Thursday, March 17, 2011
My post today was going to be a few photos of green glazed pottery with no words just a Happy St. Patrick's Day wish for you. Sometimes, though, I start typing and the words flow freely. We finally made it to the local flea market which we'd packed up for a couple of weeks ago. We couldn't go then because the weather turned cold and attendance would have been low; then I fell ill; then Gary's back was bad. We finally made it there yesterday.
Sales started out slow since many folks get up late in these parts. I can't understand why, but they do. Even in summer we get up early and get our chores done before the sweltering heat overcomes all of our ambitions for the day. But the flea market vendors along with us were there before the light dawned on their booths.
Gary sold a few license plates from his collection. He's been collecting them for eons it seems. I sold a few garden books, I know them by heart after all these years. I brought a few pieces of pottery to sell, one of which sold, a large free form bowl, with slip applications some being native Florida clay. I hadn't signed the piece and borrowed a permanent marker to sign the bottom for the woman who purchased it.
Our booth neighbors were a gentleman selling shelled pecans for $7 a pound from his 32 acre farm in North Carolina. He was here in Florida for the winter living with his children. He makes the rounds to flea markets six days a week. Really he was none too gentlemanly partly based on the repeated telling of bawdy off color jokes, partly based on his snide remarks about each customer after they left his booth, but mostly about his saying he took back two packages of nuts because they were rotten and telling us he'd just sell them to the next person.
The other booth neighbors we had were a jewel of a full time RVer fisherman couple selling rods, reels, and tackle they towed in a custom wells cargo trailer. They did a hell of a business and we learned a whole lot about local fishing from them. I was even invited to go fishing in his boat in April to learn the ropes of Florida fishing.
The best part of the whole day for me was when the fisherman told me of fishing sixty miles out in the gulf with a friend one day and hundreds of swallows landed on their boat. The swallows were on the deck, on the windshield, and lined up on their fishing rods to rest during migration. He said if the birds were in his way he could gently pick them up cupped in his hand and move them to another spot to rest. I won't ever forget how he spoke with wonder about those barn swallows. His realizing the swallows were too tired to fear being handled by a fisherman while they rested their weary wings on the only land for miles in that great expanse of gulf water.
We didn't stray 20 feet from our flea market space yesterday, but we met a cross section of people from mainstream America. We met a mother and daughter selling items from their home and garage for a few dollars; an almost 400 pound veteran who rode in on an expensive Harley panhandling with a bucket up and down the aisles for spare change; folks reselling tomatoes they got from a local truck farm. We met so many folks selling odds and ends; selling what they can to make ends meet; green reality.