While growing up we frequently visited my Maw-maw's Flea Market downtown. Next door at White's Barber Shop always awaited a friendly "hello" by Mr.White as I made my way straight to the bottled coke machine. This was routine from age six until college every time I was there. Maw-maw kept her scattered dollars and change in a cigar box, with a small calculator nearby. I loved rummaging through the store for hidden treasures. My big score was when I found a 1970's harpsichord, in it's old case. Even though it needed some repair, it was a unique find and I couldn't wait to take it home. In the very back of the shop there was a huge open space,like a garage, with a gravel floor. It was stacked to the walls full of old knick-knacks and what nots. I loved beaming through it every time to see if I had missed something before, something of great value. Most of Maw-maw's costumer's were those who lived near downtown. They would bring a pocket of change or a few dollars and buy clothes,glassware, or any basic necessity for cheap. My mom would bring in items from yard sales and (to my surprise)sometimes clean out my closet to refurbish the clothing stock. I learned not to "love" all my stuff at that point. Even though I didn't love the lesson at the time, I can appreciate it now. Besides, my mom was always so generous to restock my closet as well. The place was a gem to say the least. This past weekend we visited a giant flea market in Nashville. All the smells, small antiques, furniture, bargains, "junk", and people reminded me of my childhood. I felt like a flea marker veteran walking down all the aisles, snobbing the mass produced booths, the gimmicks, and advertisements. Then of course, spending alot of time in the corner marketers booths with rusty, old metal hand-carved stamps, dusty antique kitchen tools, spools of thread with the original price tag from years and years ago. All the while noticing the antiquity of the seller, and the charm of their presence. I loved the experience and can't wait to visit another one. My mom would have come home with a truck load full of treasures...and sold it again with the story of why she bought it.