Monday, October 3, 2011

Lakewood 400 Antique Market: Cuming, Ga 9-10-11

Hey everyone! I know it has been a while since I posted but lets catch up!!

So my project got approved by my professor right before I got back to Savannah. I was thrilled!!!! I couldn't wait to get on this project hardcore. I didn't think anything could stop me at this point. I knew I was ahead of the game because I had already shot, I knew my concept, and had a lot of work done already.



This is the first time I have ever been excited to keep working on a body of work, not for one cool result (like most shoots- 1 picture that makes it amazing), but to make a body of work that is extensive, unique and quirky.

I go to class. I ask people from GA/NC/SC/FL where they go flea marketing. I ask them to ask their families, and friends where I should go.

I come home from class. I get on four websites that tell me about flea markets, where they are, what they sell, how many vendors... etc...

I spend hours making maps.
Yeah... It's overwhelming to me too!
I spend HOURS... doing this^^^^

So I decided first week of school, I would go up to Cartersville, Ga, to visit a family friend back from Chicago. I knew there would be a TON of flea markets near Atlanta. I had about 15 flea markets on my list of things near Atlanta.

Come to find out: MOST OF THOSE PLACES DON'T EXIST ANYMORE! Obviously as you've read, the economy is the one of the hardest things for sellers. But I didn't think that it was so bad that they would close down. I thought if anything, they'd be thriving due to our nations more thrifty views these past few years!

A lot of the places I wanted to go to were in VERY bad areas. People urged me not to go there. A lot of the places I wanted to attend, weren't what the websites described. Addresses were not correct/didn't exist.


I go to Acworth, GA for a flea market. I left within 15 minutes. (story on a later blog... when I'm ready to share)

At this point, I was loosing all hope for any work to get done in Atlanta. I wasn't mad that this wasn't working. I wasn't disappointed that my hard mapping work was now for nothing. I was discouraged... I was loosing hope that this project would be the goldmine I knew it could be.

I decided to drive another hour to get to Cuming, Ga. I had heard about Lakewood 400 from a few people. No, it wasn't exactly a flea market, but it was as close as I was going to get for the weekend.

(I know, I know, I'll shut up! START HERE:)

Being a little discouraged that this wasn't a flea market, I was thinking that all I was going to find were high end antiques sold by very put together, upper-middle class folks. And for the most part, that's what I got. And I was surprised and what I got from them.

Wendy Parker: Senoia, GA
Wendy had this ora about here that I was immediately draw to. She was selling what I call "country designer antiques". Re-purposed "junk" into something beautiful. She was just a very fun, youthful spirit, even though she was quiet and very composed. She told me she gets a lot of the things she sells by people bringing them to her. Just an absolutely beautiful person; inside & out! I hope I get to run into Wendy again soon, so I can find out more about her products & her story. But I'm glad we became Facebook friends, and have access to her stores page called Ms. Wendy's Antiques.

But... I did get to find out a little about her friend Bennie..

Wendy Parker: Senoia, GA & Bennie Palmen; Columbus, GA

Bennie & Wendy have been friends for a while now and have been selling together for about three years. They recently did the 1,000 mile yard sale (or whatever it's called) together. Bennie owned a general store for quite some years. He told me how he used to collect a lot of old gas/oil cans... That brought him in some good money back in the day. Sometimes up to $9,000 per show! But now, this is all just play money. He does it for fun... which is something I love finding out! I don't quite remember what I asked him but he told me he has a 1949 N Ford Tractor. (I think I was supposed to be pretty impressed... =]  lol)
Bags being sold by Ms. Wendy made by her friend Rachel Eden (Birmingham, AL)
Right next door to Wendy & Bennie was someone I am so glad to have met.
Nathan Owens: Alpharetta, GA

