29 July 1995

Weekday Finds [2600 games in Birmingham, plus meeting Ralph]

[Originally posted to rec.games.video.classic.]

I was recently laid off (anyone hiring?) and had some interviews around Alabama. Of course, I had to take a look for Atari 2600 cartridges since I was going out of town.

In Tuscaloosa, I determined it was impossible to find the Salvation Army store because the address in the phone book was 514 14th. No st. or ave. or anything else. I checked the 500 block of both 14th St. and 14th Ave. without success, so I went to another thrift store I had walked right by on the way to my interview without noticing! Nothing at all.

Next, I returned to Birmingham and went to Goodwill. I found the weirdest thing there. Two Atari cartridge cases with the circuit boards removed! In all my time collecting, I've never seen anything like it. I thought it was strange when I found the first one, but the second one blew my mind. Other than that, I found one common that I've already forgotten the name of.

I also stopped by two huge thrift stores on my way out of town. The first had many Combats, Asteroids, Pac-Mans, and Space Invaders. Then I found a few others, but I already had them. I picked up three labelless cartridges for $0.25 each. I am now the proud owner of two Froggers and an Enduro. 8( Make me an offer.

I had much better luck at the second store. I found Infiltrate, M-Network Football, and Omega Race! I frantically searched the store for a Booster-Grip adaptor without success. I did find a Colecovision controller, though, so I got it. Unfortunately, as I was standing in line, I noticed the Omega Race cartridge had lots of corrosion on it. I bought it anyway, but I am unhappy to report that so far it doesn't work. I got most of the green stuff off, but not all of it. Any suggestions? Also, the Football cartridge does not work either.

I did meet another collector while I was there and hopefully we can get together and do some trades. That turned out to be the best part of the trip.

[I found another job within a month or so, luckily.

On a later trip to Tuscaloosa, I found the Salvation Army Thrift Store. The problem was I was on the wrong side of town. It was on the east side and I was on the west (or something like that), so I was ten blocks off. That hadn't occurred to me at the time.

The two big thrift stores were over in the Roebuck/Center Point area. I believe the first was an America's Thrift Store. I've forgotten the name of the second, but the collector I met was Ralph Hulcher. We later got together with some other Birmingham collectors, but then fell out of touch, unfortunately. — 2 July 2010]