Contact Kathryn at:

Good Will Shopping

I think it started when I was in about the 11th grade at Cleveland Height High School. Down the road was a second-hand store called “Nearly New” and it was a frequent stop on mine and my friends lunch hour and after school.

This trend continued through my 20s. I remember going to second-hand stores in Indiana at college when it was a necessity because I was living on a budget to get through school. Later on it became a matter of choice because of the variety and surprises you might find there.

Fast forward and I’m living in Southern California, specifically Venice Beach. There was a second-hand store there where I bought a very cool Khaki jacket with a corduroy collar and lined with wool. It wasn’t until years later living here in Fulton County that I realized it was a Carhart, which is so common in these parts for a working man’s jacket. What I liked about the jacket was that it was big, boxy, faded and comfy. And I thought the corduroy collar was very cool.

Recently, when I wrote a column about Barbra Streisand, I got the following e-mail from Mrs. Ellyn Mosbarger, an old friend from California. She’s a second-hand shopper too, and mentioned running into the celebrity in question on one of her shopping trips.

(You’ll notice she has her own unique way of spelling my name! And I couldn’t resist giving her a hard time about it!))

“Hi, Katherine...Your reminises (?) yikes! of Barbara reminded me of a day when I had dragged Dick (Mr. Mosbarger) along to an event down in antique clothing sale, and was browsing the buttons and edgings and lace in this huge one point I looked around and there was this woman who looked so familiar, digging with great concentration in a selection of ribbon, and I realized with a start who it was...She was dressed very casually, no makeup, hair hanging loosely...she was so small...compared to m'self anyway...I couldn't take my eyes off of her...she seemed to be alone, and obviously didn't want to be recognized, no eye contact....That was OK by me, I was happy  just watching her...and hopefully not bugging her for an autograph...It's pretty amazing when you see someone like that that you have admired for such a long  time, "in the flesh"...and I did notice that the other vendors and shoppers were giving her space out of respect, as well...Seems she was actually there with James Brolin, (she must have dragged him there as well,) so I scuttled around to find Dick, and he also got to see them together as they were walking out, discussing what place might be the best for a good pizza...I don't watch Oprah, but I sure would have liked to  have see her interviewed...I do love those great memory bits...Love, Mrs. M”

So, thanks to Mrs. Mosbarger for her memories of running into Barbra Streisand at a second-hand store. As many of you know, I welcome any comments from my readers.

About Kathryn Spira

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland, OH who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County, New York. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site