“From the Ordinary to the Extraordinary.” A genius concept when you think about it.

In 1970 a man named Doyle Owens heard about a bus station warehouse of unclaimed baggage in D.C. from a friend.  He borrowed $300 from presumably the same friend, hopped into his pickup truck and drove from the tiny hamlet of Scottsboro, Alabama to the Washington, D.C. Trailways bus station and bought all of that unclaimed baggage.

He and his wife Mollie Sue (of course) rented a house, spread out the goods, and sold out in the first day! The rest, as they say, is a retail shop and tourist attraction visited by one million people annually.

New pieces are trucked in every day. Five thousand new pieces. The UBC has expanded to include airlines, naturally, as well as other freight shipments that have somehow lost their way. And it was this treasure trove Anna Grace and I found ourselves at en route to Huntsville.

The store is organized much like any department or second hand store. Anna Grace and I ogled a few higher-end handbags (not the one in the photo) and almost came home with one; in the end all that was purchased was a serious Patagonia windbreaker for those gusty Emerald Isle days.

I wonder how many tears were shed over the loss of these gowns.

The book section could have been an international Barnes & Noble, and possibly a fascinating sociology dissertation. If I lived closer, and most thankfully I do not, I would probably drop in for the books if nothing more.

Bulgarian, in case you were wondering.


Among the more interesting artifacts, a leather-bound copy of a 1934 French newspaper.

Within the store is a cafe, so that one might rest in between explorations. Oh, and the store is well equipped for the tourists, too.

A fun stop on our way to Huntsville. As we had gained an hour crossing into Central Time, touring the USSRC thoroughly took us into the early afternoon, and we then headed into the historic downtown to explore. Except that there was nothing to explore. Downtown Huntsville was d.e.a.d.  So, with 8 minutes to go on a cancellable hotel reservation, we pushed the “Cancel” button, stopped at a petrol station to refill the wagon and motored home. A great road trip with my favorite daughter.