Friday, July 1, 2011
The Enchantment of Flea Markets
I’ll be the first to admit that collectors often are avaricious people who want to swallow the whole world. Often, however, they restrain themselves to collecting all of a single class of objects. My weakness is cast iron ashtrays with figures, usually drunks leaning against lamp posts. I have a dozen of ‘em. And white-knob windup toys, of which there are scores sitting in the attic.
This led me to write “Million Dollar Find,” a story published June 30, 2011 in r.kv.r.y., an online magazine, at . R.kv.r.y., explains editor Mary Akers, is the phonetic spelling for recovery; these are stories of the recovery process. Was my protagonist Archie Mezinis recovering or just searching? He’s a widower and retired who wanders. His week’s happiness is assured if he finds one of those plastic pencils with a ball at the end — a telephone dialer from the 1950s shaped to keep women from breaking their fingernails. Or a toogle. (What? You don’t know what a toogle is?)
The story was meaningful for me to write because of associations and — well, some things are disappearing and need to be saved. (The first draft was done in 2007.)
As many of you know, the flea market is a field of dreams for the Saturday-morning searcher — a place where past and future meets and the unraveled pieces of lives are knit together. Often, the treasure found is unexpected. I used to drive my daughter to Englishtown on summer Saturdays where she sold T-shirts and sweats. And I’d walk the avenues quickly, scanning every table in half an hour. It’s where I began picking up fast food collectible glasses, which at one point reached over a thousand in quantity.
To this publication, there’s other good news to add:
“Nature Story” was published in Summer 2011 in the Southern Fried Weirdo: Reconstruction anthology (p. 251-53) to benefit tornado victims. Ornithology wasn’t Jerome’s strong suit, but then Jerome wasn’t a normal child. You can download this book from Smashwords, find some enjoyable stories and consider the royalties Publisher/Editor T.J. McIntyre is contributing to Alabama tornado victims.
“Carl’s Heightened Sense of Loss” was published by The Corner Club Press in its second issue, pp. 147-149, May 15, 2011, at http://www.thecornerclubpress.com/uploads/6/0/5/3/6053731/the_corner_club_press_issue_2.pdf. An absurd story? Certainly. Offensive? Perhaps, but nonetheless an experiment in a new genre.
at 12:35 PM