My stepfather went home from the hospital on Wednesday (yay!) and even though they need me to help with some household chores, they were both ready for a calm day at home. So, I decided that I would make a run on Thursday and see what I could find. Fridays usually have more sales, but rain was in the forecast. In fact, about the time I would have been getting up this morning to go, there were huge cracks of thunder and the rain was pouring down. I was glad that I went yesterday or I wouldn't have been able to go at all!
We got to the first sale at 10:00, which I KNOW to some die hard junkers, that is almost time to go home, not to be starting. I am not a morning person and certainly not a good driver early in the morning. I need my coffee and some wake up time. We did leave about 8:30, but we stopped for gas, ice and Chick-fil-A biscuits (We get four - two each, one for breakfast and one for lunch. They are extra good in the cooler after they get cold). Plus, it is about a 50 mile drive down the mountain and through the tunnel just to the beginning of the sale line. Lara was ahead of me on the highway giving me a heads up on the sales that were good and not so good. It pays to have an early riser junking buddy!
When we got to Alma, we made a quick McDonald's bathroom stop and headed onto the first sale. I always stay on the highway, but off on a side street, I spotted what looked like a big sale, so I pulled through a parking lot and circled around to get to the sale. All I ended up finding was an old green handled rolling pin. About five minutes after we got there, an ambulance went by and some people mentioned there was a bad wreck up the street involving a dump truck. I later found out that it was a prominent older couple from my area that were involved in the wreck - he was killed and she was airlifted to Little Rock and is in stable condition. The wreck was five minutes up the street and I can't help but think that if I wouldn't have pulled around to that sale, I could have been involved in that wreck. That might be pushing it, but I felt lucky to be five minutes behind. I wish that they would have been five minutes behind too. We never saw any of the wreckage or knew what had happened until today.
We continued on into Alma hitting spots were there were multiple sales set up - more bang for the buck that way. A lot of them are more swap meet style setups and others are more pricey junk show set ups. I prefer good old fashioned garage sales, but I managed to find a bit here and there as we progressed.
Actually, my very first buy of the day was at a swap meet type set up. An entire shopping bag full of bottle brush trees. Some old, some new, big and small. $3 for all of them!
Along the highway there is an old junky dirty outdoor flea market where each vendor has their own shed and they sell out of it. Last year when we were there, I noticed that a lot of the people had cots, a tv and a microwave so I am pretty sure they were living there super cheap. It was kind of sad but then again, it beats being homeless and they have a way to make some money too. There is a man there that has a pretty professional set up and you can tell he has a house and a better life. He sells knives and The Bean loves knives. So, I always stop there so he can shop. The Bean made his purchase and then the man looked at me very intently. "Where you here last year?" Yes. "Did you buy things from the vendors down the line?" Yes. "There was a Mother /son here last year and she left behind a sack of salt and pepper shakers. Was it you?" I said that I didn't remember leaving anything, but I also don't remember what I buy until I go through it the next day. Then he went over, leaned under a table and pulled out a sack - "Here you go. I saved it for you." FOR A YEAR that man had that sack waiting to return it! Can you even believe that? He has some young girls that help him and they were just beaming. "He's been waiting a year to find the owner of that bag!" I told him I wasn't even sure it was mine and he said, "I am" and thrust it in my hands.
There were three sets of salt and pepper shakers in the bag, I have no memory of them, but they did look like things I might have bought. Honestly, I try to buy something from each vendor as we pass through because they make me sad. So, I could have bought them. Anyway, the story was the best part and really made me happy. I know he will remember us next year too.
This awesome old tandem bicycle wasn't priced, so I asked, "How much?". "Five" the lady responded. As I wondered if I could bungee it to the roof, she added in a slow Southern drawl, "hundred". Holy smokes!
It was cool. But, not $500 cool.
This church bell weighted 1260 lbs and was from Calico Rock Arkansas. I don't have any idea how much it cost, but it was fantastic. They even rang it while we were shopping!
One sale up a long driveway netted this old picnic basket for $1.00. It was under a trash bag full of old socks, I kid you not. That's the only explanation for it still being there at 2:00 in the afternoon.
I also got this fold up picnic table set there for $5.00. It was set up and looked so cute - I cannot imagine why no one had bought it? It was off to the side a bit and sort of looked like it could be a lemonade stand. Maybe that's why it was still there. It's not vintage, but I might take it to the Junk Ranch and set it up with cute things on it and hopefully sell it to a camping family.
