Thanks to all of you who have called and written to express their disappointment in the sorry state of junking in the South. Or at least in Tennessee. We had another crack at the US 11 Antique Alley on Saturday, with similar, sorry results. I mean come on people, cassette tapes, irregular tube socks and romance paperbacks may be old, but they’re not antiques. Or even vintage.
But wait! The trip was not a total loss, and it had nothing to do with Antique Alley. Our dear friend Quinn Hawkesworth, who lives in Abingdon VA, took us last fall to a flea market in an old tobacco warehouse, unremarkable in every way except for *contented sigh* Ron’s place. I’ve been dreaming of going back ever since.
Ron owns the Banner Star Flea Market in Abingdon, and has a huge section of it sectioned off for his own collection. As far as I can tell, he must have gone to the homes of people who are moving (or died) and cleaned out the garages, workshops and basements. The remains of a thousand old men’s tool chests are in there, and an assortment of junk that makes me drool to think of it. It’s not the glamour stuff of which Fobots are made—the cool tins or vintage cameras or pool balls. It’s the nuts and bolts (literally) of the creatures. The arms and legs and metal bits and spark plugs and springs and tail light lenses and hydraulic fittings and…OK, I’m starting to hyperventilate. We filled up half a 5 gallon bucket with wrenches and metal stuff, and had to stop before the bucket became too heavy to carry. AND a plastic shopping bag full of plastic and glass auto lenses AND my lucky crap gathering bag full of other stuff. Junk Nirvana.
I considered not writing about this. The selfish part of me wants to protect my sources. But after a few hours at Banner Elk, I think I cleaned him out. I mean, look at the picture, taken at the end of our shopping spree. Looks empty, right?