All evidence shows EV’s Thrift Store’s owner to be a truly nice dude, and that’s why one local business bestowed upon his an everything-changing air conditioning system. Now we can sift to our heart’s content sans heatstroke.
When I was a kid and my mom dragged me to thrift shops, I wore a hat and sunglasses, like a con on the lam, lest I be spotted by a cruel classmate who would christen me “Goodwill Girl,” not that that necessarily did or did not happen.
Mercifully, time has treated resale retail well — it’s morphed into something not merely acceptable, but fashionable.
We’re not talking fancy consignment shops or Plato’s Closet/Buffalo Exchange, where inventory comes carefully curated and priced accordingly.
No, the best thrift shops are bizarre, dense, dark, messy, musty, magical spaces, wherefrom you imagine a Stephen King novel might originate. You could discover a practically priceless gem or a prosthetic limb — ahh, the thrill of the hunt.
As in any sport, used-stuff shopping offers the promise of greater reward when you are willing to tackle tougher challenges. (And, yes, it’s a sport).
For example, there exist shops that undeniably hold untold treasures deep within paint-chipped walls, but enter at your peril, because air-conditioning is not in the budget. And in Texas summers — with all that hunting and examining necessary procure your plunder — that’s downright dangerous.
Take, for example, EV’s Thrift Store. Despite being perhaps THE best place in East Dallas to purchase other people’s unwanted particulars (which also donates a portion of its profits to the Native American Church across the street, holds monthly BBQ cookouts for customers, sets up hydration stations for cyclists and runners along the barren Santa Fe Trail, and — somewhat atypical of the industry — gives great customer service) EV’s never had air conditioning.
Early in the summer, when I was looking for a certain piece of furniture, I navigated my way there (EV’s is visible when you’re running Santa Fe Trail but locating and parking, by car, is tricky) only to find it closed. When I spoke to owner Ken See about this, he explained that he closed early because no one was coming in due to the heat, it being especially potent inside his big, tightly packed warehouse/garage of a business. Here, he also runs a side gig fixing small police vehicles, namely the Segway.
Indulge me as I digress for one more anecdote about Ken: In 2016 someone brought in a nice-looking racing bicycle. Ken paid the seller $50, though he was sure the thing was hot. He didn’t file a police report (what? Ken ain’t no rat); he simply hung onto the bike, never put it on the sales floor. Instead, he and his staff went out of their way during down time to locate the owner. Several months passed, but they tracked him. A photo of the joyful man-bike reunification can be found on Facebook.
Ken’s altruistic practices recently paid off in the form of a life- and commerce-altering contribution — a central air-conditioning system courtesy Dallas-based Mission Demolition and Environmental and associate Miranda Leija.
Thanks to Miranda and the team, even in the summertime, we can root through EV’s eclectic array of vintage and new furniture and accessories; vast assortment of books and media; workout equipment and bicycles; home appliances; copious clothing and jewelry; baubles, ornaments and gewgaws galore … to our heart’s content without suffering heat stroke or melting the makeup off our faces (when shopping through lunch break). That reminds me, last time I was in, EV’s stocked a big box of Mary Kay tinted moisturizer and sunscreen — the good stuff — $5 a pop.
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