® SECOND HAND STORE while I'm on a trip to promote second-hand living? I KNOW, right?!
And because I know you're a lady with a lot of smarts and a desire to help the envronment, I know you'd totally appreciate the mission I'm on right now to educate people about SECOND hand shopping!
So, Tina, I have your t-shirt. It's riding around in HaRVey with me right now but it really should be yours. You look fabulous in green. I think. Most people do anyway, so you probably would too.
I'll take whatever you want to offer for it. Or not.
I just think you're awesome. And so is thrifting.
Your clever sister in crime,
So after our awesome chalice and t-shirt purchase in Denver, it was time to take Ed to the airport for his flight back to DC. We hit a nasty, NASTY thunderstorm that caused flash floods. For a minute there I thought I might just float to Omaha! (....hmmmm...that could actually save gas money.....)
After about an hour of white-knuckle driving and a bit of a panic at what I thought was a tornado siren going off, he was at the curb waving goodbye. Suddenly the trip feels a little more lonely with my cook and co-pilot gone. Time to go feral again-- living on popcorn and banana yogurt.
Driving for the first time without a co-pilot through the northeastern corner of Colorado was eerily quiet. The skies cleared and the prairie looked like green velvet laid out for miles. Driving this RV makes me feel a little bit like Jack Nicholson's character in About Schmidt. Like Warren in the movie, I am a determined driver on the highways of Nebraska, alone in a big can of an RV. While I don't have any Hummels, I can almost picture his on my roof as I do a quick U-turn to get to the gas station across the street with the cheaper prices.
So it's just me, HaRVey and the creepy kids for a while. I leave you tonight somewhere just into Nebraska where I'm literally parked right between a semi and a cattle pen for the night. As I exit the mountain states and enter the cultural midwestern landscape of my childhood, I'm curious to look at thirft stores here with fresh eyes and ears. I can already smell the Husker merchandise that awaits me.
On an awesome note, I found out recently that the project was featured on Thrift Store Confidential a few days ago and --just today-- that the project has been featured in the July edition of Living Green Magazine! Check it out!