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March 8th, 2003

One of our coolest north Texas attractions is the First Monday Trades Day in tiny Canton, Texas. On the first weekend of each month, a massive flea market is convened. The flea market is huge--many have claimed it's the largest in the world. Folks drive in from miles around, largely in pick up trucks, to browse through the used wares and arts and crafts. The whole thing is a grand celebration of Texana and of small town life in general.

For the last several years, on-line life has added ebay and a host of minor auction services, which also have that wonderful flea market feeling. Just yesterday, my five dollar Dixiecraft yarn loom, a wonderful vintage sixties toy, arrived (Dixiecraft, of course, turning out to have been a New York company). I love that sense that I can spend little or nothing on ebay and yet find a favorite reading copy of a book, a bit of nostalgia, a practical used thing, or a bit of whimsy on ebay at any given time.
Lately, I also play on google's marketplace, froogle.com, which is much more diverse if not as bargain-oriented.

I love the idea of having a small sum to buy anything used or out of the way. The pleasant sensation I feel just naturally translates to me into a low technology poll question---

"Assume that you have one hundred dollars (or the local currency equivalent) and access to a flea market, live or on-line, in which you can buy yourself any collection of things you wish to buy within that budget. What do you bid on? What do you buy?".

For me, the current list of "what would I do with 100 dollars" runs to the following: used aquarium and set up (20 dollars), offbeat musical instrument (cheapo) (10 dollars), cheap kite and kite string (3 dollars), off brand used bongo drums (25 dollars), book about childrens' crafts (6 dollars), yet another book about cacti and succulent plants (6 dollars), a work of almost free outsider art from ebay's curious "self-represented artists" section (15 dollars), an assortment of semi-precious stones (10 dollars), and
a book on soap carving (5 dollars). Actually, I already bought the book on soap carving, but you get the idea.

So what would you buy with your 100 dollars at the best flea market ever?

anime like Oregon