I look once, twice and finally accept that what I see on Route 98 in Fort Walton Beach, FL, is another Goodwill store. I'm sure the donated goods inside mirror those in other such thrifts. But outside, hello!
The stucco exterior is a welcoming sun-baked yellow. To get inside,
customers pass under arches creatively plastered with bright red,
green, yellow, blue and white seashells, tiles and mirrors. Even the
sign "Goodwill" is nonstandard. It's artistically rendered, matching
the upscale nature of the exterior.
I park, get out of my car and stare. A young woman walks up next to
me and stares, too. And then I see it. Remnants of another sign under
the new "Goodwill" sign.
"Do you know what this used to be?" I ask.
"Yes, it was a restaurant. 'Sol' something," she replies, then
begins to walk toward the arches. I follow. "Go in and look at the
floors. After I saw what they did, I went home and ripped up my
carpets and just started painting."
Inside, I find what I expect: bunches of donated stuff. I also
discover what inspired the parking lot lady to redecorate: swirls of
Caribbean hues dancing with each other on the floor.
So I waltz with the swirls from room to room and happen upon my find:
a maroon blanket for $4.
I consider the nuance. Despite the grand enclosure, the color, the
swirls, the gilt, the mirrors, the glitz, it's still Goodwill, a
thrift store selling treasures at bargain prices.
This one just does it with a little more polish than usual.