Saturday, April 03, 2010

Spring Vacation 2010, Day 4

The second day of our Round Top adventure dawned with aching muscles and stiffness in our joints, but determination of spirit. Suzanne arrived to join the fun and we voted to take a vehicle with more hauling space - just in case. Plus, it was a good excuse to ride in Lana's new red Ford Edge. (Nice car.)

On antiquing day two we decided to start with the official Round Top show. Many years ago you had to bounce to four different sites to take full advantage of the entrance fee, but thanks to management schisms and new construction, the traditional show takes place primarily in one location. We headed to the Big Red Barn in our brand new Big Red Taxi.

The vendors who take part in the Round Top fair have completely different offerings from what we had seen at Cole's Antique Barn the day before. If I had to sum up the differences in as few words as possible, I guess it would be early 20th century vs. Colonial American and European. The vendors at Cole's have primarily the former while the vendors at the Big Red Barn have primarily the latter. It's fun to see this alternative antique perspective, especially if you are a fan of Antiques Roadshow, but it was pretty clear from the beginning that my checkbook was safe here. After the previous day, that was a nice feeling.

A couple of hours later we headed to the Folk Art Fair. Lana and I had made a very quick stop there on the way home the previous day, 15 minutes before they were closing, and had quickly decided it warranted a closer look. She had purses calling her and I had embroidered Mexican dresses calling me.

Many years ago the embroidered Mexican dress was incredibly popular in Texas and every Texas gal had at least one. This was about the same time that Mother and George were making periodic trips to south Texas and they would cross the border and bring a pile of dresses back home with them. Mother and I both had several and Mother helped keep some of her teacher buddies supplied as well. Gradually they had gone out of style and I had not seen them available anywhere in a long time.

It looks like the embroidered Mexican dress is making a bit of a comeback and one of the vendors at the Folk Art Fair had some of the prettiest ones I've ever seen. After drooling over the available stock, I decided that I would be happier with a blouse than a dress. I tried on a variety of colors, knowing full well that I would most probably bring home a red one. Which I did. And, by the way, the current price is a far cry from the average $10-15 per dress we paid twenty years ago.

I expect that this blouse with a pair of jeans will get a lot of outings this summer.

I believe it may have been at this point that Lana began to cave in to temptation. She had made her initial purchase at the Big Red Barn of some vintage textiles and now she was beginning to find greyhounds.

Lana is heavily involved in greyhound rescue, finding homes for retired racing and breeding greyhounds. She had told me to be sure and keep my eyes open for greyhounds and I had not expected we were going to encounter so many greyhounds in one day. I don't think she did either. There were Staffordshire greyhounds and bronze greyhounds and concrete greyhounds and tapestry greyhounds. There were greyhounds everywhere. She acquired a brass greyhound figurine at our first stop of the day and she wasn't through yet.

We had decided to make our next stop at Marburger Farm, a large gathering of vendors in both tents and permanent buildings who sell a wide variety of antiques. We had been there about an hour when Lana made her big find - a coffee table that consisted of a metal sculpture of three greyhounds holding a glass circular table top. She had the same look on her face that I had had the day before when I spotted the vanity. We had barely completed that transaction before we happened into a booth of vintage evening wear and she snagged a glittery purple outfit.

We were all dragging badly by the time we pulled out of Marburger Farm. We were also getting close to the official closing time for most of the fair locations, but we had about an hour to spare. Suzanne and I have both had considerable luck at the independent La Bahia show, so we decided to spend our last hour there. I was willing, but a little apprehensive. I've found way too many things I've had to have there.

This year was no exception, but at least it was a small find. A gentleman from Kansas was set up in the annex with a great assortment of vintage books. I was relieved that I did not see anything I wanted. However, just as he said he was giving sizeable discounts, I glanced over and saw a book I've been looking for and had not been able to find. I am a long-term fan of a local author, Susan Wittig Albert, and recently met her at a book-signing in Smithville. I have several autographed first editions of her China Bayles mystery series and hard cover copies of most of the series. After meeting Mrs. Albert, I had decided to replace the few volumes that I owned in paperback with hard cover copies and had been successful in locating replacement volumes of all but one, which apparently had had a limited printing in hard cover. There the missing volume sat, and it was autographed to boot. He made good on his offer of a discount, knocking $10 off the asking price and I was able to put that hunt to rest.

By 5 o'clock, when the vendors began to close up shop, we were all groaning as we crawled into our vehicle and headed for home.

Our day was not over yet.


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