By Kelley Atherton
Owners of a new second-hand shop in Klamath, Linda and Jeff Witvoet, consider themselves not just collectors but "rescuers."
Their Cheapo Depot includes used furniture, books, vinyl records, appliances, bathroom fixtures and artwork.
"We take what people would throw away," Linda said about the truckloads of items she and her husband have stockpiled over their 10 years of marriage. "It's worth rescuing."
Cheapo Depot on Klamath Mill Road has been open for a few weeks and is already growing. Linda said local residents have been bringing in donations to their mounting collection.
Donations are welcome and so is bartering¬óbut that kind of goes without saying at a second-hand store.
"It's all odds and ends that people throw away that are perfectly good," she said.
There are some collectible items, like toy cars from England and a set of antique car prints and magazines dating back to the 1920s and 1930s.
"You never know what you'll find that you needed," Linda said.
"That you didn't know you needed," Jeff interjected with a laugh.
The Witvoets made the move from the Monterey peninsula to Del Norte County a few years, which entailed trucking load after load of their collections.
"Jeff's from a long line of collectors," Linda said. "Since knowing Jeff I've become a collector."
The Witvoets have home fixtures, such as bath tubs, sinks, doors and toilets that Jeff, a contractor, saved from the junk yard.
Linda would also like to have the store become a gathering place for people to sew, do crafts or just mingle.
They also plan on getting some more used furniture, building supplies and antiques. Everything is for sale as is, but they'll restore what they can.
"We like to fix and repair things," Linda said. "If you take care of things you can have it forever."
They even bought a fire-damaged house in Crescent City and rescued it, Jeff said, before they decided to move down to Klamath two years ago.
"We loved Klamath," Jeff said, explaining why they procured the huge space that houses their store. "We can collect more, so we did."
Linda explained that this is their "retirement." They run the shop, she can work on her artwork or sew, and Jeff can build furniture.
They hope their business will give some much-needed help to the local economy by drawing more tourists off the highway, Linda said.