METROLINA EXPO MARKETPLACE - TAKE 2

Even though our fall visit to the Metrolina Expo Marketplace was a bit disappointing, we chalked it up to the horrible weather and decided to give the Metrolina Expo Marketplace Spring Event a shot.  Looking at the weather forecast for the 4-day show, we chose Friday, supposedly the best Mother Nature had to offer, a beautiful early spring day with plenty of sunshine heading our way and no rain in sight.  Do I hear a Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah?   

Because of inclement weather in the fall, the outdoor vendors weren’t able to set up and the vendors in the mall area weren’t much better off than if they had been in tents out in the open.  So we were glad to see sunshine and blue skies as we turned into the parking lot.  Definitely, we were not the only ones who had checked the weekend forecast. There were going to be plenty of shoppers spending money today.  

So we paid the obligatory $20 and started our quest searching with the outdoor vendors just in case Mother Nature decided to throw a little rain our way.  However, she was kind to us and although she huffed and puffed some gusty winds, the tents remained standing and nothing blew away.  Even without a mirror, I could tell it was going to be one of those days when I wish I was a hat person, but then I would have spent the entire afternoon chasing down the hat instead of treasures.  I did notice I was not the only bedraggled-looking soul who was trying to avoid mirrors.

We didn’t have to search too long before we found the cutest little pair of Made In Occupied Japan ceramic kids playing baseball and so we made our first purchase of the day.  This vendor also had some really beautiful end tables made from the drawers of old Singer sewing machines, so we got a little inspiration along with the ballplayers.  Eventually at another booth, we found MIOJ mini vase and that was pretty much the extent of our purchases for the day – unless you count the cinnamon/sugar almonds and the kettle corn on the way out.

More importantly, we spent a good bit of time talking with quite a few of the vendors.  We started off with Mike of Mike’s – N – Gayle’s Toys And Joys Antiques.  He was there in the fall and the Great One bought a dime bank from him.  It is one of the few banks he has that came with a key.  I was flabbergasted when he passed up the opportunity to bring home the motorized Richie Rich Computer Bank from the 60s along with the original box.  Will wonders never cease?

After we left Mike, we found a clock guy and I am more than ashamed to say I cannot, for the life of me, remember his name.  He was so generous with his time, knowing full well that we weren’t going to be paying customers, he still took the time to answer all of our questions.  His obsession with clocks started as a stress-relieving hobby and just kind of got out of hand.  He has restored and repaired clocks of all sizes, styles and makes.  And then and he told us about his radio.  We could have spent the rest of the day talking with him, but we figured he did have a booth to run and finally left him alone so he could sell some clocks. 

We appreciate all of the information he shared and only wish he had not given up the restoration part of his business.  We’ve become attached to a certain Seth Thomas clock that we would love to get restored for its owner.  After a few years in the garage, when I gently brushed away the cobwebs, I was surprised to see that it still looked like a clock inside.  It’s missing a bell and a pendulum and needs some keys for the winding mechanisms, but we’re hoping it can be brought back to life.       

As far as our overall assessment of our Metrolina Expo experiences – I guess we just must not be Expo kind of people.  However, there sure seem to be a lot of vendors and shoppers out there who return time and again, so they must be doing something right.