I love flea markets. Where else can you experience such an eclectic mix of people & products in one location? One of the biggest flea markets that I know of is Trader Jack’s. It’s north of us, off Exit 55 of Interstate 79 in PA, right past Bridgeville. They’re open every Sunday, year round from 7-3 so it gives shoppers a lot of time to make it there before closing. I can’t begin to guess how many vendors are present, but no doubt, it’s in the hundreds. Inclimate weather isn’t a problem with their enormous indoor facility.
It had been a few years since we’d been there last. Life gets chaotic & it just wasn’t something we’d though about. We’d visited a smaller market in Perryopolis, PA earlier this year, but nothing is quite like Trader Jack’s. I knew that the last time we’d went, my health wasn’t as bad & I’d had no problem negotiating the long amount of walking that’s required. But, I was determined to go & have a good time. Plus, our youngest had never been there & he had some of his own money to spend.
It was pretty hot outside, in the 80’s & because my Parkinson’s causes excessive sweating, I was really glad I’d stuffed my hair into a hat! But, at least it wasn’t raining with all these people jammed into the indoor area. As a Salt & Pepper Shaker collector, these are always in the forefront of my mind. My husband & son are always on the lookout for them too. Being that they’ve become a serious hobby, I usually try to peruse articles, etc. about what certain pairs are worth. Friar Tuck s & p’s are not only adorable, but they are usually really popular with collectors.
I was thrilled to find a set in immaculate condition. But, as you’ll find in some flea markets, the seller was convinced that his prices were perfect. He was asking 3xs their worth. As I opened up my mouth to haggle, he shut me down with a word- ‘Firm’. Okay, Mr. Man, I’m moving on. Giving him a smile, I quickly made my exit. Good luck, buddy. As we were leaving, I noticed he hadn’t sold a single item. Well, he’ll learn, won’t he?
Unlike Mr. My-Price-Is-Right, there are sellers you’d like to hug. One darling lady of Asian decent with a beautiful accent had a table of pottery, glass, & knick knacks. Initially I’d stopped to see if she had shakers. Instead, I noticed she had a unique piece with a Colonial-era scene painted on it. She glanced over, saw I was looking at it & she said ‘$25’. Then, before I’d uttered a word, she said, ‘No, you only pay $20’. What a doll! Of course, I bought it.
I have to do more research to find the meaning of the TK marking, but I was intrigued that it’s from Czechoslovakia. I just think it’s stunning. What made it more of a great purchase was her attitude. She’s the type of lady who makes you glad you stopped by & met her.
My husband left the sales empty-handed. He never seems to buy anything! However, we visited a vendor, inside, who had more sports clothing items than one could possibly count. Most of her wares were Steelers & Pirates related being that we were near Pittsburgh. Our son was able to purchase a special training camp edition Steelers’ hat for under $20 as a replacement for the hat he’d lost on a mission trip. The best part was that it was brand nw with tags & official NFL markings. Apparently, she’d been a vendor for the organization (that was her story, anyway).
As we exited the market, it felt as if we’d been there all day & we were shocked to see it had only been an hour & a half! But, my legs were suffering & we were way overheated. But, the items we got were well worth the effort. Even if my piece doesn’t end up being worth a lot, it makes me smile & who couldn’t use more of that? All in all, it was good, quality family time & that is priceless.