Contemporary Thrifting with Amy

St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store

Contemporary ThriftingI’ve caressed and tangled with just about every thrift item there is, but this one threw me off. Don’t know why I picked it up, this ridiculous, tiny, vintage sugar bowl that read “50th” on one side. An attached underlabel read, “Kelvin’s REG.PAT OFF EXCLUSIVES JAPAN,” and the bowl bottom read, “KEVIN’S FINE CHINA HAND PAINTED REG. U.S. PAT. OFF X-426.”

Picking up the tiny thing by one of the side handles, I turned to a shopper next to me and with a squinty, shaky face said, “Why.” She laughed and replied, “Definitely strange.” Half dozen other folks joined in, guessing what it was besides an anniversary token.

What I really wanted to talk about was the relocation of Bremerton’s St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, probably the area’s oldest-running thrift shop, from Callow Avenue. The original location was the last place I went to with my mom, Violet Morris Bjorgen, before she passed.

It was 32 years ago, when she was suffering from cancer and Alzheimer’s, but was sharp as a tack remembering St. Vincent’s — and that’s where we went. Normally I’d be excited perusing dish-filled shelves, but on this day, I had only wanted to watch Mom pick up fuzzy teddy bears and smile through the aisles of bright blouses.

The new location is on Wheaton Way next to Habitat for Humanity. I was impressed with the new store. It was larger than I expected and with more staging. A manager showed me around, expressing delight.

I bought the seemingly ridiculous, silly, 2-inch-high sugar bowl for 3 bucks. Walking out, I smiled as I looked down at the miniature in my hand, and thought, “Bet Mom would have thought it was cute.”