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Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by Dinerman, Sep 20, 2015.
Agreed, very nice.
You may have to take up a disguise on your hunts. Your wardrobe is a giveaway. Maybe wear a hoodie?
We went back to Billings again yesterday. It's an easy 140 mile drive which makes for a busy day trip or a relaxed overnight. We opted for the overnight, staying at the Dude Rancher again. There are pics of it in the first post of this thread. We hit town around 5:00, just as the sun was setting, but still with enough time to get an hour in at a big antique mall on the fringes of downtown, Marketplace 3301. There were definitely some things there I wish I had bought, but that were just too high- an 1800s bearskin coat for $250, or the sign off the Great Falls Hub store, from which I've had a number of pieces that were originally sold there over the years. But if I bought everything I wanted, I'd be broke with a houseful of unsalable things. Not that that's too far off the mark as it is.
The next morning, we went back to 3301, to finish up the second floor, as we ran out of time Thursday evening. We went for breakfast at a place called the Muzzleloader. It boasted having been in business since 1957, and was out on the industrial side of town. I had visions of a typically western cafe- knotty pine, worn stools and a rifle hanging over the counter. Pulling up we were met with an enormous Cracker Barrel reject looking building, half cafe, half casino. Inside was large and impersonal, with that certain combination of beige and pastel that only late '80s remodelings can yield. But, it was packed with locals and had a chicken fried steak special, so what the hey, we gave it a shot.
Then on to downtown Billings, for Yesteryear's antique mall, a sprawling 3 story place. It has remarkable turnover in their stock, and I've always managed to find good things there. Oxford Antiques, in business for 31 years, was closed for the day. Last I was there, I was chatting with the owners and they were mentioning that they were easing somewhat into retirement, ramping down their hours and marking lots of the stock in the store down 50% to move it. So hopefully they were out enjoying the last bit of good weather before winter hits in full and I'll catch them next time.
I made my requisite stop to Montana Vintage Clothing- if you're ever in the area, you must stop. They have racks and racks of vintage menswear, 1920s-1960s, suits, ties, jackets, shoes, hats, you name it. And while their men's section has the scope and sheer volume that would make people here weep, it's small when compared to the women's side. They've been in business 17 years, are extremely knowledgeable and friendly and being located in Billings, have affordable prices. You could score yourself a '30s suit, tie and hat all for under $200.
Then on to the thrift shops, the big Goodwill outside town, the two St. Vincent DePauls, the Montana Rescue Mission, the Family Service Secondhand. I swear they've raised their prices, with better deals to be found at the antique shops. $30 for a mothy '50s overcoat? That's more than I could charge with all my experience and contacts. We passed abandoned warehouse buildings bearing the signs of two defunct antique malls, and the abandoned Salvation Army. For a town that's always been reliable as a source of vintage for me, it seems it hasn't always been kind to the shops that sell it. There's a certain desperation to Billings.
We made one last quick stop in Big Timber, where I finally bought a '30s/'40s suit (sans jacket) that I had seen on the pricing rack the better part of a year ago, but had been unable to buy then. It took its time, but finally made its way out. As we got closer to Bozeman, the temperature dropped and the snow closed in, white specks on the horizon growing into snowy mountains.
Exhausted, we settled back in. This was the trip of Open Roads. Everywhere I looked there seemed to be another one.
Interesting trip and commentary.
A great thread. Very entertaining as is your Diner Hunter page. The photos and commentary is always enjoyed.
The group of photos just before the hats is (with the exception of your girlfriend's pic) very "Twin Peaks."
As I have said...GREAT thread!
I tune into each episode. Thanks for sharing your adventures sir.
Best, Eric -
Dinerman, Your photo presentations are quite enjoyable. Obviously, you put a lot of time and effort into finding just the right objects. I look forward to future installments.
always a pleasure to read your reports
Thanks, everyone! I'm glad everyone seems to be enjoying reading all this as much as I do experiencing and writing it.
No pictures, but I had a last-minute visit the other day from a Japanese dealer. A couple of times every year, he makes a big loop through America, hitting vintage shops, vintage dealers, antique stores, looking for things to bring back. Talking to him, it sounds like we're doing very much the same thing. Unfortunately, everything that was what he was looking for (workwear, leather jackets, that kind of thing) all sold earlier this past week online, making for a funny scene of, "oh wow- this grizzly jacket is great!" "yeah, someone just bought that. . ." situation. Always fun to meet people in the vintage world and make those connections.
This leads into the next project, which I think will interest and involve a lot of you. With the road-trip season winding down, the planning season is coming up. In about six months, I will be graduating my Architecture grad program, and Alex from her photo program. These trips have been like a drug. The more I travel the West of America, the more of the country I want to see. And as long as hard as I've worked in architecture, I think I'd like to see the country some more before I settle down into a real job and a real house. The plan as it stands now is to buy a bus of some sort post-graduation and to hit the road for an extended period. The thought is about four months. While I'd still be hunting for vintage clothes on the road to pay for incidentals, the primary focus would be documentation, with a book at the end, illustrated through Alex's photography and my roadside Americana illustrations and paintings, which some of you may have seen in other threads or on the blog. Since we'll be travelling extensively, we will probably be in many of your necks of the woods, and I'd love to meet up with as many of you in the vintage community as I can. I'll keep you all apprised of the plans as they develop.
Will there be room on the bus for us?
Wow. I envy you.
Yeah, Bob. We can paint "Furthur" on the front of it!
That road trip/book is a brilliant idea. I really cannot wait to see that develop!
It's funny, while I shop all the time, I never have anything too specific in mind when I'm doing it. I find what I find.
Now that I've started looking for transportation for this trip, I'm realizing I hate shopping when anything's on the line.
We're looking for something relatively cheap, small, easy to find parts for, currently running and with some sort of interest. Something that when it's all painted and done up that would be recognizable. Just can't see myself driving a beige '90s Winnebago, and don't think on my budget there's any chance of getting the kind of vintage machine I'd really like.
Lost out by a matter of minutes on buying the Econoline today, after losing out on a similar one a couple of weeks ago. It's a good thing we're starting all this searching six months in advance.
Dinerman, I too enjoy all your writings. I wish you much success in your endeavor. Sounds like a wonderful journey awaits.
A quick round of travel in Bozeman and Livingston.
We had limited time yesterday, so we didn't stray too far, taking the time instead to hunt around our own back yard, sorely neglect what with all these long distance trips. Found a '20s overcoat fairly close by my house, a silver cigarette case which went to a friend, an advertising calendar from a local bank that will go somewhere on my cluttered walls, and a set of 200 marquis letters (which I scored for a paltry three dollars. So not a ton for sales, but a few neat finds. I'm sure I'll find something interesting to do with the letters. Alex should be getting me her photos tonight, and I'll post them later. It was such an impromptu, unplanned, last second kind of trip that I didn't even have my real camera with me, just my phone, so enjoy these until the real shots come.
That looks like it was well worth the trip. Thanks for sharing your "On the Road" adventure!
Hello Dinerman. Quite some haul. My question is who makes the tan jacket you are wearing in post #2, in the picks from your Montana trip with Alex. It appears to be a canvas or cotton patch pocket half belt. I've been searching for that style canvas jacket since I saw it on a TV show. One day I'm going to stop in at your store.