Friday, May 26, 2006

Canary in the Gold Mine

By Tony Evans

Tony Evans

By Tony Evans

Entering the Gold Mine Thrift Store in a weak mood can lead to grievous fashion choices. The excellent music and smiling faces put me into an impressionable state of mind. Once, under the influence of Brazilian hip-hop I discovered a pair of green plaid golf pants, imagining I could somehow pull this off at a rave in another town where no one knew my name. Once the music stopped, I realized I was having a junior midlife crisis. The pants gathered dust in the back of my truck until I threw them away—a sacrifice to ill-spent youth and the ones that got away.

On another drizzly November afternoon I was called, as though from a parallel existence, by a pair of slightly worn Italian loafers and umbrella.

"Perhaps I am truly of the old country," I thought, a deep thinker surrounded by pigeons and connected somehow to the magnificent architectures of European history. By the time I sloshed my way across the street to Tully's, I felt like an idiot. There are good reasons we wear technical clothing in Idaho, and also why all those Europeans risked passage in leaky boats to get to the New World. I kept the umbrella.

Over the years, I have been tempted by a Bedouin tent, a solar-powered adjustable yard lounge, collapsible bikes, and several wet suits, as well as a great many used shoes, which invariably leave you listing to one side or another based on the misalignments of the previous owner.

I sometimes gather small furnishings for homes I will never own; brass things, Winslow Homer prints, a flowery divan. All of them go back the next day or the next week. In addition to great tunes, the Gold Mine also has an excellent return policy. But don't try to haggle. Those girls are busy. If you look really desperate they might just give it to you. I've heard rumors they have warehouses underground full of stuff; old convertible automobiles, rare books, a stuffed camel, parts of a space ship.

You ever wonder why we have such a nice library in Ketchum? They say, "From selling old T-shirts, and CD's..." Yeah, Right.

The Gold Mine; where fashion is born, and sometimes goes to die. A place to dream a little, and also an affordable long-term wardrobe storage facility. I've re-purchased the same shirts at least three times. Drop them off in the fall and there they are again each spring cleaned and pressed. My own poor taste ensures they will come around again and again.

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