Growing up as one of 3 children in a household with only one parent, a parent who did not work, in the 70's & 80's, I learned to love the 4 biggest Thrift Stores in Pomona, Ca.
My Mom hadn’t worked since I was born, I think. Raising her children was her fulltime job, even more so after my Father became mentally ill in 1969.
Her income, over the next 21 years, came from Govt. Social Security Disability checks for all of us, and money made on the side helping the neighbors, especially Granma Leona, and Joyce Tolbert, who ran Foster Homes for Mentally Disabled (Retarded Girls/women).
She quickly learned the value of shopping for clothes and other things at the thrift stores.
Goodwill was on the east end of the 2nd St. Mall, House of Ruth on the west end. To the south, below Mission Blvd. was the Veteran’s Thrift Store, and somewhere around there was also a Salvation Army, I just don’t remember where, maybe on Mission. :-D
There were other such stores, not to mention yard sales and garage sales galore, all over Pomona, Claremont, La Verne, Montclair, and Ontario, and we either walked to and from, or took the bus..
I am grateful to all of them, not just for the necessities of life they enabled Mom to buy, but for something else, integral to who I am today.
It was in the Goodwill store, in 1970 that my love of reading began to take off.
I met Frank and Joe Hardy, Nancy Drew and all their assorted friends and family. :-D
I discovered horror novels, history books and more, all for anywhere from a quarter to a dollar, a pop.
My imagination was stirred, and my creative writing talent began to emerge in my teens.
From book reports, and letters to the editor, bits of creative fiction to an essay that found its way to being published in a Trek Fanzine, then a book, in 1990, it all began with shopping expeditions to these stores.
Finding clothes for me was easy, but you know women…they can take forever just contemplating whether or not the pair of panties they want to buy will make them look too fat, too skinny, or just right. :-D
So, if I didn’t have a book or magazine in hand, to read, I would wander off to the book section while the women in my life sorted things out elsewhere in the store. :-D
Those were the days. :-D