When I was in San Diego preparing for Artwalk I frequented a thrift store called Pat's Corner in the North Park area. I struck junk gold there. A lot of the pieces I made for the festival used stuff found at Pat's.
The place was a maze, part of it was organized and somewhat presentable and other parts looked like modern history upchucked and no one bothered to clean it up. The yard out back had the larger bits of broken antiquity that had been pulled gracelessly off the sides of houses & somehow ended up in Pat's corral.
Overseeing it all, Pat sat in the middle of the store like a glorious queen of tarnished dents. The several times I was there, I never saw her out of her throne.
A humble chair slightly raised and surrounded by a world of junk unimaginable. I would not be at all surprised to find Jimmy Hoffa's dentures under an old Mad Magazine on the floor next to a cookie tin full of forks. From atop this post she'd size up your finds and, with the arbitrary mathematics of thrift store pricing, would arrive at a dollar amount you could never argue with. This price wasn't made up, it was pronounced with sage-like certainty and was usually rounded off to a fiver.
My last time in there I talked to her for a bit. She seemed to approve of the artistic madmanship I planned for the items I bought. She would only let me take a picture of her hands which I admire. They do better job at describing the place than my feeble words ever could.