Not Just A Flea Market

One of our stops in the Blue Ridge mountains was a local flea market that we discovered on our drive around Sevierville TN. Strolling through the dusty parking lot brought back so many memories.

40 years ago my father owned an antique shop in Leelanau County Michigan. On Friday nights we would load up our trailer with goods from the shop and leave early Saturday morning for the local flea market. I remember those early mornings filling the thermos full of coffee to get us through the day. We had to get there early to get a good spot and be ready for the first buyers with cash in hand before it slipped through their fingers. After we set up our stand, dad would meander through the rows of tables looking for anything that might be a good purchase for our shop. I knew the drill and watched over our stand as prospective buyers strolled by. We always had the best stuff and buyers knew it. My dad was particular and he knew what people were looking for.

One of his specialties was restoring old wood stoves. Not just any stove, but the nickel plated parlor stoves that were in high demand. We always had something in the trailer that drew a crowd and it was quite a sight to see buyers stumbling over each other to make offers. I learned the art of selling from my dad. He was a good dealer and always fair with people. I was proud of him but didn’t realize it then, I just knew he was really good.

Not much has changed in 40 years. Some old stuff and some new, young families and old men, trinkets and treasures. A lifetime of memories all wrapped up in a local flea market.

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