Saturday, August 30, 2014

Flea Markets Are Magic

It was still sunny and bright this morning when I turned on this week's American Top 40 re-run. I was 6 during Labor Day Weekend 1985. While I prepared for first grade, the rest of the US ended the summer with hard rock, pop, ballads, R&B, and dance songs. Hits that late August included "Pop Life" by Prince and the Revolution, "Invincible" by Pat Benetar, "Cherish" by Kool and the Gang, "Don't Lose My Number" by Phil Collins, "Freeway of Love" by Aretha Franklin, "Summer of '69" by Brian Adams, "You're Only Human" by Billy Joel, "Money For Nothing" by Dire Straits, and two numbers from big summer movies, "We Don't Need Another Hero" by Tina Turner from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and the title song from St. Elmo's Fire by John Parr.

The blockbuster movie of the summer of 1985 was the classic time-traveling action comedy Back to the Future. Its soundtrack was equally popular. Huey Lewis and the News scored their first #1 song with one of their two numbers from the soundtrack, "The Power of Love."

I finally made it back to the Collingswood Farm Market after nearly two months. It was as busy as ever with people looking for fresh produce, cheese, eggs, seafood, and meat for their Labor Day barbecues. My vegetable bin was bare, and I desperately needed quite a few things. I ended up with three yellow squash, two ears of corn, white peaches (someone took the last yellow ones right before I got there), plums, carrots, a small red pepper and a small green pepper from the organic booth, a tomato, and Chinese beans.

When I got home, I put my fruit and vegetables away and went right back out again. I wanted check out the Berlin Farm and Flea Market. I took the train from Collingswood to Lindenwauld...which just missed the bus. I went across the PATCO parking lot to the Walgreens and bought a drink. Even that didn't kill much time. Thankfully, the bus was on time, and it was only a fifteen-minute ride anyway.

The bus dropped me off near a florist's shop and a vast cemetery. It was only a block or so from the cemetery to the Farmer's Market. I could see the cars and the buildings even from the White Horse Pike. It only took a minute's walk to get there.

The Berlin Farmer's Market was ENORMOUS. It was a vast barn filled with stores selling everything from dollar store junk to Amish baked goods, often at discount prices. The first store I stopped in was a huge toy store. While there were lots of cute baby dolls and fashion dolls, I didn't see much that interested me. The book store wasn't all that interesting, either...except for it sold every kind of American Girl book that had ever existed, from the just-released BeForever novel-length, illustration-less versions of the original Historical books to the oldest historical books with the tan covers. I ended up with the first mystery for Julie the 70s girl, The Tangled Web.

The other cool store I found was a used record and CD store. They had prices as low as 49 cents! It took a lot of sifting through, but I came up with these records:

The Broadway cast albums I Had a Ball (a 60s vehicle for Buddy Hackett) and New Girl In Town (musical version of Anna Christie, with Gwen Verdon in the title role)

Soundtrack for Jumbo, with Doris Day and Martha Raye

Johnny Mathis - Feelings

And a Barbara Cook concert album

I had lunch at a pizza place at the very end of the massive building. Luigi's had what amounted to rolled-up pizza slices - bread rolls filled with sausage, pepperoni, or broccoli and cheese. I went with the sausage and the broccoli. They were quite tasty; came with marinara sauce dip, too.

After I ate, I went outside to check out the Flea Market. It was MASSIVE, covering more than three quarters of the parking lot. Alas, the sellers seemed to be either shelling out bootleg DVDs and smartphone accessories or selling ancient tools and other junk even I wouldn't touch. I explored for nearly an hour but found nothing interesting.

After I went back inside, I first hit the arcade. Unlike the arcade in Atlantic City, this was one small room filled with nothing but somewhat ancient consoles. I first tried one Atari console with at least nine different games. I went with Burgertime. I haven't played that one in ages. You have to get Peter Pepper to run across the parts of the burger, knocking them into the container below, all while avoiding the eggs and hot dogs running around! I also did Crusin' World, which is a racing game with tracks set in exotic lands; I raced in Hawaii. Did surprisingly well on that. I at least finished the track.

Made a quick stop at the Amish bakery to try an oatmeal whoopee pie on my way out. Ooh, yummy. I don't often eat those for the obvious reason that they're filled with cream. was so good, nice and soft and with tons of butter cream in the middle.

It didn't take me very long to walk back over to the White Horse Pike and cross it to catch the bus home. The bus to Lindenwauld was about ten minutes late, not that surprising given it was coming from Atlantic City on Labor Day Weekend. The trip home, by bus and by train, was uneventful. There was no traffic anywhere, not even on the White Horse Pike at Oaklyn going home.

When I got in, I did more My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic as I had Italian breaded chicken cutlets with leftover vegetables for dinner. Even the Ponies can't resist playing Scarlet Ponypernel in "The Mysterious Mare Do Well." Rainbow Dash loves saving other ponies, but her friends get sick of her constant bragging. When an unknown pony in a dark outfit starts saving others as well, she gets jealous and vows to be a better hero than this newcomer.

"Derring Don't" and "Read It and Weep" introduce Derring Do, Ponyville's own Indiana Jonesette. Rainbow Dash was never much of a reader, but when she's stuck in the hospital, she starts reading the action tales of Derring Do, an explorer who searches for lost treasures, and gets so caught up in the story, she tries to stay in the hospital to finish it! Then, when the author of the Derring Do books announces that her book won't be out for months, Rainbow Dash is determined to make sure that book comes out as fast as possible...and gets caught up in a wild adventure with Derring Do herself!

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