Flea market finds that evoke a sense of place

Overheard at the pancake breakfast: “A bear gave me a scare last night. That dog of mine thought she was going to take it on, right there in my back yard.”

Like the eavesdropping, many of the wares at the St. Regis flea market were unique to the place.

Most flea markets look pretty much the same. Vendors display the same motley assortment of canning jars and kitchenware, old Life magazines and rusty junk found behind one’s garage.

Occasionally, a forward thinking flea market organizer also invites artisans who offer handmade jewelry (sometimes made with forks and spoons) and wooden birdhouses.

The annual Memorial Day weekend flea market in St. Regis, Montana, offers special treasures one might find only in the Pacific Northwest.

Like used snowshoes, for instance.

snowshoes

And hats made of real fur.

flea market furs

It can get cold in Montana, you know.

And to acquire those furs? That takes weapons. Lots of weapons. I saw shotguns, sledgehammers, axes, knives of every length from jack to bowie, maces (yes, more than one) and anvils (perhaps only a weapon in the hands of Wile E. Coyote).

And will you be transporting said weapons? How about a purse?

flea market concealed carry

Also necessary: Hunter’s scent, offered in every piney variety: Spruce, cedar, pine, fir, and juniper. Also, for the outliers, sage and eucalyptus. And don’t forget the camouflage in a variety of sizes.

flea market camo

Lest you think it’s all serious business at the flea market, check out the pink camo in the foreground and the princess costumes on the left, in the background of the camo.

If decorative is more your style, perhaps we could interest you in light fixtures made with elk horns. No? John Deere picnic umbrella? You got that covered? Maybe bear-shaped pieces of granite, then?

flea market granite bear cutouts

Or perhaps a bird feeder in the shape of a moose.

flea market moose

I think your wildflowers could use a vase.

flea market boot vases

Exhausted with all of your options? Let me offer you a seat.

flea market furniture

These clever vendors didn’t miss a whimsical beat. I thought unicorns could fly, but maybe they need shoes anyway.

flea market unicorn shoes

Or this dose of quirky. Everything’s bigger in Texas, but I bet you’ll never see this life-size yard art there.

flea market yeti

I felt like I was at a Montana art show, walking around the St. Regis flea market and drinking in the local flare. And I guess I’m a bit of an eavesdropper. Besides the bear conversation at breakfast, I was amused by this overheard wish.

“I’d like to hit the Powerball and come here,” said one young man to his friend as they brushed past me between a rack of raccoon skins and a display of soap made with goat’s milk. “I’d buy everything.”