Monday, April 15, 2013

"Ramps 'R Up!"

Monday, April 15, 2013
"Ramps 'R Up!"
My Junkin' Trip to West Virginia

30 Years Later
I headed to Morgantown, West Virginia this weekend for a wonderful reunion with two women I worked with at my first "real" job--over 30 years ago! While Melanie, the woman who had been my boss, still worked at the University in a position similar to the one she held when we all started, Betsy and I had gone in very different directions. We had not all been together for 30 years, and it was wonderful to share stories and realize how strong an influence we had had on each other's lives.

But I digress from the focus of this post--Junkin' in West Virginia.

Sigh... it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I had imagined it would be a wonderful opportunity to discover some real vintage treasure at rock bottom prices, but it was not to be.
They love Christmas,
 but they don't love Cheap

Saturday, after several hours spent on Google Maps trying to find antique and thrift stores along my route to West Virginia, I stopped at several. Here's a hint: If you're going to charge Lah-De-Dah Antique Store prices, you should probably make sure your inventory isn't caked in accumulated dust and dirt and faded from sitting in the sun. 

Eye Candy, but Too Expensive for this Junker!

The bright spot in the day was a stop at "Bubba's Garage." Bubba's got himself a little bit of a hoarding issue. The store is nearly ceiling high with furniture and electronics and Junque (which Dear David, my husband, pronounces "Joon-a-Q"). Sadly, Bubba isn't much into fabric and textiles, but if I had a panel truck and my own shop, I'd have filled up with Mid Century Modern lamps and furniture.

Junque As Far As You Can See

Bubba's Got a Bit of a Hoarding Problem

I had high hopes for Sunday morning, having found an advertisement for the Blue Horizons Flea Market just north of town. I followed Route 19 as it curved through the countryside, and then up a very steep grade to a location sitting at the top of a hill. If you know West Virginia, you know that EVERYTHING is either straight up or straight down, and that setting your parking brake when you leave your car is ALWAYS a Good Idea. 

Don't forget the parking brake! It's straight DOWN!

Coming around a corner in the outside vendors' area, I saw a young man sitting next to a huge cooler with a sign proclaiming "Hillbilly Lilies." At first I was puzzled, but then I heard him cry out, "Ramps 'R Up!" And then I remembered. Ramps are a very pungent (they STINK!) kind of wild leek. They are actually a member of lily family, botanically speaking. In the Appalachians they are a particular delicacy, with Ramp Festivals a Big Deal. I was going to snap a picture of the Hillbilly Lilies sign, but the young man sitting next to it did not look like he'd take kindly to some Flatlander Woman taking his picture. Instead, I took a picture of this sign I found at the next Flea Market I stopped at.

Ramps 'R Up!
Sadly, the only interesting thing I found at the Blue Horizons Flea Market (other than the aforementioned ramps) was a wonderful collection of architectural salvage. I was sorely tempted, but the vendor would only deal with me on price if I bought the whole lot. He wanted more cash than I had with me, and the nearest ATM was about 5 miles away. I'm still kicking myself on that one. Note to self: ALWAYS bring more cash than you think you will need.

Back on the road, I came across another, smaller flea market, and faced bitter disappointment once again. While I was trying to get a shot of the Ramps sign, I lagged behind a bit, and let another woman get to the vendor with the vintage tablecloths mere moments before me. You know where this is going: She picked up a mint-condition gorgeous Wilendur tablecloth, held it to her breast, and paid for it before I could even get my hand on it. She paid Three Whole Dollars for that baby. I was THIS CLOSE.

Always a GOOD Sign!
I was able to stop at one more flea market on my drive home Sunday, and picked up some vintage boxed greeting cards for 50 cents, and a stack of linen napkins for a dollar, but neither of those buys are keeping me from replaying the loss of that tablecloth and that pile of 75 Victorian decorated hardware hooks over and over in my head.

The "Ramps 'R Up," but my Junkin' Luck was definitely Down!


Post a Comment

Gramma's Linen Closet. Design by Pocket