Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

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March 15, 2007
Squirrely

ar_m.jpg I love thrift stores almost as much as I love music, so this is kind of like my dream blog entry. Random, but a dream nonetheless. Anyway. Earlier this month, I spent the afternoon interviewing the women of Agent Ribbons (pictured at right), an up-and-coming local pop duo. (Read my story in Weekend Ticket.)

Singer Natalie Gordon and drummer/multi-instrumentalisit Lauren Hess live in (separate) apartments in a Victorian that sort of straddles that downtown/midtown cusp. And while hanging out in Gordon's upstairs apartment -with its crazy-yet-fun assortment of vintage furniture and accessories, I could tell that these two obviously love the thrift like I love the thrift.

Besides, they personally handcraft all of their CD covers using vintage charms, fabrics and photos - so of course they know and love secondhand stores.

Anyway. On my way to see them, I noticed a small SPCA thrift store a few blocks away from them and asked Lauren if she'd ever checked it out.

"It's awesome," she says.

All the ringing endorsement a diehard thrifter ever needs.

I headed over and started checking out the goods. Among my scores: a 1950's cheese board with a cute, Mary Blair-esque illustration; a 1953 Better Homes & Garden magazine, and a pretty jewelry box.

But my real find came when, digging into a rack of "sewing and craft supplies" (or so the sign told me), I came across a big plastic bag filled with squirrels.

No, really, squirrels. Not live ones, silly, but two-inch-high creatures fashioned out of shellacked walnut shells, pipe cleaner and paint.
There must've been a dozen of these little critters staring back at me through the bag.

419531082_9c88c6c8e9_m.jpg Best of all? The label read, in all earnestness, "Bag of Squirrels $1.98."

I get a kick thinking about the SPCA thrift store worker (they're all volunteers there, by the way) who wrote that label and then decided on the squirrels' monetary worth.

And, although I had absolutely no idea what I might do with a Bag of Squirrels, I snapped them up without hesitation. Gleeful with my "thrift score," I e-mailed Lauren the next day.

Her reply?

"No way!!! I was going to buy that bag of squirrels but I thought to myself, 'I don't need this whole bag of squirrels....' I'm glad you picked them up and now they are in a good home! Could I bother you to spare one??"

But, of course! I'll be taking one to Lauren when I go see Agent Ribbons play Friday night at Old Ironsides (9 p.m., yo, at 1901 10th St.). I'm kind of secretly hoping the little guy ends up on a future Agent Ribbons CD cover.

Now, the funny thing is, seems like everybody suddenly wants a squirrel. Whenever I repeat this story, it inevitably ends with the other party - co-workers, friends, whomever - declaring that, hey, they, too, need a squirrel.

And, really, who doesn't? Could be my best find, ever.

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