Thrifting for Tank Tees

On a recent trip to Hawaii, we found a new hobby.  It began rather unexpectedly, the way most great things do.  It began with two observations: 1) to be a true tourist means you must own a tank top and 2) to be a true Hawaiian means you must own a tank top.  We scoured nearly every ABC store on Oahu looking for the magical combination of color, print and price.  (ABC stores in Hawaii are not liquor stores, though some do sell liquor, they are more closely related to Walgreen’s.  At Waikiki Beach, they are literally on every corner.)

When we reached the Big Island, we owned about a tank a piece.  We soon observed that our bright shining tees identified too closely with other tourists and decided that in order to be truly authentic, we would need to find some tank tops that had the appearance that they’d been washed and dried by the sun a thousand times, been corroded by the salt and sand, and maybe developed small holes near the top of the back and shoulder region.  So on a drive to visit a few coffee plantations, we spotted a thrift store and it occurred to us that we’d surely find what we were looking for there.  Little did we know that this was the beginning of something wonderful.

Over the course of the next week, we’d cram our necks from behind seat backs, scanning the small towns which we passed through for signs for a thrift store.  We stopped at nearly every one we found.  Brooks found a metal pleated leather belt that he vowed to never remove, except for the next time he passes through airport security.  Adam found a book for ten cents entitled Sir Charles: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles Barkley.  I found a lightweight cotton polo from a Kona Fishing Tournament and a vintage copy of Lord of the Flies, also for ten cents.  And Charles found the trophy, a faded black tank top that we all envied with the jealous jubilance of children.

On your next trip to anywhere, go thrifting.  Besides finding cool stuff, you’ll meet some incredible folks and donate money to a charitable cause.  Who knows? You may even have a conversation that changes your life.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by ELLEN on April 8, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    hahaa how inspirational.

  2. I’m glad that the Young Life-induced desire to hit up thrift stores at every moment possible holds true even in Hawaii. I was concerned the expanse of ocean between Hawaii and the continental states would somehow cause a problem.

  3. Posted by BCM on April 12, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    grady, unfair…. everyone loves thrift shops…. indeed good sir, to imply that YL is the…. o sir, its too much even to say!

  4. Posted by Adam on April 14, 2010 at 2:19 am

    Dude, Charles A would find the best Tank–I bet it was the ugliest too! And a V Neck (if that’s possible)

    Thrift Stores are now 100x cooler to me after reading this

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