Many years ago, when I was still in school, my father took me to the Pickens Flea Market. I don’t remember much about that trip, but I do remember the location in a prime piece of bottom land next to the Twelve Mile River. At the time it seemed like just a lot of junk to me.
As an adult, my flea market aficionado friend, Paul W., has been saying that we need to get over to the Pickens Flea Market. Unfortunately, it’s only open on Wednesdays, which is very inconvenient for those of us that have to work during the week. Since this is my spring break, my sister Glynda and I decided to head up that way and see what it was like.
There was dense fog in Greenville as we headed out. However, the sun broke through and the fog began to lift just as we pulled into the market parking lot. The place opens at 7:00 and we were arriving at 8:30. Crowds were already gathering.
As with most flea markets in the area, there are covered areas where the more permanent vendors set up and there are rows and rows of open air tables. Unlike the Anderson Jockey Lot, none of the covered areas are enclosed. Typical flea market ware can be found as soon as you enter the vendor areas.
The market has a completely different vibe than the Jockey Lot. Even though it’s still a cool place to visit, the Jockey Lot seems to have a layer of tourist trap country junk polish. Strip away that polish and you get the Pickens Flea Market. The place seems more authentic. Mountain folk come down from the hills to buy, sell and trade their wares. For some, the mountain persona is an affectation. For some, it is truly the way they are. Either way, it’s a fascinating venue for seeing all sorts of people.