by Julie Hyzy
Is there anything more fun than strolling through a summer flea market? Years ago, my parents used to drag us to them all the time. My brother and I never complained because - heck, they were fun! My dad used to pick up golf balls (good for water holes) and tools. My mom didn't buy much, but we had fun browsing. I even got my then-boyfriend, now-husband to come with us once. He'd never been to a flea market before, but after that visit he was hooked.
These days there aren't very many *good* flea markets out there, but there's one that we try to attend at least once every summer - the Kane County Flea Market. It's about an hour's drive from our house, but always worth the trip. The reason it's so good is because it's chock full of old stuff and there are very few tables of people selling new items. I don't like the new items - not even a little bit. I walk right past all the socks and packaged household goods. I'm there for the fun stuff.
Like ... Swanky Swigs.
I didn't even know they were called Swanky Swigs when we first started buying them. My brother and I remember drinking pop (filled to the brim) from these jelly-jar glasses when we visited our grandparents. Why their pop was always flat, I have no idea. But I digress. They always had these kid-sized glasses ready for us, some featuring the Flintstones, but our favorite featured the Archies.
My husband and I found a few of these at a flea market a long time ago (before we had kids) and I snapped them up mostly because they felt like a way to recapture my youth. But... why not use them? We started serving our kids drinks in these and now, years later, Archie glasses are part of my kids' youth. We scour every stall for them whenever we visit a flea market. I'll pay $2 - 3 without blinking, but when the tag says $8, I'll try for a better price. If they won't come down, I walk away.
Once, when the kids were really young -- our oldest might have been eleven, we once found a guy with an entire box of Swanky Swigs for sale. I think he was asking for $5 per glass. When he saw how excited the kids were to find an entire stash of these glasses, he told me he'd take $20 for the whole box. There were definitely more than 10 in there, so I felt great about scoring a deal. He said he felt great because he knew they were going to a good home and would actually be used. Everybody won.
Anyway, here's a picture of *some* of our Archie glasses. There are loads more. We also tend to pick up Star Trek and Disney glasses whenever we find them. And a few Looney Tunes ones as well. We're rapidly running out of shelf space, but we can't help ourselves.
Do you visit flea markets to find treasures? Is there anything you collect that you absolutely can't resist?