A few towns from mine, there is a monthly gathering of vendors selling items that are twenty years old or older. It’s called the Alameda Point Antique Fair. I had never been until today. The irony is that I had an antique shop for six and a half years. And my customers would sing the praises of the monthly sale. I never had the time or energy to attend it, and judging from today, it is just as well.
Although the prices are negotiable, they seemed high to me. I am used to picking up Pyrex bowls for a couple of bucks, and other good pieces for pennies on the dollar at the Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc. The difference is that those places often don’t know what they have and price accordingly.
The Alameda Point vendors do know what they have and also rice accordingly. My date and I walked row after double-sided row of vendors’ booths, commenting on this or that. I looked at a few price tags. Each one was more than I wanted it to be.
I was good. I didn’t buy anything until the end. I had a wallet full of cash, just in case, but the only thing that I really wanted was a cool storage piece with tons of little drawers and original hardware. It was marked $1200. I might’ve bought it for half that price, even though it still would have been too high.
Each booth was either carefully displayed or a jumble of things falling out of boxes or suitcases or bins. There was no in-between. Some booths had tables filled with stuff with a $5.00 price tag on them, others had everything tagged, but most had things with no tags. If you were interested, the vendor would size you up and decide on a price. I didn’t like that approach and didn’t ask any prices.
One license plate from 1956 was marked $250.00. I asked my date if that meant my license plate from 1928 was worth $500.00. It isn’t red, just brown, but still.
I found a pair of heavy red wagon wheels for $250.00 and told the vendor I had no truck. He offered to deliver them to my town, so then I told him about the little old man at a garage sale twenty years ago who sold me two large iron wagon wheels for $2.00 each. He’d said they were on the property when he moved in 1946, and they might as well stay in the neighborhood. I rolled them home, and my husband at the time laughed and laughed at my “stupid” purchase.
I still have the wheels, not the husband.
All in all, it was a good but hot day. I was dressed in shorts and a big hat. My date was in jeans and a long-sleeved shirt. He had expected some fog. I had watched the weather report the night before.
I might not go back anytime soon. The prices are too high. But I found a deal on little carved wooden boxes that called out to me. I remembered the stall number, J -18, and went back for them at the end.
Then a late lunch, a ride back to my town, and a dose of reality awaiting me – my sis having issues that I cannot discuss.
It was a lovely day while it lasted.