Saturday, January 21, 2006

Chapter 3 - Ether Echoes

[Wrote this yesterday but had no way to post it]

Got to Fleamasters a little late so the woman behind the desk told me there were no available booths and then the really nice woman who reminds me of my late Aunt Gogin, a flapper from the 20’s and a real hellion of a woman when she got old too, helped me out and found us a spot in the main concourse, red building, #61. We drove there and I set up in a cozy little 12X12 space while J made more earrings in the van.

Across from us in an aisle space a man fastidiously organizing and dusting bottles of glass and jewelry cleaner. I have seen this stuff at every flea market and farmer’s market from coast to coast, always by a different name, so it must actually sell pretty well. To our left is an old Jerseyite Rocky who sells everything from tube socks to beautiful dolls. Says Rocky later: “I look at my life savings when I look at those dolls.” He gives a little groan. He also tells us later that he was a cop for 20 years in Newark, after seeing our jersey plates. “It was a rough life. Every day not knowing if you would live or die.” A real stand-up gentleman who came up and greeted us with “Welcome to the red building.”

Sure enough the other vendors are nice and friendly but as the day grinds on all we see are Midwestern shlubs, very few of our people, the kind of people who would buy our stuff that is…Yet even with this slow parade of beanie baby hummel collectors we manage to make a whopping $88.00. Not much but seeing as we’re stone broke after the 20 buck fee we are quite happy with it and celebrate with a steak and shake dinner. I ordered the banana split milkshake and burger plate while J had the mint chocolate shake and burger plate…


I got pulled away by news from the back of the van that the mattress was soaked so I stopped writing and went and flipped it. That's the problem with Florida. Once anything gets damp it stays that way.

The flea market today was horrible. People really are crass and so many went by with their noses in the air and a couple even said it was too expensive and our prices are cut in almost half. When they do stop I tell them we make everything ourselves, every chain link, every clasp and they either don't believe it or they are in some kind of daze from being lied to so much. I tell a few people that if they want to buy American they should buy our stuff. They nod cynically, repeat what I said with "that's a good one" and walk on.

We still managed to make about $80.00 but it was hard won and J was in tears more than once. Bad shlubby crowd. When anyone stays long enough to really get a look their jaw drops at all the work and time that goes into this stuff and then they buy, usually a set of discounted earrings. We are both so burned out and sad by the end of the day it is all we can do to drive to the Walmart to crash. Hopefully tomorrow will be a little better as we have dropped our prices even further. It is horrible to see people selling stuff made by ten year olds in some country using them for slave labor and not wanting to buy anything for just as cheap made right here.

Enough complaining. Time to go get something to eat. Goodnight empty cyberland. I can hear the echo through the ether. Goooodniiiight...


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