March 25, 2013 by wcobserver
Another Person’s Treasure
By Annie McCormick
So it is said about trash. However, some trash is treasure. I was in the midst of thousands of square feet of it last weekend at the Fort Smith Flea Market. There were a few Winslowites there selling their items as well as many from our area searching for treasures. Rene Banks had some great vintage saddles and magazines for sale.
I have favorites from almost all 20th century styles. Not so much Victorian and not anything from the 80s on, but I like Mid-Century Modern, Art Deco and Retro. “Retro” is from the 50s and 60s; also called the “Space Age.” Lots of turquoise, light green and pink combined with black. Cool stuff and lots of it at this flea market.
For me, the best part of flea markets is the people I meet. A long conversation can spark from objects that were functional, like those from the farm and kitchen. I love when an elder says, “My grandmother had one of these”. He or she will go on and describe what the thing is, how they used it and sometimes, that they’re glad they don’t have to rely on it anymore. Some folks who lived in the old days don’t consider them the “good old days.” They were the hard old days.
A gentleman, who reminded me of an older, distinguished, country-western star was interested in the rocking chair I was sitting in. The rocker was serving double duty as a sale item and my resting place. He walked with the aid of a cane and said that he liked it and needed it for a place to rest while he waited for his wife to finish shopping. I understood that. He offered me about 40% less than the sale price and I had to say no. From there we entered into some old-fashioned haggling. He told us that he was in India during WWII and had a lot of practice. I was up against a professional. For about thirty minutes we threw prices back and forth while laughing at each other’s jokes and attempts to win. It was delightful. I was willing to lose the sale so I would have a comfortable place to sit for the remainder of the event so I held fast to my price.
He left when I stood my ground, but came back about 30 minutes later with a new bid that was $2.50 over his previous. He told me that the fun we were having was worth $2.50 and I agreed. We haggled and laughed some more over my price and his offer until we were 50 cents apart. It took 15 more minutes to negotiate the 50 cents. He finally gave in and we shook hands over the deal. Rodger offered to carry the chair to the front of the hall and as they were leaving I whispered in the man’s ear that Rodger was going to charge him $2.00 to deliver the chair. He looked startled for about a second and then we laughed some more.
Frequently I usually come away from sales with nothing in my hand, but do leave with a smile and fullness in my heart.