Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Morning at Happy's Flea Market

You have no idea how much I wanted this helmet for my bike. Christina would'a killed me.

This old boy was proud of his dog, which looked like a pit bull somebody'd left in the dryer.

These girls were texting. Each other, they said. Their mother was amused.

Would you put one of these on your head ... considering where they've been?

No, I have no idea what it is, but it's fruit--I think--and it's pretty.

OK, I can't eat churros, but that doesn't mean I can't look.

This woman chatted on her cell while looking for a size on the jeans.

The missing box? Heh, heh. Mine.

The woman in the middle and my truck are basically the same size.

These old boys were selling Jesus. They said it was new, with tags.

Barbie is a big seller.

Mennonites are among the customers.

This young woman was surprised by the photo and a little scared.

This morning at about 9 a.m., I pulled my scooter into the parking lot at Happy's Flea Market in North Roanoke, lifted my Nikon (with the 10-20mm lens) out of the carry-all and started shooting. Here's some of what I came up with.

Happy's is the most international four acres in Western Virginia and though it's not especially cosmopolitan, it's full of people, character, food I can't identify (but which I'll eat in a heartbeat), great little brass thingys, old tires, people with stomachs that defy biology, cigarette smoke, women navigating with small-wheeled strollers, hot sun, large pickup trucks, Jesus salesmen, Craftsman tools, dust, old cameras (which I collect), match box cars, Texaco airplane banks (which I used to collect until I got them all), vintage Pendleton shirts, a clarinet with no mouthpiece, jeans for $8, books for 50 cents, old LIFE magazines with Jacqueline Kennedy on the cover, Tonka Trucks and cactus you can grill. There's also a guy selling fish from buckets filled with ice. The prawns weigh about half a pound each. I wouldn't any more eat one than I'd take a bite out of a warm, steaming dog deposit, which would probably be safer.

Happy's is a wonderful place if you like people, hell if you don't. If you're into courtesy or A+ deportment, go to charm school. If you like cigarette smoke wafting your way or smelly armpits, this is your place. It's full of a variety of smells, bright light from a too-direct sun and languages I simply can't understand, but wish I could. And there are a lot of nice people there, people for whom you don't have to put on a show.

I like it.

1 comment:

  1. There's no telling what you'll find out there. Sometimes I've stumbled upon are bargain or two.