Columbus, Ohio USA
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Flower Child
The Memory Recycling Center
By Allex Spires
May/June 2013 Issue

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The Fourteenth day of April in the Hundred-Score-and-Baker’s-Dozenth Year since B.C.(E.)

I rode passenger in an Oh-Three wagon Max drove down High Street to the Short North. I needed to get to Flower Child, a vintage retailer, to find out if they’d want any of my mother’s old clothes. My mom had an individualized taste in fashion. At Clintonville’s secondhand clothier Rag-O-Rama, I’d been told the garments might be better suited for this place at the end of E. 2nd Avenue between White Castle and Roy G Biv Gallery. I’d never been in but had walked by a few times and remembered the cigar store hippie statue outside. After six years mourning my mom’s passing, I had to move on. It was time to get her clothes into the hands of people who could wear them and might love them.

Flower Child boasts a reputation as both a museum for and a retailer of clothing and lifestyle design goods from the late Nineteen Twenties up to the early Eighties. Their collection extends from Charleston wagging Great Gatsby flappers into the pill poppin’ party mommas of the campy Valley of the Dolls period, across the pillbox hat and three-martini lunch timeframe and into the death of disco at the Chariots of Fire birth of electronica with a cut-off around Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). My mother’s sense of taste fell right in the cusp at the gloaming of grunge.

Inside I found calendars, clocks, and watches from times long gone; plastic form chairs, paisley sofas, and art nouveau and art deco coffee tables; playable phonograph LPs from across the mid-Twentieth Century, LPs melted into candy dishes, dishes of all sorts but especially party glasses and sets of them along with the clothes: forties and fifties party dresses, fur and mohair coats, unbelievably gaudy and over-the-top jewelry as well as classic men’s fashions: opera scarves, jackets and vests in seersucker plaid, leather hats and pants that might make the sharpest of pimps blush. They offered ice buckets, hand fans, and even an old beehive style bonnet hair dryer. As an immense admirer of Jim Henson, I had a hard time taking my eyes off a two-hundred-twenty-five dollar Kermit the Frog telephone which also said “works” on the price tag. Some say history belongs in a museum not in the way we live our lives. Flower Child allows both to be true. This was definitely a museum but also a place to buy memories of a past from which one might design their own fantasy of the future.

Alas, they had no use for my mother’s sense of style. She was the sort of person Eddie Izzard might accuse of wearing cakes on her head. I left disappointed by their lack of interest but satisfied in my experience visiting Flower Child. The place is surely no thrift store – that’s where I took my mom’s clothes next. They were gladly accepted, and I know that some weird people will surely enjoy them.

Flower Child is located at 989 N. High St.. Visit or call 614-297-8006 for more information.


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