Antique Roadshow, here I come

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 26, 2002

The day dawned clear and bright, a perfect backdrop for a day of traveling and shopping. As the clock struck nine, our traveling quartet piled into the car and onto the highway that would ultimately lead us to the greatest shopping destination of south Alabama. A road that would end not to the outlet mall of Foley, as you might think, but to the one place where a cost conscience (i.e. cheap) person can truly feel at home, the flea market.

Located just off of I-65, the Mobile Flea Market is home to site roughly the size of a football field with five rows of booths as far as the eye can see. As soon as we arrived I knew if I was ever going to be the owner of an $83,000 copper penny or a $54,000 platinum and diamond engagement ring, this was the place I would find them. Hopefully, I would find either or both in the bottom of wet box and only have to pay about $2 for them both. That's just how "cost-conscience" I am.

Proprietors are indiscriminate with their wares. Imperial carnival glass compotes rest along side dollar-store candy dishes. It takes a good eye to know the difference. I know. I've been watching Antique Roadshow. I also live in Florala, the antique capital of the south. It helps to know your material when shopping for goodies.

From the new to the old, each booth holds a special something for everyone. Comic book collectors, fruit dealers, army memorabilia collectors gather in this one spot to make ends meet and to help everyday people like you and me find new treasures to highlight our home.

For example, my husband had been dropping hints about a hall tree for several Christmases now. 'Lo and behold, what to my wondering eyes should appear? But a cherry-wood hall tree and dirt-cheap too. And a shoe bench, a pivoting full-length oak mirror on a stand, a Colonial rocking chair for only $75, a sleigh bed and on and on and on

Everywhere my eye touched I could see just the right Christmas presents. A life-size porcelain doll in full antebellum dress for my daughter, a scroll saw for my husband, a garnet slide pendent for Mom, a morning glory tree for mom-in-law, Dixie Outfitter tee shirts for all the guys and more.

My husband better be glad we took the car instead of the truck or I would have brought home that rocking chair, shoe bench, mirror I know I could have made it big with that rocking chair.