A Flea Market Archaeology Expediiton with Gilligan

On those rare weekends when the kids are busy and there's nothing pressing for me to do, I like to take part in one of my favorite pastimes - flea market archaeology.  I find a flea market within a reasonable driving distance and proceed to scavenge every square inch, looking for items from the 60s and 70s. It's like a treasure hunt for me - there's nothing better than finding an old Dynamite magazine buried under piles of crap, or discovering that Grape Ape lunchbox hidden in a dark corner way in the back.

I used to wonder how those metal detector folks on the beach could possibly find enjoyment from this hobby.  I think I can understand it now - it's the thrill of the hunt. Every collector knows that the real fun is in the collecting.What butterfly collector would want to be just given a butterfly collection - hell no, you want the fun of tracking down the butterfly.  I think if I was a multi-millionaire and could just buy up everything on ebay, the thrill would be gone.

So, to give you a little taste, I decided to take you along with me this time.  I snapped some photos with my Android as a poked through a local flea market.  I won't show you the things I bought - those will be highlighted (as usual) in future posts.  But check out some of things I dug up...

I should've bought this one - it was like 25 cents.  I'm curious about the significance of the question mark at the end of the hot pink title.  And what's with the "original" title at the bottom - On Balaam's Talking Mule? I'm familiar with Balaam, but WTF? I may never understand this one. Why didn't I buy this?

Sorry about the poor picture quality, but, like I said, it was taken with my phone. I liked the cover of this game, but didn't feel it was worth the price.

I especially love the red-headed dude.  The way his hand is placed under his chin looks really posed and uncomfortable.  I have a sick fascination with that 70s look - the fashions, the hairstyles, the art, the design, even the fonts! Thus, this box seemed right up my alley.  But I had a full cart already, so it was a no go.

Then, I ran across this Visiting Hours book.  I remember this as being a semi-lame horror movie from the early eighties starring Bill Shatner and Michael Ironside.  There was actually a book? I looked it up on IMDb and it doesn't say anything about it being adapted from a novel.  It does say it was among the infamous "video nasties" in the UK - the first video nasty to be shown on television.  Alas, I just can't see myself ever reading this, so I let it go.

Of course, there's always a plethora of old cookbooks.  People typically will hang on to things they think they might use; thus, cookbooks get saved, while the really good stuff (old paperbacks and magazines) get tossed in the garbage.  I like old cookbooks with especially appalling food photos...  I can't remember exactly which cookbook I snapped this picture from.

Can't say as I remember the game Downfall.  Looks like it would be fun to play with for about 5 minutes. I probably could make a profit off this on ebay, but it wasn't worth it.

I liked the title of this one.  It's like Nero Wolfe got tired of coming up with new murder mystery titles, and finally just said the hell with it. To the publisher: "Just call it A Guy Died or Death of a Dude or something, I don't know, I'm sick of this shit. Give me my check."

Sometimes you'll find stuff that wasn't meant to be found.  Ever bought an old record and found old dried up marijuana in the sleeve? It was a very common place for kids to hide their stash from their parents, so don't be surprised if the Foghat LP you picked up at a yard-sale smells funny.

Records weren't just for hiding weed. I've come across a dirty magazine wedged in a record cover as well.   This time, I found the magazine below stuffed in a Pablo Cruise LP.  It's not exactly a Hustler, but still might've been contraband in the household it came from.  I didn't buy it because there was no price, and that gets to be a hassle at checkout.

Well, I have more pictures, but I guess that's probably more than plenty.  Hope you enjoyed flea market scavenging with me. If you've got any finds that you'd like to scan and share, drop me an email. 


  1. AnonymousMay 19, 2010

    "Dude" had a meaning prior to it becoming a synonym for "Guy" or "Hey You". Therein lies the key. The hat on the cover provides yet another clue...

  2. I love to do this too, and I always wish I'd brought a camera.

  3. AnonymousMay 23, 2010

    Pat Boone is a douchebag