back to school… again

It all started with my Dad. He decided it was time to retire the sofas that have been around since I was a child and purchase some new, more comfortable sofas for his den. The first call I made for him was to a store I knew of in Cambridge called RESIDE ( to see if they might be interested in purchasing them. They specialize in classic mid 20th century modern furnishings. They buy, sell and consign furniture. Unfortunately, after sending them digital photos of the sofas, they felt they could not sell them for us. The next step was to ask family and friends if they were in need of some sofas. There were no takers, except for my son, August. Last spring he found himself along with three friends looking for an off-campus apartment for this coming school year at Rochester Institute of Technology after losing out to on-campus apartments through the lottery. Two, free, six foot sofas would be an ideal addition to an apartment. Especially, when it needed to be fully furnished! They were disassembled on the first of September and moved to upstate New York via U-Haul Labor Day weekend. August's Apartment

As we moved August into his apartment, I looked around and realized how many items had come from the four roommates’ homes. Whether it be furniture, cooking utensils, clothing, or modes of transportation, they were all playing a part in reclaiming, recycling and repurposing much of the things in their new space. Even their apartment used to be something else before it was transformed a few years ago into an apartment complex. It was a carpet showroom! Upon moving August into his apartment, my husband Jim noted how he used to drive to school on this back road and remembered going by the showroom. Jim and I attended and met at Rochester Institute of Technology, 27 years ago.

After we dropped August off, we headed down to Dunkirk, NY to visit with Jim’s Dad. We recently moved him into an assisted living facility and we are in the process of selling his home. While there, we looked around for anymore finds that might work in August’s apartment. In the basement we discovered six bar stools. Jackpot! The guys had a high counter separating their living area from the kitchen, begging for some stools. We snagged four.

august's apartment

august's apartment

In August’s junior year of high school, he purchased his first car. We mentioned to a friend that he was beginning to look and she told us a friend of hers was considering selling her car. It was an Acura 1995: good price & good condition. Having a car has been great, but for less cumbersome access to campus and for general riding around, he and his roommates thought having bikes for this year would be good. August began and ended his search using Craig’s List ( When he mentioned that one of the bikes he had found was labelled “vintage”, I told him to keep looking. Instead, he headed up to Gloucester and purchased a classic French 1970’s Motobecane. Again, good price & good condition. A quick tune up at the local bike shop and a new cable and he was on his way.

Some other items taking up residence in August’s apartment include:

  •  two clothing dressers that I had purchased years ago at a yard sale. (He repainted them with metallic paint for the tops and left over paint from his bedroom for the base)
  • his bed frame from home (Jim went in and set up one of our daughter’s bed frames the day we came home from Rochester because it felt odd not having one in the room)
  • His roommate’s old television cabinet, television and end tables
  • Another roommate’s old kitchen table and chairs, floor lamp and cooking pans, dishes, glassware and utensils

august's apartment august's apartment August's Apartment


August and his roommates have discovered several thrift and discount shops around Rochester. I am sure that if they require additional items, they will make their way to the local Salvation Army & Goodwill stores which are located fairly close by. ( & )

As for my Dad, his new sofas should be delivered within the coming weeks.august's apartment


  1. Leslie said

    Sweet, nostalgic, and GREEN!

  2. helena said

    Looks likes August and his roommates have it made in the shade.
    He reminds me of David. He rarely buys anything new w/ the exception of his toys which are kayaks and bikes. He usually comes home looking pretty sharp from clothes he’s found in a dumpster or salvation army.
    I’d say August has learned many valuable lessons from his Mom…reclaim, reuse,
    and recycle when you can.

  3. Gary said

    I can’t believe how fast he is growing up. I still remember holding him in the hospital the day he was born!. August is lucky to get the Motobecane! I am using my Raleigh Grand Prix racing bike, circa 1972 at my Southern retreat. I just rode about 15 miles tonight and had a great time at the D&M canal (3000 Irish men dug the 66 miles by hand in 1830). Uncle G.

  4. Terry said

    I can’t believe that you and Jim met 27 years ago! man are you old.

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