Last Sunday, the weather was beautiful, warm, yet mild, with clear skies and a gentle wind. So my boyfriend Greg, roommate Kimmy, and I all got up early and drove to the flea market at the Flat Rock Speedway. Yes, it was a flea market being held on the track of the speedway in Flat Rock, MI. I've never stood on a speedway track, so that was most interesting, and occasionally off-balancing.
I've always loved flea markets. You really do find the darnedest stuff at them! Up until now, the only real flea market I can recall having been to is the ginormous one in Shipshewana, IN, the largest in the Midwest with literally hundreds of vendors. About once every few summers while growing up, my parents and I would take the one hour drive south across state lines and spend a day toodling through the market and wandering around the little town, enjoying the best fudge I have ever had (sorry, Mackinac Island), and being served ice cream by Amish girls in hand-sewn dresses and Reeboks. (I've never figured out why the Amish wear Reeboks. It's just something I always noticed.)
I was told the flea market at the speedway would be big, but I didn't figure it would be nearly the size of Shipse. I was right, of course, though we still managed to kill a few hours there, and everyone walked away with something. Kimmy picked up a plastic gun for $1 that is perfect for her upcoming World Steam Expo costume, minus a few steampunk touches that will soon be added, no doubt. Greg bought a pair of vintage spats in beautiful condition that we could not allow to not be purchased. I also got something for World Steam costume, a little leather pouch that is to be worn around the neck that reminded me of a medicine bag, and a pair of cheap sunglasses to replace the crappy ones I grabbed in an emergency from Walgreens years back.
Though I am happy with my purchases, I wish I could have gotten so much more! There were countless pieces of vintage costume jewelry that were just too outside of my pathetically low price range, beautifully preserved wood furniture, a dazzling array of old oil lamps and candle holders, and so many pieces that I couldn't identify, but I wanted anyway.
I haven't been to Shipshewana in decades, but after my experience at the speedway, I think it's high time for another trip! And if I drag Kimmy along - which I will - she can see the Amish and taste some traditional Dutch cooking at Das Essenhaus. I also have some friends who live down that way, and it would be nice to see them again.
Trolling your local thrift stores and antique stores are delightful experiences, and you can make some incredible finds. A flea market, however, is quite the singular experience, and a most pleasant way to spend a sunny spring or summer day. And this area is full of them! Mwa ha ha...