Sunday, October 23, 2011

Telling Time in 1918

Turned loose at a flea market there’s good chance you’ll have to lasso me and drag me back to the car to go home. That’s mostly the case, but I did go to one in Daytona last year that had me running for the exit after a quick look around. The big feature there was funnel cake and interior decor for trailer homes. I have driven past a big flea market in nearby Port Orange on a couple of occasions, a Thursday through Sunday gathering with most of the action happening on Saturday and Sunday. Yesterday seemed like a good time to give it a whirl, so I got over there mid-morning hoping to stumble over an old fountain pen or two, maybe a lost and wandering first edition, a bowl, plate or something otherwise on my menu of favorites.

I wasn’t disappointed. No fountain pens, but a couple of good finds in other areas, and surprising low prices. After walking around and talking with a number of the sellers for a good while, I realized that several of them had low price tags on things simply because they didn’t know what they had. At one table I picked up what was to me clearly an ashtray, and the man said I could have it and the piece next to it for $4.00. I wasn’t interested in the flower dish, but the ashtray had my eye. He continued on, admitting that he didn’t know what either of them were. I wasn't going to offer a higher price, but did explain what each item was, an explanation easy for me since both were Japanese. The idea of a dish made for flower arrangement was a new concept, but maybe he took the hint and will add a couple of dollars to the price. My friend K in Tokyo would have walked across hot coals to get that particular dish for $2.00. Meanwhile, I got the beautiful and old ashtray for the same price.

At another booth was an odd plastic doll made in Hong Kong in the 1950s, a Charlie Brown type of character wearing short pants and boxing gloves. Dolls are not my thing, but this one was immediately recognizable as a rare example, one possessing a goofy and wonderful expression. Again, underpriced. I bought it and in walking away spotted on a second table an old silver Westclox Big Ben wind-up alarm clock. This is a hard to find item made between 1918-1935 of nickel plated metal and steel. Neither the man or woman selling the clock knew anything more than that it was a clock. “Does it work?” I asked. The man didn’t think so but was surprised when he wound the clock and heard ticking. I bought it for $6.00.

I left the flea market happy and drove straight to Dairy Queen (a rare treat) and had a delicious but probably unhealthy lunch of a chili cheese dog and a black & white milkshake. The Dairy Queen in my little beach town is always crowded with customers and it might be because they provide a large almost park-like area with tables and umbrellas. A 1950s and 60s radio station plays through speakers hidden in the trees. I ate lunch listening to Gene Vincent sing “Be-Bop-A-Lula.” Remember that one?

Down the road a ways is a farmer’s market called Perrine’s, a place that’s been on my radar for a long time. Still wiping the chili and cheese off my mouth I stopped to have a look. Foolish of me to have waited so long. They have most of what the supermarket offers produce-wise and at better prices. Fresh baked breads and cakes, their own sauces, dressings and seasonings, and this time of year a mountain of pumpkins. Got back to the car with a heavy bag to add to the flea market pile. My return to Perrine’s won’t be so far down the calendar.

With the beautiful autumn-like weather, all in all a great Saturday.


  1. What a delightful post about finds at the flea market. I liked the things you pictured and feel that you did make very good buys. One day I would like a picture and feature of the Japanese dish.

  2. Good post and a perfect day to me--complete with a messy chili dog. As mentioned before, when Dee was working Katrina recovery for three years in Memphis, I filled many lonely Saturdays with a few garage and yard sales and any estate sale that seemed interesting. Quickly found the allure of why all those who spend their weekends looking for treasures in another's trash.

  3. There's a Canadian radio station, 740 AM, that plays the oldies late at night. Sometimes I listen to it for hours. Gene Vincent? Timeless.

  4. We're in - sounds like a great day. Hopefully it won't be too long away.

  5. If you need your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (no matter why you broke up) you need to watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Have your ex CRAWLING back to you...?


About Me

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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America