Requiem for an Ardmore resale shop

It used to close in summer.

Now the Nearly New Consignment Shop, a fixture in Ardmore for half a century, closes for good this Friday, according to an item this morning on Ardmore Patch.

This comes as a shock to those who loved to browse among the gently-used clothes, bric-a-brac, books and furniture in the white clapboard house on Athens Avenue at Rittenhouse Place.

There were bargains to be had, and we found them.

We remember Barbara Crocker, with her red hair and pleasant Southern-style manners, who was more a hostess than a shop manager.

She was there for years, and very particular about the items the shop agreed to handle. Her good taste and pickiness made for high-quality merchandise.

We remember how the volunteers, mostly older women, sat on stools behind the counter in front, and would stand up to check out purchases.

We remember snagging more than one item of clothing from the women’s racks, and even a few from the men’s, and then crowding into the tiny fitting room upstairs where the shoes were displayed.

We recall back in the 1980s consigning some items to be sold at the shop, and returning there later, glad for the extra cash.

The shop is owned by the University of Pennsylvania and benefited its Medical Women’s League. According to the Patch post, the house on Athens Avenue is up for sale and expected to pull in more than the shop could.

In these dire economic times, it’s sad to see any thrift or consignment shop go under. But there’s a nostalgia thread here, too. Rest in piece, old friend.