I Buy a Secretary

This last weekend, Candy and I went out on a tour of East Dallas’ best (and worst) thrift and second-hand stores. I always watch an episode of Hoarders before we go, to make sure I don’t buy stuff just to be buying.

I bought a secretary.

No, not this kind of secretary.



Get your mind out of the gutter.

This kind of secretary.



I’ve wanted a good place to store pens and paper – a place I can sit down and write.

Writing Surface Dropped Down

The hinged writing surface dropped down on the secretary.

And that’s what a secretary does.

We bought it at a little second-hand shop off of Garland Road that supports an animal orphanage – they had some black lab-Bassett hound mix puppies on display – we were lucky to get out of there with only the piece of furniture.

And we weren’t done – not by any means. That part of town is lousy with second hand stores and we toured quite a few, braving the heat which quickly began to rise into blowtorch territory as the blazing sun rose higher in the sky.

Found a nice little down-home Italian place right next door.

Sali's Italian Restaurant

Sali's Italian Restaurant - at Peavy and Garland Road in Dallas

Excellent food, very cheap prices… check it out if you’re in the neighborhood.

On we went, this was our old stomping grounds, years ago, and it’s surprising how little everything has changed. The thrift stores still smell the same, of course, that odd smell of other people’s clothes mixed with an air of desperation. I don’t care, I get good deals: wireless G Router for $4.93, Logitech soundsystem with powered subwoofer for $14.97, laptop speakers for 2 bucks. I didn’t buy enough crap to feel like a hoarder.

Oh, look at this. The window of a car insurance place….

No Licence, No Problem

No Licence, No Problem

“No licence, no problem.” Jeez! Selling car insurance to people without a driver’s license…. and what does that little button that says “HOME” mean?

The day wore us out. The heat – the trudging around.

I do like my secretary, though.

13 responses to “I Buy a Secretary

  1. Garland road shops rock! We found a place where someone didn’t check if silver things were sterling or not, and I got 4 sterling silver pieces for $12. The baby cup alone was worth $70 a few years ago. It was epic.

  2. Hey Bill,
    I recently donated a lot of household goods to that shop (not the secretary, though). It looks like a solid piece of furniture and a good place to organize your thoughts and get them down. In ink. [ hint hint ]

    • Erin,
      It would be a good place to fill a couple ink sample bottles and put them is some sort of mailer – haven’t forgotten, I’m just behind on my to-do list.

      The secretary is solid, but not really my style. It’s a little scratched up so I might sand it and paint it some odd color, then replace the drawer pulls with something tacky and modern. Then it would fit in better.

      Did you donate a lighthouse-shaped night light? Candy bought one of those. They had some really nice stuff in there.

  3. I drive through there all the time and have never noticed that shop. Now you’ve convinced me. That’s a great little secretary. And I looooove your moleskines!

    What color are you going to paint it?

    • I don’t know what color – I have to paint that room so I’ll probably choose something that clashes terribly with the walls.

      That’s my red “book of ideas” moleskine and a sketchbook. The pens are a Pilot Varsity, a ivory Pilot Prera (a really nice small pen from Jetpens.com), and the burgundy pen is a 1960’s Sheaffer Imperial – one of the smaller, inexpensive cartridge filler versions.

      • I wish I could sketch. I have zero artistic ability. I bought several pens but it ends up that the only ones I use are Lamy Safari. Inexpensive, and I use the refillable cartridges, of course.

  4. Bill,
    Okay, now I feel like a real louse and an ink hoarder to boot. No worries, no urgency. It is pretty clear from what you write about your work life and free time that you manage a challenging schedule. I just didn’t know if I was on your radar at all. I did find out the other day that ink sample bottles can be had at FPN for a nickel each. That makes the cost of trying out new colors/brands of ink just the few dollars in postage. I’m eager to try the “fast-drying” Noodler’s ink, Bernanke Blue. Have you watched the video about it? It’s a hoot. http://youtu.be/2YF7AZRcOAk

    • What a video! I agree about the Fed and Bernanke. I’m kind of surprised he can use his name and image without permission, though. Noodlers is my favorite ink. But my blue of choice is Ottoman Azure, which is a really pretty blue with just a touch of turquoise, but still blue enough to be used in any formal situation.

  5. Pingback: Setting up my secretary | Bill Chance

  6. Pingback: A Project | Bill Chance

  7. Pingback: Don Draper is Such a Card | Bill Chance

  8. Pingback: I Build a Writing Machine | Bill Chance

  9. Pingback: Ink | Bill Chance

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.