An Antique Dealer’s Life is for Me

After almost four weeks of scouring open dusty fields, endless tables of bric-a-brac and junk, climbing in the backs of many trailers and converted school buses as well as stalls of dealers, we have to say this world of antique lovers is a real community.

It’s a gypsy’s way of life, nomadic if you will. One weekend in Ohio, then loading what’s left and heading south, buying along the way, setting up again, selling and then maybe heading west.

On the road...

You get to know each other by name. This community includes rugged, crusty, hardcore road-loving experts. Most have categories they specialize in, like porcelain signs and toys, buttons and textiles, primitive furniture, reused and reclaimed remakes… it just goes on and on.

15-foot mercantile ladders.

We saw this piece at the Crystal Antique Mall.

They help each other, sell to each other, talk about the economy and weather to each other, drink with each other and, most importantly, respect each other. It’s a hard but colorful life enchanted with the hopes of finding something rare that could bring a great profit. None are rich, some barely able to pay for hotel rooms or gas.

But they say it gets in your blood. It flows through ours. Paul’s grandfather walked the levee camps selling dry goods to the workers. We wonder, is the next generation out there?

—Deborah Michael

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