Nathan grew up in the Bay area. Since then he has worked his way across to Alabama, down to Georgia and is (as he quotes) "on his way to retirement in Costa Rica. When I asked him why Costa Rica he told me "There are fish. There are plants. There are sailboats." I think this is a wonderful answer. He is putting himself in that easy going lifestyle so he can retire joyfully. I am so sorry I don't have photos of Nathan’s pieces but I can do my best to explain. He takes BIG PIECES of reclaimed lumber, and uses them in his furniture. He has been doing woodworking since he was 8 years old. I think this is HIGHLY impressive. But I love his future idea... Nathan loved finding out I was Jewish. He said that Rastafarian's are the closest to the Jewish people as any other way of life/faith. He said that he know's its an odd thing to think about, but that Jewish caskets are not beautiful generally. He wants to make beautiful caskets, from his reclaimed wood, peg everything together (no nails or screws) and market towards people of the Jewish faith. I don't know if I could ever word what he said as elegantly as he did, but you get the jist of it. I found out that this whole reclaimed wood thing that he is doing is not some new eco-friendly trend he just got into. He has been environmentally conscience his whole life. his current home, is built out of reclaimed wood, by hand, by himself. I wondered what would happen to his house when he moved to Costa Rica. He told me it would be given to his children. I hope they appreciate it. I know I would.

I asked Nathan what was holding him back from moving. He said he is a school bus driver and sees no reason to leave just yet. He asked me how long I would be in town. I told him it would only be for the day. He was disappointed when he told me " I would have loved to have been photographed with my dreadlocks down." I told him I would love to see them down. He explained it is a whole process to get them back up... They are SEVEN FEET LONG.

$#!*!!!!! And I thought I had long hair!

He told me every time he takes them down, he has to use a new pair of pantyhose to put them back up in, because by then, they are too stretched out! When he does wash his hair, he uses SEVEN OR EIGHT towels to damp dry his hair. By the end, all of the towels are soaking wet. Now me, my hair goes down my back, to my butt. It takes a few hours to air dry, up to 10 hours depending on the humidity and activity level....

Get ready for this:


I leave you with that.

Hand Cut Bowls $68 kinda cute!
So I didn't have much luck finding people who interested me with their junk or their faces... So this was towards the end of the day when I was pooped & ready to leave. But something told me not to leave just yet.

Thankfully I didn't. I met some really wonderful people..

Ruth Curtis: Palmetto, GA & Art Klug: Marietta, GA
 I was drawn to Art's shirt from Antique Roadshow. My dad would have loved to talk to him... it happens to be his favorite show!

Ya know, sometimes I really don't have a wonderful story to tell you. You have to remember, I am a photographer first... I'm not going to make up some lie and be like yes, I was so drawn to x,y,z... Sometimes I just want to talk to a man who looks like Santa & his friend. That's all. And I'm sorry for that. But don't think that I'm not amused that Art bought a planter for $3 at Goodwill & another vendor at the show at Scotts came up to him and said, I'll trade you every antique I'm selling for this planter. Yeah... it was worth A LOT!!!!!!!!!


I knew my body couldn't take anymore shooting. The camera around my neck, hour after hour... the on my feet walking, the pain my eyes were in from looking at so much clutter... I just wanted to crash in on my couch SO bad at this point... Kind of like Shirley.
Shirley Mogan: Alpharetta, GA

Shirley had the right idea. And she should, after selling at Lakewood 400, for eight years. She had this big old comfy chair, and her blankie, and her yarn all set up, like she was at home, relaxing. And yeah, after dealing with paralegal work & accounting work all day (BLEH!!) why wouldn't she want to just crash?! Obviously Shirley sells knitted works of art... But it's not just what she does. It's who she is. She put it best by saying "I have a thing for yarn". I believe her. I mean wow!!! SO MUCH YARN IN THE PICTURE. It's a lot to handle. But one day, I'd really love to see this half closet of yarn she is so proud to tell me about. I really have no idea what it would look like.

So folks- thats about it. You can agree with me here when I say Atlanta wasn't the goldmine I thought it would be. It was a slow day here in Cuming, Georgia.

Yarn wrapped around bobbin $15

Sometimes, it's just better to admit defeat and plan again.

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