My Best Goodwill Find

I find all sorts of nonsense at Goodwill, most of it rubbish covered in a fine layer of attic dust. Every once in a while I’ll stumble across a gem: a great pair of new heels, a brand-new copy of my favorite book, a 60’s-style unused cherry red fondue pot with a wood handle. But, more often than not, I just browse through the interesting belongings of unknown people, looking for chef memoirs and unusual teacups.

Today, however, was different. I found a piece of .59 cent Disney history!

An original VHS copy of The Little Mermaid (unedited controversial cover artwork and all) signed by Jodi Benson herself. It’s addressed to a person named Chris and states, “Chris– With love from the Little Mermaid. God bless, Jodi Benson.” Underneath is a double underlined ‘Ariel.’ The handwriting is curlicued and pretty, as if the Little Mermaid herself had found a pen with which to scribe the note. Oh, wait. I guess she kind of did.

It was sitting on a shelf far from the movie section, as if someone else had been eyeing it and decided against it. I scanned the message, thinking it was probably a gift from a parent to a child or something–“Happy Birthday, Jimmy, love Mom.”

Nope! A Disney Legend herself had signed the cover. Of course, I haven’t got a DVD player or any reason to have a VHS tape in my apartment, but I purchased it anyway. What are the odds of finding an original cover signed by Jodi Benson?

Out of the many Goodwill finds I’ve had the fortune to purchase, like vintage teapots and the occasional great painting, this is my favorite by far. Who knows what I’ll do with it, but it sure is a neat find.

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