Opinion Column: Collecting The Past 

By Olivia Rios

What most people my age would deem “old” and “worthless” I find to be vintage and priceless. If I could scour the Earth looking for these items, I would in an instant, but unfortunately, I’m stuck in my little Midwest city of Fort Wayne. The only places I have visited with authentic, timeless pieces are antique shops that ask for more than I can cough up. However, now and then I get lucky and stumble upon a few vintage items at local thrift stores and charity shops. I recently found a lime green dress in a 60’s Mod style that gives me “The Brady Bunch” vibes, which is always gratifying. These keepsakes help me emulate that vintage feeling.

While combing through items at a Goodwill thrift store, I spotted a grey suitcase and to my surprise. Inside was a 1970s portable Remington typewriter. It only cost me five dollars and some change, so it was an absolute steal. Using a typewriter is a life-changing experience. No enter button for a new line, no backspace if you misspell a word and the ink goes dry so you must replace it, which is extremely messy. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy using the typewriter but a computer is much more forgiving. 

Finding these pieces in shops is always satisfying but receiving them from family and friends is even better. They’ve made memories with these items, so getting to own them and make my own is surreal. 

A few years ago for Christmas, my Grandpa gifted me two authentic 1960s Beatles albums and well, I was fan-girling to say the least. Just by looking at the albums, you can tell they’re vintage. I adore every crease and yellow spot on my record covers because it gives them character. They’ve been around longer than I have and it shows. 

Not only is owning vintage pieces exciting, it’s also beneficial to our surroundings. In her article titled “The Environmental Benefits of Buying Antiques vs. Modern,” Kacey Bradley discusses how purchasing and using antiques avail our living. Many items are made from natural resources, meaning they will last longer. Unlike newer designs, which typically last between “15 and 20 years at most,” antiques increase in value over the years and stay out of landfills.  

The past I never knew inspires me. From listening to The Beatles in 5th grade all the way up to being a junior in high school, my love for the past has grown. On the outside I may just look like another teenager, but on the inside, I’m an old soul, a free spirit, a wild child even. Owning these groovy pieces hasn’t just changed me externally, but internally as well. I’ve grown to be more understanding and kind. My philosophies and beliefs have changed for what I believe to be for the better.    

These objects aren’t just retro things used to decorate my home and flaunt, although sometimes I do enjoy showing them off when I get the chance. I mostly buy them to create a connection to the past, which is a little hard considering I wasn’t alive during the 60s and 70s. I don’t know too many people who’d want to revert to that “simpler” time, but I’d give up this technology in a heartbeat for the opportunity to experience the “Me” decade myself.

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