Saturday, August 30, 2008

Walking and Talking, Chapter 2 - The Journey

Slight shoulder shrugs to Pussycat Dolls, humming to Jason Mraz, pulsing to Estelle & Kanye, a 1 1/2 hour drive went by like that (fingers snap). "Lick that lollipop, woo-o-o-o-wo". The drive to Canton, by my estimation is beautiful every month except August - but I was busy taking notes for a post. Some enjoy Canton because they're people watchers, I'm (to my children's chagrin) more of a people talker.

I parked on the "country side" where it's a flea market, a mix of old and new, versus "the sheds", multiple miles of imported decorative housewares (great shopping pre-holidays). My Lebowski '08 t-shirt was politically neutral, hopefully easing vendor fears that I might be an undercover sales tax agent. So walking up to the west gate with camera and notepad, I felt confident that I would find something to post about. It didn't take long.

Just to the right of the entrance, once you pass the motorized scooter stall (hey lady - that's my toe you parked on!) I met David Watson, owner of Western Star. A craftsman and merchant of custom western star signs, his stall was impressive and included a large selection of vintage boots in excellent condition. He also gave me directions to an "Amish" lady who makes homemade brooms (turned out she takes summers off), and to one of my favorites, the Book Bus.

An elderly couple (in their 80's) run the Book Bus, unfortunately their supply of cook books was very low. But I did buy a book published in 1900 titled "The Complete Story, Galveston Horror" for $10. Like many who are merchants here, they were a little hesitant to give their names so I didn't press, but they let me take a picture of the bus.

I went to see Juanita in the Antiques shed that is an architectural anomoly. It's positioned on the side of a hill, so the slope inside is steep enough your basket could begin rolling if left unattended. When I first met Juanita, she was battling breast cancer and going through chemo, as part of her therapy she paints in her spare time, and I've been able to snag three of her paintings over the years.

Trade Days is more than a shopping experience, it's real America - real Texas, and I encourage any transplants who, like me, has made North Texas their home to make the trip. However, if I was the Mayor of Trade Days I would require everyone who rents a motorized cart to memorize the rules of the road AND obtain liability insurance. And I would license fewer of them, only for those who truly need them.

I'm still thinking I should have purchased the $20 stuffed boar head, it would have made a great towel hook over my garage sink.

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