Several weeks ago, I hit the Treasure Island Flea Market. This is a new thing for me, the habitual flea-marketing, and it is highly recommended that you DO NOT FOLLOW MY LEAD. Because the reality is that I've found many lovely things, but holy crap, once you start you CANNOT STOP. I have this gorgeous set of 7 glasses which I THOUGHT were for champagne except it turns out that I was way too excited and they probably aren't for BUBBLY, but rather something more dessert-like. A trifle or something? I don't know what that is, but I think it requires a set of flat-bottomed pretty glasses. I have gorgeous brass shelving now and vintage picture frames and scarves and a hairspray cover and several other things which are LOVELY but also UNNECESSARY and THINGS I SPEND MY MONEY ON FOR NO REASON.
Essentially, going to the Flea Market is the equivalent of going to Target with bonus detergent needs and less credit card usage.
The nice part about heading to the Treasure Island Flea is that it is new and not overwhelming and the prices are fantastic. I love Alameda Point and it's close, but it is very large and elaborate and sometimes overwhelming. For example, I'm seeking a new drink cart. Last month at the Market I found about four and each of them were unique and lovely and excellent, but how do you CHOOSE? And then when you DO choose and you head BACK, how do you control the sadness that comes from THE LADY SELLING IT FROM UNDER YOUR NOSE FOR $20 LESS THAN SHE QUOTED YOU? This is just the way it goes.
(Standard tangent: I also spent quite a bit of time at flea markets as a kid because there was a period where my father sold large plants of some sort to a very specific type of flea-market-patron. The location was a flea market by day and a drive-in at night. During the day, my mom would buy us plastic beauty sets which included a headband, barrettes and earrings. She'd open the packaging, break and discard the earrings and give us the rest to play with. And then my sister and I would sit on the tailgate of the plant truck and swing legs and wait. I only remember going to the movies once, to see E.T. The same sister HATES E.T. and is absolutely TERRIFIED of anything E.T. related to this very day. We drove a 1972 Cadillac and if you know anything about 1972 Cadillacs you will know that there is a small attachment installed in front of the rear window with two small red lights in a small hood of plastic that lights up when you step on the brakes. My sister became convinced that the brake light WAS E.T. and he EXISTED and he LIVED IN THE CAR with us. Yeah. E.T.)
Back to Treasure Island Flea. I'd gone with a few work friends and while they were scouring racks of vintage clothes I came upon a frazzled wicker basket with a stack of old black and white photos. MY DREAM.
I don't have many old photos of anyone in my family. There are one or two of my mom's parents, both who died years before I was born. A handful of my Mom. One or two of my father's side of the family, in particular some sort of military shot of my paternal grandfather which is VERY COOL, but feels odd to like so much considering the EMOTIONS of the situation. (Family drama. You know.) Given this, I went through the basket and waved my friends on while I picked out a handful. 4 for $1! That's free, basically.
It became apparent that many of the photos were from one family and I fell in love with the story of one little boy who was featured in many of the photos. I've got him in lederhosen. I've got him a bathrobe tied with a rope. As a baby posed in the backyard in front of a clothesline lined with sheets. He just seems like a sweet kid, loved and happy. So I grabbed quite a few of him, mixed in with some lovely portraits and cute kid shots.
It wasn't until I got home that I realized my cute kid had a sister. And he must've really liked her.
I'm sad that the photographer missed their whole right sides, but it's almost sweeter this way.
Even better, check out how darling they are in 1944.
I love them.
As I joked upon leaving, as my friends listed their treasures and gushed over the fab wicker chair they'd scored, I didn't just get STUFF. I GOT ANCESTORS.