Sunday, February 10, 2013

We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto

I've gotten hooked on the PBS series Market Warriors which features four antique experts (in various fields) and has them compete each week to see who can bring in the most money at auction for items they purchase at flea markets.  The flea markets have varied from city to city but some are well-known -- The Rose Bowl in California, Brimfield in Massachusetts, etc.  So I've been jones-ing to go to a flea market for some time.  There is one in a town near us called Oldsmar that's been around for years.  I have to confess that I hadn't been there in a very long time.  It's been over 20 years.  Linda had never been to it and Duane hadn't been in several years so they were up for it. 

It isn't that far, distance-wise, but it seemed world's away in some ways.  Lots and lots of pick-up trucks in the parking lot which is a big field next to the market.  They have a nice fresh produce and plant market but we were looking for old and used vintage/antique items.  The first thing I noticed when we entered was that there were lots of signs for guns and I noticed a few Confederate flags (see pic).  We plunged ahead stopping to look at any stalls that offered older items.  Those were mostly clustered in an area referred to as the antique village.  There were some dealers who had very fair prices and others who had their items really overpriced for what they were and where they were selling them.  No doubt some of these people may have shops, too. 

The not-so-good part was all of the new junk items.  There was even a 'dollar store' selling items that you would expect to find in a dollar store although this one billed itself as a 'New York' dollar store.  Hmmm...  I will say that the items and services offered spanned a broad spectrum.  There was a golf shop that sold new sets of clubs, golf carts, etc.  A couple of places where you could receive a psychic 'reading' and plenty of costume and/or silver jewelry vendors.  Oh, and a massage room, too.  There were many people walking through pushing their dogs in doggy 'strollers' and we noticed that there were quite a few booths that sold only dog-related items.  Lots of books to look through along with DVDs for good prices but it was a little too crowded to really search them. 

It was time for lunch when we had decided that sitting down for awhile with some refreshments sounded good.  We found a stall that served pizza slices and decided to eat there.  They had long picnic tables spread through the aisles and this was in a covered area which was nice.  I had forgotten that this flea market has always had some sort of entertainment.  An older man was the entertainment of the day and he played guitar and sang country music songs.  Not our cup of tea but he was a proficient guitar player.  Oldsmar bills itself as the 'mightiest' flea market in the south and uses a cartoon of Mighty Mouse.  Someone really needs to correct the spelling of 'mightiest' on the sign.  Yes, we're the kind of people who notice things like that.

I was the only one who bought something but it was a nice little 'find' for my matte white pottery collection.  I don't care about the maker, etc.  I'm more interested in the shapes and design and prefer fairly plain or slightly abstract patterns.  I picked up the square planter pictured for $4.  Good deal. 

It would have helped to have had a map before we started wandering around but, of course, we never do things the easy way.  Now we each have one in case we ever decide to come back.  Otherwise, there are so many signs hanging everywhere and I do mean everywhere that it's easy to become distracted or completely turned around and not sure where you're going.

Despite my find, this was a disappointing flea market since there were so few stalls with the types of things that we like to peruse/purchase.  We're going to try a few others that are farther away but probably offer more of what we're looking to find.  Oh, I should mention that one of the gun sellers had a cut-out of a woman dressed in an actual cloth camouflage bikini with an American flag sticking out of her bikini bottom.  I really wanted to take a picture of it but I was too chicken to ask if it would be OK.  Oh well.  C'est la vie.  

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