It’s time for our big weekend at Brookhaven VIntage Marketplace! We have packed the Kinton Grange full of lovely furniture, vintage treasures, seasonal decor, handcrafted lovelies and gourmet food….so much to see! We have several new vignettes this show, including French Market Christmas and a glamorous Halloween display on the stage.
Friday 10am – 7pm
Saturday 10am – 5pm
Sunday 11am – 4pm
It’s going to be a lovely weekend for a drive into the countryside….come join our fun!
You ever have one of those days? Where nothing big goes wrong but lots of little things…adding up to one frustrating day? I had one day like that on my Glitter Pick Road Trip..and one day only so I think that’s pretty great. I sure thought a Saturday picking day was going to be fun…especially since I was headed to Fargo, North Dakota, a place I had wanted to visit ever since I saw the movie. I am a BIG fan of the movie FARGO. You betcha! Seen it at least a dozen times. Never get tired of it. So perhaps my expectations were a little over-inflated for Fargo, and it didn’t take much to pop the balloon.
I stopped at Grand Forks, north of Fargo, for picking and for lunch. I thought it would be fun to eat lunch across the river in Minnesota, at a fun-sounding cafe called Whitey’s, that had been a gin joint back in the roaring 20s, survived flooding and fires and had been moved to it’s current location…and had some decent reviews. It looked like a fun place from the outside but inside there wasn’t the old ambiance I expected…it just looked like an average sports bar. That was disappointing, although the food was decent, if on the expensive side. I did have good luck picking at several of the thrift shops in town, before I headed south to Fargo, where I planned to spend most of my afternoon.
It was hot and sticky and Fargo was one strip mall after another. The only charming thing I saw in Fargo was a buffalo painted to look like Vincent Van Gogh. The one antique mall I found was overstuffed with booths of dusty garage-sale level items, priced at antique mall prices. Half the thrift shops close at 3pm on Saturday so I just missed a couple of them. Another interesting sounding antique shop was closed for two weeks for refurbishing. It just went on and on. The motel clerk was surly and my room was dirty. The motel outer door slammed shut on my foot and broke my shoe, so I had to hobble to Walmart to buy some SuperGlue to fix it. I don’t even like shopping at Walmart…but I bet I am on Youtube somewhere, as one of those classic Walmart What The? shoppers….walking around wearing a different shoe on each foot. It makes me laugh now…and actually I did laugh then too. I was so happy to get up and leave Fargo the next morning!
After thinking about it, I figured out where my misled expectations came from…I love the movie Fargo, but what I love about the movie is all the characters and the plot….not the town of Fargo itself. In fact, the movie kind of makes fun of Fargo, and I had forgotten that part. I am sure there’s much to like about Fargo…….but it just wasn’t going to be found by me, on that day, at that moment, dontcha know.
They take their fireworks very seriously in North Dakota. Especially on the 4th of July. Even in the tiny town of Kenmare, there was a temporary warehouse loaded to the gills with fireworks for sale…ranging from the kid-friendly items like sparklers and little tanks that shoot out sparks, to the seriously bad boy shoot-a-large-rocket-that-explodes-200-feet-in-the-air fireworks that retailed for fifty bucks each.
After an eventful day visiting many places from my dad’s childhood, we were invited by 2nd cousins who lived in Minot over for dinner and a holiday celebration. After dinner we walked around the neighborhood, viewing the dike and the damage from the flood two years previously and just enjoying the early evening. It was around 8pm and still light out and we could hear really long strings of firecrackers popping from different driveways. We passed several driveways where they were setting off small bottle rockets and we marveled over how many fireworks had already been set off so early in the evening…there were mounds of spent containers all over the place.
As it grew dark we settled down in lawn chairs to watch my brother Paul and his son Gabriel light off little smoke bombs and other items from a family pack of small fireworks…and then the neighborhood exploded. There were three competing driveways; one to the left, one in the middle and one to the right, as they each set out to have the best huge fireworks display. It was unlike anything any of us had even seen. Each firework was larger than the last, coming one upon another, sophisticated coordinated explosions high in the air…beautiful colors and spirals….and occasionally drifting up and out into the dark…..small lighted hot air balloons. It was magical and thrilling and unbelievable. We marveled over the hundreds of fireworks shooting off and off and off, now the left, now the right…..red and purple and gold and green…sizzling through the air…better than fireworks we had seen from professional city celebrations. One after another after another…it was a stupendous display. Our cousins explained to us that the competition grew from year to year….each neighbor spent 4 or 5 thousand dollars on fireworks….seeking even better thrills.
They don’t do things half way in North Dakota. The hospitality from our cousins was wonderful and more than we could possibly have hoped for…and as far as Fourth of July celebrations and fireworks? We felt so lucky to be watching….as neighbors tried to outdo each other. It’s that American competitive spirit!
After I left Billings, Montana it was time to head up to Minot and meet up with my family for our big family reunion. My dad turned 80 this year and grew up on a farm in Kenmare, North Dakota, a small town about 45 minutes north of Minot. He wanted to show us the farm he grew up on and show us the land where his dad was born in a sod house in 1903, son of German immigrants. My brother Paul was driving there from Colorado Springs with his family and my brother David was flying there from Seattle with his family. We all were looking forward to lots of fun time together over the 4th of July.
The shortest route from Billings to Minot is not an easy one, over 400 miles on 2-lane country highways, where you are likely to trawl behind tractors going to their next field and slow down to 30 mph as you drive through tiny town after tiny town. I had read about the oil boom in North Dakota and heard enough about it to figure I would see some of it along the way, but what I didn’t realize was that I would be driving through 200 miles of it, and more so, witness some of the craziest driving I have ever seen.
