Monday, January 23, 2012

Sorry, Walter, but they're closing Rex's

A necessary report to my dear friend, the late Walter Mirapaul:

I'm sorry to have to tell you the awful news, Walter, that they're closing your old hunting grounds. Yep. Rex's Salvage will be history by mid-March. That's the word from Rex's owner, Recovery Management Corporation. What a loss! I know you would agree.

But RMC says it had no choice. You know, the economy. And something about the new ways of the trucking industry, of which I know little.

As a careful student of the wares that were available at Rex's, you might not be surprised by the news. In the past several months, you said more than once that the inventory was slipping. In your words, "It isn't as good as it used to be." (I assumed that was the reason that you drove me to Big Lots to buy a desk lamp.)

So we must be satisfied with the memories of the shopping visits over the years that could kill a couple of hours as you rooted through every bin at Rex's for truffles while insisting that a sport jacket at $10 was a fraction of its value. Or that the shampoo was a steal. Only someone who had memorized thousands of prices in stores around town could identify a steal from a mere bargain.

So I will cherish all the more the items that I bought for no particular reason when I tagged along to Rex's with you to honor your skills as a comparison shopper: Clocks, picture frames, DVD's, paper clips, the lonely bric-a-brac of truck salvage.

By the way, remember when I had cautioned you against buying an oriental rug at Rex's when you called my office. "How big is it," I asked. "BIG!" you said.

"What is its condition?" "It's rolled up. I can't tell."

I told you it would be wise to look at the whole rug before buying it.

You did, and I do remember what you said when you called back. "It had a hole in it. No deal."

But you did have a closet filled with the deals that ended up as multiple gifts at your annual Christmas Party. For that, we were all thankful. Particularly to Louise, who gave up so much of her time wrapping dozens of your hand-picked presents. Those were the days.

P.S. Another update: They never did reopen the Blue Fig restaurant where the gang met as your guests for your regular Saturday breakfasts. I noticed that it has been converted into a martial arts operation. So hard to imagine, I know. Does anything ever stay the same?

Take care....Abe


JLM said...

The wife and I have been Rex regulars for many years. Cant tell you how many bargains we've scored over the years, from the $300 plus shower door that is in our upstairs bathroom that we picked up for $25 to the microwave in our kitchen to I don't know how many other items in our home. I found out this past weekend and told the wife. A trip to Rex's was a Saturday ritual for us. My wife pointed out that it was intermittent reinforcement that kept one going back. You never knew what was going to be there. We'll miss it.

Anonymous said...

Rex's used to be a real penny a pound salvage store, but we suspect that the new owners got greedy and drove it into the ground. Once they started selling on the internet, they stuck a fork in it. We easily furnished at least 75% of our home from the real deals that we got long ago. Thank goodness for the original Rex Salvage. If someone wanted to create a business that had a built-in fan base, they would open another salvage store and do it the old school way. If you build it they will come... guaranteed!
Our Rex buddies will be missed.