The 247-mile shoe last

f763_1…or, “I went to Antique Alley on US 11 and all I got was this stupid shoe shoe last.”

First of all, a shoe last is a metal or wooden form used in the cobbling of shoes.  This is a decent one.  Slightly damaged, but a reasonably priced $2. 

What ticks me off are my inflated expectations.  I had envisioned the annual US 11 Antique trip to be a quaint journey through scenic Appalachia, with adorable little towns overflowing with good food, music, and, most importantly, excellent Fobot components.  Junk.  Same thing.

What we found on Friday, May 15, 2009, was an interminable string of Waffle Houses*, Dollar Generals, tanning salons(?), and strip malls.  We drove for several hours from Bristol TN along US 11 W, down to Knoxville, and back up US 11 E, and encountered exactly two Antique Alley flea markets and 3 yard sales.  And the shoe last.  And although the scenery was mostly banal but  occasionally sublime, I don’t think we’re going to try again tomorrow.  What happened?  Were we too early?  Will the streets be overflowing with antiques tomorrow?  Was the good part further south, in Georgia or Mississippi?  I can’t tell you how disappointed I am.  So–if the organizers or Chambers of Commerce would like to email me and offer an explanation, my email address is artgirl@nc.rr.com .  Operators are standing by.

*Don’t get me wrong.  I love the Waffle House.

3 Responses to “The 247-mile shoe last”

  1. May 16, 2009 at 11:55 am

    What a bummer! Even I had high hopes to just be able to see the pictures you would take of the treasures and deals overflowing onto the highways. I wanted to be jealous of the heaps of finds for $2 that you packed in your car. Is the economic outlook so bleak that even antique and junk dealers are affected??? This does not bode well for us assemblage artists… :o(

  2. 2 Jan Gregg-Kelm
    May 16, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Bummer! I was expecting to see endless and glorious pics of mounds of all the great stuff you purchased at phemon prices! 😦 Head to Kansas…I’ve seen and visited a few rather promising junk stores along the “blue highways” of that state.

  3. 3 Pam
    May 10, 2016 at 11:25 am

    I’m a vendor and searched endlessly for a place to set up and this is what I came up with. I guess the man who started this sale is out of Georgia and has passed on leaving in his wake a sale that no one is in charge of. Therefore there are no accurate records of the sales or the towns involved. This I do know for a fact. Alabama is indeed keeping it alive and you will find multiples of sales from Collinsville, Reece city ect ect. The rest I can not be sure of until I’m there in another 100 miles. Wish me luck because so far this is a joke!!

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May 2009

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