My bride and I have a history of antiquing together. The first time I asked her out was to take a trip up to Frederick to go warehouse digging (this was before all the warehouses got turned into lofts and good, inexpensive antiques were still somewhat available). I found that we gravitated towards a lot of the same things and that our tastes in design and history were very compatible. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship, and later, a beautiful marriage.
So when she told me about the DC Big Flea, I was immediately interested. We dragged ourselves out of bed and got on the road as early as we could to get the “good stuff”, whatever that might be. Having never been before, we weren’t sure what to expect, but it turned out to be much better than the average local junk markets found around here. We found huge selections of furniture, pottery, collectibles and other stuff jammed into two large convention halls, stuffed to the gills with shoppers and surrounded by filled parking lots. We took a couple of hours to browse the aisles, but didn’t find anything we needed—but lots of stuff we wanted.
Flea markets like this can be overwhelming and numbing after a while, because of the sheer amount of stuff to look at. Every once in a while, something stood out among the clutter. For example: sitting upon one table was a beautiful pressed metal touring car, long and lean, designed with curves and lines from a quarter century ago. But what caught our eyes was the matching bubble trailer behind it, something that looks more like a spaceship from the era of Flash Gordon. The long nose of the car hints at a big V-12 growling under the hood, while the front windows of the trailer remind me of the Rocketeer’s helmet, a collection of curves unique to the era.
Of course, the price was prohibitive, but I was able to snap a couple of quick shots of it before moving on.