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The Rolls Royce at Sally's

Salvation Army, The Rolls Royce at Sally’s, Rolls Royce,

When I was about 32 years old and a new Christian, I had a job as a church janitor.  It was a good place to work as there were fewer temptations to contend with; like drinking, smoking, cussing, and associating with some of the wild and crazy bunch.  But there are always wild women to contend with everywhere you go – even at church.  Anyway, as a mop jock, I made my own schedule at $4.25 an hour, minimum wage being $3.35 at the time, and began shopping at the Salvation Army, which we call “Sally’s.”  What a great place to accumulate a wardrobe, and there were lots of polyester Hawaiian shirts for a dollar or two.  You probably bought one for a theme party but never wore it again, and it ended up at Sally’s.  Thanks.  Well, I liked such shirts at the time, and since they were plenteous and cheap, I became a tropical fashion trendsetter.  And that lead to the Rolls Royce at Sally’s.

As it happened, I was downtown at the Riverside, California Salvation Army one day, and having completed my wanderings through the aisles, got in line to check out.  The cashier was waiting patiently on a young woman dressed in jeans and a simple top, who was looking in the glass case below the register at earrings, necklaces, and brooches, to add to her purchase.  These trinkets were attached to white cards with the price tag of 25 cents.  And as she was holding up the line to pick out this and that, I was getting pretty annoyed we had to wait on her poking around the junk jewelry to get her fill.  Finally, she chose and paid for her last bauble and left the store.  Shortly after that, I bought my stuff and headed for the door, and there she was preparing to get into her car – a newer two-tone blue Rolls Royce!  I cupped my hands in a megaphone and pointedly asked across the parking lot, “What’s a woman who drives a Rolls Royce doing shopping at the Salvation Army?”  She replied, “I can‘t pass up a bargain when I see one.”  It became clear to me since she had a Rolls, probably all the junk jewelry she bought and wore was thought to be the real thing by her rich friends.

So, after shopping at Sally’s for more than 30 years, I have found all sorts of good deals.  There are pots and pans, glassware, suits, shoes, silk ties, tools, and knickknacks like the loon collection we’ve got going.  (Hey, don’t be rude.)  As a matter of fact, you may find a pair of new or practically new boots or dress shoes for a few dollars; the latter worn by some ol’ boy who just sat in his easy chair before he passed on, having never stepped out of the house.  One of my last bargains was a pair of virtually new black wingtips, and online they go for about $150.  My wife likes to shop there too and get some of those buying impulses de-pulsed at a low price.  Also, one can donate things back to the Salvation Army when tiring of them, if they’re still in good shape.  I was thinking of doing so with my cast iron cricket bootjack but saw on the Internet it’s worth a bit more than I expected.  Guess I’ll have to keep it for a while and let the executor of my estate take it back after I’m gone.  However, there is a liability to wearing shoes and clothes of higher value than your station in life, because people may think you’re wealthy.

 Take the time I went to my new dentist not long ago, and he complimented me on my fine shoes while also attired in a nice shirt, coordinated tie, leather vest, and slacks -  all from the Salvation Army.  Well, I suppose people usually don’t dress up for the tooth-puller, but having few political or social engagements these days, I use the opportunity to continue my trendsetting.

And so, after the initial exam, “Dr. Painless” set up an evaluation and plan for all the services he could perform for my beautification and rid me of my short and squarish “Chiclet” front teeth which tilt backward slightly.  The plan, which would include crowning six teeth and re-sculpturing my gums, would cost around $12,000, and would be “fun” for him to do.  (By the way, he actually called my front teeth Chiclets.)  However, he was probably sorely disappointed after letting him know I was dependent on the Lord Jesus to supply any funds for such a fix; thinking to myself at the time, I wasn’t sure if his Bucky Beaver look was for me, having the Chicklet look since the 2nd grade.

And now, after writing this entry, I wonder if the lady with the Rolls Royce had picked up her car at the Salvation Army for a song, and I wrongly assumed she was well-heeled: “for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen