It’s the last day of the year and I shoot TV news for a living, so is it any surprise I should finds myself in a thrift store? If you answered yes, you’ve never sat through a morning editorial meeting - where those who never leave the building conjure up adventures for those of us who do. If it sounds like I’m complaining I’m not. After my generous offer to fill ninety seconds of newscast with shots of me cleaning my garage was turned down, I pretty much ran out of story ideas. Thus I opened myself up to the fickle winds of fate, or to be more exact, the whims of a producer who swore he saw rows of secondhand wide-screen TVs at a Goodwill store this weekend. Not about to point out that (1.) the store in question was an hour and a half away, (2.) the weekend crew already turned a thrift store story, or (3.) I was pretty sure there weren’t any plasma fatties to be found amid the busted toasters and dated pantsuits pile of your average secondhand store, I (4.) feigned enthusiasm and headed that way.
Imagine my surprise at the line of cars outside the Goodwill store on Battleground Boulevard. ‘People really do unload their crap on the last day of the year,’ I thought as I watched people unload their crap on the last day of the year. Knowing we’d already examined this phenomenon a few newscasts back, I only loitered outside for an instance, before crossing the threshold of said thrift store and entering the heart of darkness. Okay so it wasn’t that dark, but the piped-in soft rock and fluorescent bulbs did make for less than optimal shooting conditions, so I popped on my camera’s top-light and looked around. That’s when I saw the zombies’ eyes and smiled. Moneyed housewives rubbing shoulders with men who smelled of Mad Dog, old women in Christmas tree sweater vests trading elbows with aging gang members, suburban teens ducking for cover, less they be photographed shopping anywhere but Abercrombie & Fitch … who needs wide-screen TV’s when you got extras like this?