Sunday, January 11, 2009

Reuse and Repurpose: A Show-Me State

When I travel, I always locate a local thrift store or flea market for souvenirs that remind me of my stay away from home. (And if there are garage sales nearby, then that’s just an added bonus!) Specifically, I seek old postcards from the region I’m visiting, and am especially attracted to specimens that glorify landmarks that have endured the years or bring back to life attractions that were once glamorous or exciting, but have since fallen victim to the wrecking ball or faded into disrepair.

The best cards are those that have escaped use -- a find more common than you might think, since traveling with a camera hasn’t always been an easy way to create memory markers. My treasure seeking was recently rewarded at Kansas City, Missouri’s River Market Antique Mall ( where I scoured a booth that was featuring a 50-percent-off sale and happened to have stacks of old postcards, marked from 25 cents to $1, piled high on a rickety book shelf. A standout from this discovery came from the Southern Missouri’s Tan Tar-A Resort on Osage Beach at The Lake of the Ozarks (second from right). It must have been created in the early 70s, and its caption is priceless:

“The Ozarks winter fun center. Tan-Tar-A’s Ski Lodge. A cosmopolitan staff from Europe’s ski slopes provide instruction and lend a continental flavor to the area ski fun at the Resort.”

Only in Missouri!

In May 2009, Clarkson Potter will publish my book, The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating with Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details. Pre-order now on and

1 comment:

Life As g said...

Okay....this really embarrasses me. The boot-heel of Missouri goes cosmo.