Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Fleas Are Coming!

This upcoming week, May 12th through the 17th, should be an interesting one around these parts. Its time for the Brimfield Antique Show, better known as the Brimfield Flea Market. Held three times a summer over in Brimfield, it is the worlds largest antique show, and the crowds and the traffic can be a bit off the chart.

But, wait... there is a Mega Recession going on, will there be anyone out there to buy anything?

Oh, sure, there will be the typical "before the market opens" bargaining going on between dealers, but will the public show up, and more importantly, will they show up with money?

I think they will, but not as much money as they would have brought in years past. The Brimfield Flea Market has weathered other financial storms in the years since 1959 when it started, and it will weather this one as well. It is the individual dealers that will be hard pressed this year.

If a good return is not had during the first of three fairs this year, some of the dealers may just not travel the distance for the next one, and that will affect the businesses outside of the Flea Market grounds. The hotels, motels, and bed & breakfast's in the area could take a hit by summers end, as well as the local restaurants.

But, I have faith.

People attend the antique show for different reasons. Some are searching for that special something for their living room, or den, or that one thing to add to their spoon collection. Others, are more of a "just looking" type, and if something appeals to them, they will buy it on impulse if the price is right. I could do that all day, but often times, the price is just not right.

The show is fascinating for anyone to browse through. It is also very large, covering several open fields along Route 20 for well over a mile on both sides. Many dealers have very unique items, many have a lot of the same. Prices do vary for similar things, but are often set in stone for the rare item. Everything from antique furniture and toys, to antique clothing, architectural elements for the home (need a gargoyle from an old NYC building?) to military items, automobile parts, old books, and maps, political memorabilia, paintings, old photographs, carousel horses, and cigar store Indians. The list is almost endless. Anything you have ever seen in the past is here, along with things you had no idea ever existed.

This is what makes the browsing fun. Finding things that are not only old, but bizarre, and if they can fit into your decor, or complete a collection, then you've struck gold!

We try to get to the show at least once each season, and this year will be no different. I am looking for something totally different this year to fill a little nook here at the house, and I am sure I will find it. A plum colored Tiffany floor lamp, with a gargoyle mounted on it, maybe some old Pontiac emblems on the shade, you know, something pretty.

No matter how rare, or bizarre, I am sure you can find it in Brimfield this summer, and if you come across any real great finds like freeze dried gerbil bookends, an antique secretary (no, not Miss Smithers), or a draft of "Wuthering Heights", please let me know. I'd like to see if it could beat my Raisins From Around the World Collection.

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