Mt. Rainier Antique, Thrift and Salvage, Mt. Rainier, Maryland
Please note: This article was written in 2002. The store has significantly changed from the description below.
I can't think of a more entertaining way to spend a Saturday afternoon than rummaging around my favorite antique store, listening to Bob Dylan or NPR and discussing current affairs with owner Stuart Morris. Mt. Rainier, Maryland, is fortunate to have what I consider to be the best second-hand store in the region.
I first learned about the store from an article in the Washington Post Home Section. As soon as I read it, I knew I had to go there. I showed up on the following Saturday, about an hour too early for its opening. I was thinking about whether I should wait until noon (not seeing much else to do in that neighborhood for a whole hour), when a banged-up looking truck with a load of 1950s era dinette chairs pulled up in front. When I asked the driver (I had no doubt it was the store's owner) if he would be open on Sunday, he said no. But seeing me head away from his store, he invited me to come inside while he unloaded.
Jammed packed with interesting items in various stages of disorganization, the store was a dream come true to a thrift store lover such as myself. I was bowled over by his collection of retro kitchen canisters. (I tried to take a picture of them, but the flashback off of the chrome ruined the picture, and nearly blinded me.) The various nooks in the store contain furniture, toys, housewares, books, art pottery, clothes, and things that defy categorization.
I'm waiting for Stuart to acquire a plaid-colored bowling ball, so that I can purchase it and ten of his plaid thermoses and have a bowling tournament on the sidewalk. I think it would be a great way to attract more customers, although I haven't run this by him yet.
I try to get back to Mt. Rainier Antique Thrift and Salvage every few weeks, just to see what new has shown up. Even when I'm deep in the zone, searching through some box that wasn't there the last time I visited his store, I find it pleasant to hear him greet every customer, many of whom he knows by name. Even in negotiations, Stuart maintains an even disposition and explains gently and without disrespect to the customer what he thinks an item is worth and why. There should be more places like this on earth. It's a Tacky Treasure. And Stuart, of all people, knows I mean it in the best possible way.
Mt. Rainier Antique, Thrift and Salvage
Hours (it is highly recommended that you call first to be sure he
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