The Thrill of the Haunt
Years ago, my friend and I decided to dress as '70s chicks for Halloween, and we hunted through thrift stores for the perfect plaid bellbottoms, wide-angle collared shirts and newsboy caps. That was, obviously, before I knew better. In my mind, it's no coincidence that St. Margaret's Church holds its annual rummage sale on the Saturday before Halloween, but that's not the only reason it's my favorite sale. How many other church bazaars have you seen where people line up around the block on Connecticut Avenue and D.C. cops guard the door?
Most of the early birds in that line are serious eBay dealers, who make a mad rush, past the housewares at the entrance, for the antique china upstairs. But the Halloween costume or savvy bargain shoppers know to head to the chancel at the front of the church, where all the clothes and shoes are. The hardcore fashionistas speed to the couture collection on the front right (check your bags before you enter) where an actual Chanel handbag was for sale one year at a ridiculous fraction of its retail value. (Think about it -- the church is in Kalorama, home to embassies and bazillion dollar homes, so the cast-offs at this sale are not your typical garage sale treasures.) Parents, you'll want to pore over the kids' clothes and toys set among the pews on the right of the nave, and there are tons of books, too.
I'll be in my usual spot, staked out among the textiles, convinced that those salmon and brown '70s napkins will make stylish pillow covers. Maybe I'll see you there, and if so, good luck on your hunt and haunts.
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