Buyers and Browsers Find Treasure at Swap Meet

Laura Lacy

Sunday’s Glendale Community College Swap Meet once again was a magnet for browsers and buyers in search of a variety of exotic and not so exotic knickknacks.

From used doorknobs to antique cutlery sets the meet was a cornucopia of yard sale-type fashion items, antique furniture and tiny relics. The standout displays were creative in their presentations.

At one booth a blanket was set on the floor covered with old McDonald’s and Burger King toys. Children’s books were stacked up high for any curious parent or eager child to pick them up.

The next booth to the left had a huge supply of women’s jewelry displayed all over five or to six tables. This booth happened to belong to Zach*, the owner his thrift store of All Things and More located at 8321 San Fernando Road in Sun Valley.

“I’ve been doing this for 15 whole, long, hot years,” said Zach about his experience at the GCC swap meet.

While many of the booths seemed to consist of the same things one might find when cleaning one’s attic or basement, some had pricey vintage antiques. One booth in particular was run by a man named Nicholas*, who has been working swap meets for the last 30 years.

“It was pretty slow today, I’m not sure why, but this meet is generally okay,” said Nicholas.

Another booth that was quite beautifully displayed had glass boxes opened to see the treasures inside. One had an interesting collection of novelty lighters. Another box held a vast array of switchblade knives, most which dated back at least 30 years. This booth also had miniature Japanese wooden boats, intricate in design and detail.

Other booths had one-of-a-kind handmade clothing. Some vendors specialized in leather, others in silk, and even some in yarn. A large handmade leather jacket dressed with seashells on the sleeves and back was hung beautifully at one booth. The shells had been gathered by the vendor and sewn on by hand. It was a perfect example of a true bohemian way to work the swap meet.

A pair of large vintage cowboy boots was cleverly placed on the floor next to one booth to draw attention to their display of random objects. The owner, Butch*, been working swap meets for 10 years with his girlfriend.

“[The GCC swap meet is] good for buying, but not too good for selling. It’s still great though, haven’t had any problems,” said Butch.

Though the energy was low, the bounty was plentiful. The heat started to take hold; most vendors started closing about an hour early. Tables started to get taken down, trucks got packed. The look of fatigue was strong on most the vendors’ faces, but the look of hope for next time was clearly there.

The next swap meet held in the upper parking lot will be on May 16.

*Vendors requested that their last names be withheld.