… just sprinkle me over Warrenton on the first week in April or October.
Maybe you don’t know about Warrenton yet, but honey, you oughtta!
Imagine if you will, a quaint little town (can it be called a town?), where the cattle far out number the people. Far. I think the sign said there were 76 residents, or thereabouts.
You detour off the highway and keep on truckin’ out into the cow pastures. After a while you come to think maybe you’ve taken a wrong turn, but no…
Miles and miles of white tents in the middle of nowhere? RVs rubbing noses with livestock? SUVs packed to the gills with goodies galore? Respectable women walking around in alligator boots and pink cowboy hats?
You’ve come to the right place.
I have been visiting this little antique fest for oh, about 10 or 11 years now, with some gaps in there, for having babies and all.
I always say I’m going to rent a room and take several days to do it, because honestly a few hours is barely enough to cover maybe 1/68th of the sights to see.
Really, I think this would be more like it:
Every year, I drive the 1 and half or so hours down there, and then sort of wander around, mumbling to myself, overwhelmed and a little junk drunk. I walk around swilling beer (okay, Diet Coke) and stuffing myself with kolaches and funnel cakes until the sugar high and junk-o-rama reaches such a fever pitch that I begin to speak in tongues.
I have this problem you see…
I only have so much money to spend but there are acres upon acres upon miles upon miles of goodies to choose from. I never can commit to buying anything because, what if I spend all my money and the next tent down has all the stuff I’ve been hoping to find?
And then there’s the problem of carrying it all around. I can’t very well buy the hordes of Pyrex I’ve happened upon, and then expect to carry it all around for three more hours? Can I?
I bought one of those rolling carts this year, for all my many finds, and that helped. Some.
What I did not foresee, was the weather.
My mom and I had been on the road for a few days before we made our way to the festival. When we left Austin it was pleasant, in the 80s, sunny, but a few days later, by the time we made it to Warrenton, it was barely 60, windy and rainy.
And us in our shorts and no rain coats.
So, as hard as we tried, it was tough going to focus on digging through the junk to find the treasures, when our toes where near frozen off and we were sliding in the mud.
We did our best though. We’re Texas gals after all, made of spit and vinegar, steel magnolias.
And we weren’t the only ones. See, this isn’t just your ordinary shopping experience. It’s kind of a cult thing. You have to come decked out in your countrified rebel gear, your feathers, sparkles, and cheetah print. You gotta bob your head and keep time to the redneck/gospel quartet/hillbilly punk band that’s playing on the corner, while you sift through vintage this and thats. You gotta catch the vibe, sister.
You have to have a certain swagger, mixed with a healthy dose of glamour, about you. There’s even a prom, hosted by the Junk Gypsies every year.
And of course, there’s the miles of buttons, pottery, old carnival rides, dishes, linens, neon signs, ironware, plants, puppies, vintage metal signs, mexican art, old tools, boy scout patches, magazines, albums, handwoven cotton, shutters, soaps, chandeliers, doll heads, marbles.. and that’s all covered in about three of the 3,000 tents!
Simmer down now, sweets. The law is watchin’.
I came home wet, tired, windblown, and with a trunk full of vintage cups, an old feed bucket, and several tablecloths, some homemade preserves and honey. Oh, and one very special tape measure for the winner of this month’s contest…
..not to mention, a little bit of a junk hangover… come October, I’m going to try to cure it with some hair of the dog that bit me!
If you can’t wait that long for your Warrenton fix, be sure to pop over to Stash Studios for an insider’s look. Sadly, I didn’t get to meet Cheryl this time. Next fall though, we have a date.
Anyone else up for a road trip?