There are a number of incredibly unique stores in Lawton. They are called thrift stores. These stores come in various commercial building sizes. A few are as small as a strip mall storefront. Some are large as an Amazon Fulfillment Center. The types of personalities that own/run/manage these stores are as varied as their clientele. Some stores have a very devoted customer base. A few stores have been around for years. Others pop up for a while, then go out of business in just a few months.
I have found no two stores to be exactly alike. Sure, inventories might be similar from merchant to merchant, but the stores, the settings themselves, are as much a treat as the shopping experience. Yes, yes, you can walk the pristine, neatly stocked aisles of your local supercenter, 24-7, 7-days a week. BORING! Can the hovering sales associate, in their blue vest, tell you the origins of that Mulberry scented candle? I doubt it. Most thrift store owners will be able to tell you the story behind or origins of each and every piece of “junk” on their shelves. Antique dealers refer to these stories as provenance. Provenance is supposed to impress you, so you won’t flinch when the price of said antique is grudgingly revealed. Listening to these stories is also part of the fun of shopping in thrift stores.
Prices? The best you can find! Not ready to invest in high-priced home lawn-care equipment? Why pay $150 for a lawn mower when you can pick one up for $15? Change the oil, spark plug, air filter, sharpen the blade, fill it with fresh gas and you are good to go for a couple years. Some thrift stores have a wide variety of brands, models, prices, etc. Six hundred dollars for a new electric clothes dryer? Nah! Spend fifty bucks at a thrift store and haul it home. Name-brand fashions from L.A. or New York City? Howzabout three to five bucks each…new, with tags!
If you own a garage, or like to “tinker” in your garage, you are aware of the high price of hand tools and power tools. The replacement value of certain brand names, like everything else, has recently skyrocketed. The thrift store I used to work at sold new, name brand and generic sockets for 50 cents each. Whether they were 1/4-inch drive up to 1-inch drive, 50 cents! Try and buy a new, brand name socket for that price!
Grown up children (adults) like to buy back their childhood. Matchbox Cars, Barbie dolls, baseball cards, Beanie Babies (remember them?). Finding these items in abundance at thrift stores may result in a shopping bag full of “whatever.” Due to my employment here, I managed to fill several bags with my own stash of whatevers. But then, I ran out of storage space.
George Keck is an Army retiree, a drummer, and Lawton resident, off and on, since 1964.