Re: Swap shops or reuse sheds
I was born in 1926 and the great depression hit in 1929. In the west, Montana, for me homesteads were sold to people for $5 for 160 acres or 1/4 section of land at 648 acres per section. Many desperate people jumped at the chance to own 160 acres of land none realizing that in the western area often 2000 acres could barely sustain a ranch.
So many people moved with all their belongings, in my case we left Montana, and taking little what they had brought with them because of financial difficulties.
In those days our garbage was burned in our backyards in burn dumps, no such thing as garbage dumps.
So when people left behind their burn dumps they were often picked through by people like us and our neighbours for useful items. Coffee pots, pots and pans, occasional pieces of silverware, lots of brass (best for resale), tin, aluminum and copper, nowadays so valuable. Many items and it all helped to get a little money for an expanding family. Very few clothes were usable or shoes. Separate trips just to salvage for bones. Bones used for fertilizer. Not to mention all this was done with horse and wagon. In the badlands of southeastern Montana to North Dakota.
My point to all of this is that the swap shops or reuse sheds, I think have been great for more than one reason. They are like free second hand stores, ecologically useful for environmental reasons, simple pleasure in looking for treasures especially for me …books, but also clothing, utensils – so many things.
To end this litany I hope swap shops last and people learn to keep order so as to preserve this great idea. My hat’s off to Walter Reedy, our Southside swap shop manager, a very sensible man. I would also like to say that I would volunteer some hours in keeping our swap shop neat and tidy.