FLEA MARKETS OFFER an eclectic mix of merchandise and people, the two ingredients which make shopping and photographing these venues especially entertaining and enlightening.
For example, I met Mr. Socko of St. Paul peddling American made socks this past weekend at the Rice County Steam & Gas Engines Flea Market in rural Dundas. Ben Suckow’s (his real name) been selling socks for seven years, driving down to Fox River Mills in Osage, Iowa, to pick up these quality socks to vend at flea markets.
At the same event, I spotted whimsical flying pigs (and other) garden art created by Northfielder Gerald Skluzacek, retired owner of a sandblasting company. He also makes jewelry.
On this cold Saturday, his and wife Jane’s friend, Linda Stadler, arrives with mittens she crafted from recycled sweaters. And, yes, the weather was cold enough to warrant mittens. Linda would be minding the Garden Space while Gerald attended a party.
As a bonus, Linda asked if I was “that blogger,” yes, the one who writes about her ventures into small towns. That would be me. Always nice to meet a reader who appreciates your blogging.
I also had the honor of meeting and chatting with Albert Remme of Dennison, who was bundled in a warm coat, an ear flapper cap and gloves on this windy 50-something degree day as he waited on bleachers for his nephew.
After seeking permission to photograph him, I asked Albert if he was a retired farmer. He was a farmer and a soldier. Drafted between Korea and Vietnam, Albert was sent to Hawaii and thanks God he never saw combat. “I don’t know how you could kill anyone who’s done nothing to you,” he said.
Then I told him about my dad, a Korean War vet who fought on the front lines. “It was kill or be killed,” I shared. Not easy. And Albert just kind of nodded his head in silent agreement.
And that’s how these photo shoots go—I spot an interesting person or object or scene and I either shoot a few quick frames or I shoot, then pause to learn more.
© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling