I've been to the promised land.

DAY 78 -- I've been to the promised land...and I assure you...it is beautiful.

My initial plan was to leave my dad's in time to stop half-way home for lunch with an old friend I'd not seen in several years; however, with the consignment store being closed for the week, there was no need for me to wait around for it to open and we adjusted our plans a bit to have coffee instead of a gut bomb from McHugh's Double Drive-Thru.

As always, it's so great to catch up with old friends. Rachel and I go back almost thirty years and we figured it'd been at least fifteen since we'd seen each other. As I've said many, many times before, old friends are good for the soul.

. . .

After a healthy dose of caffeine from Starbucks, I had some time on my hands and decided to stop at an outlet mall for a new pair of shoes. From there, I still knew I was in no hurry and thought I'd wind my way through some back roads for the last 30 miles of my drive. This took me through downtown Tuscola, IL where something quickly caught my eye.

A Big Bird chair under a sign that says "collectibles." Interesting.

Reaching the door, the lights were on and the sign said open...but the door was locked. A quick peek inside and I knew I had to get in this place. Then I saw the handwritten note on the door: "I'm at the senior center next door. Find me there."

Walking into the adjacent senior center, I approached four older folks enjoying their coffee and their conversation which I can only assume was about corn crops and the potential of this year's local high school football team. As politely as I could, I interrupted their conversation to ask about the store next door.

No one smiled. No one made eye contact. No one spoke. Not until one of the men bellowed: "There's a gentleman here for the store!"

I was clearly out of my element.

A woman emerged from the back with a set of keys in her hands and invited me to follow her next door. As she opened the store, she asked if I'd been here before and what kinds of items I was interested in. Assuming this was just small talk, I answered her questions but realized upon entering the store, I was in for much more than I'd bargained for.


With work to do at the senior center, she left me alone in the store with full freedom to explore. And that's just want I did.

How did I not know this place existed only thirty minutes from my house?!? Apparently it's been in business for fifteen years! This was more than just a collectibles store -- it was something of a cross between collectibles, an overcrowded thrift store, and a museum. While I shimmied down narrow aisles and stepped over boxes and random pieces that had been from other arbitrary locations in the store, it was clear that the place was much more organized than it appeared.

Looking for Dukes of Hazzard items? There was a bin marked "Dukes of Hazzard" complete with a Colorforms set, old McDonalds cups, and action figures.

You like E.T.? Why not browse the E.T. section?

A drawer full of Little People...

Two baskets full of Viewmaster reels and viewers...

Maybe the Incredible Hulk is your thing? There was a section for you, too.

A rack of action figures...

A Vanilla Ice doll...

These pictures don't even begin to do justice to the massive amount of pop culture goodness stacked in this place!

I was in heaven and I wanted one of everything!

Snapping myself back to reality, I did manage to narrow down my shopping to just a few items. Unfortunately, one of those items was located on a ledge above the front door. Stacked between two He-Man boxes and a Fisher Price Little People garage set was the Playskool Holiday Inn -- a set on my short list of items I'd been hoping to find for a long time.

With a step ladder balanced over various boxes, I had just enough room to reach the set by standing on the very top of the ladder (a big no-no among amateur ladder users). Rescuing the Holiday Inn from it's dusty perch, we agreed on a price and into my car it went...

...along with a few Hardy Boys books and a Garfield tin I had when I was a kid.

Needless to say, I will be back to this store again very soon! Until then...expect a band and dancing every Saturday night at the Holiday Inn.


Brothermidnight said...

that place looks amazing! Lots of Ghostbusters hanging on that rack, how were the prices?

TL said...

She had big collection of Ghostbusters stuff in one of the cabinets as well. Prices were decent. Not thrift store prices by any means but not bad. Some was a little expensive for my liking -- MOTU figures for 16-20 bucks. Most stuff was reasonable.

doesntmattr said...

I need to go to this place and get that Vanilla Ice doll.