This is the land of the pick up truck…and when it isn’t a pick up truck it’s an oil truck of one kind or another. And those boys mean business. They own the road and they know it. Several times I saw stunts that you usually only see in action movies. Trucks taking curves and almost tipping over, trucks turning in front of another vehicle at the last second, trucks driving onto the highway when cars are 200 feet out and cruising towards them at 70 mph…..it was unbelievable. They had places to go and people to see and they just didn’t care. They knew you would slam on your brakes to avoid them because you didn’t want to die in a ball of flame. And when I say slam on your brakes, I am talking punching as hard as you could with your leg on that brake, with stuff flying all over the car.
You should know that this was especially unnerving to me because I have always had this irrational fear of big trucks ever since I saw the movie DUEL as a kid…you know the one….from Steven Spielberg. In it, an anonymous truck driver decides to chase after Dennis Weaver and run him down. A simple premise and it scared the living daylights out of me. I can still vividly recall nightmares I had from that movie…trucks chasing ME. But I am not usually bothered by the trucks…don’t think about it 99% of the time….really truly I have moved on. However, all these macho oil rig drivers driving like mad men….well, let’s just say that beer I shared with my family that night by the hotel pool in Minot…..one of the best beers ever. Whew.
Yes, I admit it. I climbed the walls. But it was only to fetch down these darling vintage hats that were just out of reach. Some talented volunteer at this particular thrift shop in Billings, Montana had created a lovely display of vintage clothing, with shelves of purses and hats artfully displayed above a long rack of vintage clothing……..yes, you read that right. This is a thrift shop, mind you…not an antique shop or vintage clothing shop. I have never seen anything like it. I didn’t have to search through countless racks…there it was, already curated, priced and on display. At crazy good prices, too. I pounced. Big time. By the time I was done I had an enormous mound of clothing up at the front counter and an equally enormous grin on my face. This wasn’t your average vintage clothing pick.
Here are some pics…taken in my hotel room the next day, after I made it up to Minot North Dakota, where my family was having a big family reunion. Pardon the amateur photos…it should give you an idea of all the fabulous pieces I found
And many more pieces. Several vintage children’s pieces…which I find very difficult to find. And after I had made my purchase, the clerk casually mentioned…oh….by the way…we have another thrift shop in town…with just as much vintage clothing! WHAT? Zoom…and I was off…
It was my best vintage clothing pick day EVER.
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It’s day Two of my Glitter Pick Road Trip and I am in Missoula, Montana to see what treasures I can find. I read about the Montana Antique Mall….how can I resist the “largest antique mall in Montana”? It is housed in the Montana Hotel, built in 1890 right across the street from the railroad station.
From the minute I walk in I can see the charm of the old building…the ceilings are sky high and the old wood floors have a wonderful patina. I am greeted promptly and offered some cool water…mind you it is 90 degrees today and this is NOT an air conditioned building. This gets more important later…..I am delighted to see beautiful displays and unusual items with such great history. I can tell right away that I am not going to find much in the way of picking…no bargains here…but it is still really fun to look. There are four stories to explore…with very tall staircases…
I love the patina of the old stairs….imagine all the weary feet that have tread these steps, as travelers went up to their rooms. I picture bustles and long wool skirts and the jangle of spurs. It is easily another 10 degrees warmer on the second story and I start fanning myself as I wander around….100 degrees and still it doesn’t daunt me…
I make my way up to the third story…where it is ANOTHER 10 DEGREES warmer and at this point I am starting to wilt…and I think…those poor antique dealers who have a space on this floor…I can’t imagine having to haul my treasures up two oversized staircases and working in this heat…and how many customers brave the stairs? I work my way back down and into the basement, where it is blessedly cool and there are yet more booths to explore.
I have been thrilled to see such incredible displays in several of the booths…they match the most sophisticated booths of the big malls in Portland…what a treat to find them here. I have been busily taking pictures and have enough to share to make a whole blog post about the displays in themselves. They are WONDERFUL. Here’s a sneak peak:
I would highly endorse the Montana Antique Mall as a unique shopping experience…my pictures just show a tiny glimpse of the wonderful unique items they have…as a picker I only found three things, but any antique lover would thoroughly enjoy the experience. Just be prepared for the stairs!
“I could only wonder what sort of model husband and father he might be if he changed. But change that elemental would come only if he hit rock bottom, such an unpleasant place for him to regard that I knew he would never reach it. Opportunities had come and gone and Maureen was no longer willing to sacrifice another day of her future or her child’s to him, in anticipation of the day when he could admit that he was as human and vulnerable as the rest of us, no better, no worse.
He had squandered years of her life. He had courted and married a rigorous beauty whose spirit and nature proved antithetical to his; facing her day after day must have forced a reluctant and impossible self-examination and created in him an ear-ringing panic. A weak husband living with an excellent woman–that is enough to scare a man to death and shake him off his rails. And he had the shame of knowing that anything he truly loved about life, when all the pretense was put aside, had come from her. It wasn’t his.”
-Kaye Gibbons, Divining Women
We were fortunate to be one of the few shops able to get Lori Mitchell’s new 2013 Halloween figures already! Usually it’s July or August before they are available! Check them out! All are at the shop and ready for sale!
Penelope’s Hope Chest
4808 SW Scholls Ferry Rd
Portland Oregon 97225
Tuesday-Saturday 11am to 5pm