I bought these old anthropomorphic watermelon shakers as a present for myself. They were $5, which is a fortune for me to spend on something so silly. But, oh how I love them. They had about ten sets of vintage anthropomorphic shakers and I should have offered a price on the whole lot. There was money to be made on them. Oh, well.
This old spreader has great patina and colors. It was at a sale in a park and the older couple (like in their 80's) were obviously getting cranky and they were yelling at each other about where to put things. He set this old spreader in front of her cut glass display and that did not please her. Oh, it did not. He looked at me all forlorn and announced it was only $4.00. So, I bought it. Maybe I saved their marriage on that one. I do think it would be cute with a plant or a Mum in it.
In the same park, I bought this oil painting of a Police Officer. He looks like someone I have seen on the local news. I'm researching. I don't know - I just didn't like him leaning against that table in the park, so I rescued him. A year to the day yesterday an Officer in that town was ambushed and murdered and a few other officers were hurt. I think he had something to do with this, but I am not sure. He looks kind, don't you think?
Here's the end of the day loot. Mostly smalls (and my thumb apparently). Nothing absolutely fabulous, but it was all fun to find. Old Halloween makeup, silver trophy bowls, a Lee Wards ornament kit, tins, etc.
The Daniel Boone box was empty and went to my Dad's new neighbor - Daniel Boone. There's the rolling pin I bought first thing. And my thumb again. WTH.
I need a new old basket like a hole in the head, but that giant beauty was only $5.00, plus I had a nice conversation with the man selling it and found out that his daughter just bought a house up the street from me. Then, as we were leaving, The Bean picked up a beekeeper hat and the man suggested that he buy it (pointing to me) for his "wife". I told him I was the Mama and he said "NO" over and over again and kept asking my age. He was either full of it or just a nice guy. The poor Bean is mistaken as my husband a lot. He's used to it. But, still. There's a good amount of miscellaneous vintage Christmas under those bottle brush trees (47 in all!) including ornaments, a Gurley candle and some other things that I have long forgotten by this point.
It's hard to see, but that old wire freezer basket has shelves in it. It's unusual. I think some farmhouse chick will pounce on it. I looked for farmhouse things, but the rolling pin and the baskets were all that I found. That could be because everyone is looking for it now!
I had that mouse when I was a kid. I always buy them when I see them. They usually sell to people with similar memories. My first Honey Whip jar and it's PINK! Love the old Bowers mint tin. There is a couple with a huge set up in their backyard full of stuff - a shop building, shed and a huge yard full of tables. They are only open during the sale and for a couple times a year as a "garage sale". Last year I got a ton of good stuff there - two dozen vintage squeaks for a dime each, a slew of vintage Christmas and a ton of other good cheap stuff. I was antsy to get there this trip. But, I think I must have bought all the good stuff last year, because all I bought were a bunch of tins including that Bowers tin and the Mrs. Stevens Cherry tree candy tin in the back. Also, the stickers are stuck on and I am having a helluva time getting them off. I don't think I will be as antsy to get there next year.
The Dundee marmalade crock isn't ancient, but it's been dug up and has that old crazed look to it, so it's cool. I'm a sucker for old printers blocks. I dug in a box of hundreds and limited myself to four from my area. The big one makes Meter Reader tags for the local gas company.
Those trolls are my money makers. I need to research more, but I think they are worth about what I paid for everything I bought this trip. So, not bad. Two flower brooches for my collection. I try to sell most of my finds, but some things just warrant hoarding. Like flower brooches. And baskets. And picnic baskets. *cough*
This was from my first stop too. I loved the box at first sight.
Then I saw the inside. I wanted it, but a price? Whew. $1.00. SOLD.
The keepers. The Bowers tin, the landscaping set, the Mr.s Stevens' candy tin and the watermelon shakers. Plus most likely the basket and the picnic basket. I spent a grand total of $12.75 for all of those things. Surely I am worth that? :) My birthday is Tuesday, so Happy Birthday to me - here's some old junk.
It was really, really, REALLY hot and humid and I lost my lust for junk earlier than normal. We stopped for a cold drink and did a little out of the way sight seeing. I'll save that for next time. I will say that Arkansas is such a beautiful place. I am biased, of course. But, it really is gorgeous.