Sunday, June 04, 2006

A Day At The Flea Market

Among our family traditions up in Bay City is an annual pilgrimage to the Midland Flea Market, about twenty miles west of my home town. Wife Wendy, not being a big fan herself, stayed home so I went with my sister and my folks.

This market takes place three times during the summer, but this first one is most popular due to the cooler weather and the enthusiasm of the participants. Acres of vendors’ corrals abound with nearly every item imaginable: trading cards, old comic books, antique furniture, tools, old cars and car parts, crafts, coins, jewelry, china, glassware, and plenty of carnival food. Fresh cut fries, rggggghhlll (that Homer Simpson thing)

My father, who seemed in an ornier mood this weekend anyway, kinda stressed me out at first when he drove around the parking attendants trying to point him to a distant grassy area far from the fairgrounds where the action was taking place.

"I’m not walking that far," he said. So we drove to a large area that was reserved for handicapped. Now pretty much anyone with some joint pain and an accommodating doctor can get a handicapped sticker, but I could tell my 70-something parents felt it necessary to justify their disobedience. "My ankle is bad," my mother said. "My knee has been bothering me," my sister chimed in.

"I’m fine," I noted myself. They laughed.

We set up a time to meet back to eat the lunches my mother packed, my dad gave me a watch since I didn’t bring one myself, and we split up to hunt for bargains. I saw some old "Monsters of Filmland" magazines, several decades old, that piqued my interest. But even at half-price, $40, they were too pricey for me. There’s kinduva competition to see who can get the best deal.

So when we rendezvoused back at the car for some ground bologna sandwiches (my favorite sandwich), I pulled out a pair of sunglasses. One dollar.

My dad quickly retorted, "I bought sunglasses for a dollar. They were better than those and came with a case." Sheeeesh. I thought it was a pretty good deal. And they make me look Arnold Schwarzeneggerish.

Then I pulled out a saw I bought for two dollars.

"I’ve got all kinds of hacksaws like that at home," my dad said. Shot down again, I thought.

"Oh, but he wouldn’t have given you one," my mother added quickly. Gee, ma, that makes me feel better.

Well, anyway, it’s the hunt and shopping and excitement of finding something unique. Like the glass skull that excited my mother and sister, since they know I collect things Halloweenish. But when tbey took me back to the booth where they had found it so I could check it out myself, it had been sold.

That’s how it goes sometimes. But I’m not back home totally empty handed. When I got back, I checked my pockets and discovered I still had the watch that dad loaned me. Hea, he probably has all kinds of watches at home. He ain’t gonna miss this one. Muhahahahahaha!


Blogger Peter said...

Making note... Yeah Dave still has your watch, he even blogged about it.

5:20 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

I just remembered you still have a hat of mine. Can you mail it back to me?

6:00 AM  
Anonymous enforcer said...

he probably only paid fifty cent's for it anyway

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Maria said...

I am in that age group and we can be cantankerous. Exasperation and family love shone through.

Just makes me wonder what my kids would write about me if they blogged. Maybe, I am blessed!

10:53 AM  
Blogger Spider63 said...

Flea Markets are great fun! The walking around, the hunt, the occasionally surprising find, people watching, the funny knock-off imitations!

11:00 AM  
Anonymous bonnie said...

No Madonna artifacts?

11:09 AM  
Anonymous cassie-b said...

I love flea markets, and hardly ever get to go. It sounds like you had a good time.

oh, can you tell me what time it is? that WAS a bargain!

12:16 PM  
Blogger Ms. Vickie said...

Making note to self careful what you loan to Dave it just might not come back

You did get a Bargin !

1:54 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Dave, I love doing that kind of thing. I am a bargain shopper from way back. I love finding a good bargain. Enjoy your sunglasses and new saw. I'll bet your dad will forget about the watch too.

I hope you have some dry wall skills to fix that hole behind the old microwave. It's a never ending job! Good luck.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Nankin said...

My ex and I use to got o the Kane Couty flea market when we lived in Illinois. Year round, rain or shine doesn't stop people. Sure there are fewer when the temp hit 30 degrees, but it was still fun.

You're right, you can buy just about anything at one od those places.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

The flea market sounds like fun. I love finding great buys.

Your dad sounds like my mom; she always "one ups" me.

4:19 PM  
Blogger WordWhiz said...

I love flea markets. This reminds me that I haven't been to one in far too long!

5:08 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Man, I haven't been to a big flea market in years, I should make an effort to do that. I love to shop for bargains! I did make it to a local gun show Saturday but left empty handed, didn't see anything I really wanted.

So hey, you came home with a free watch... that should be the biggest bargain of the day! ;-)

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Terri said...

Really enjoyed this post, Dave. Still chuckling at your dad's comments. Sounds like you got your sense of humor from him. And it sounded like a nice way to spend a Sunday.

4:19 PM  
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1:06 AM  

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