Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Rain or shine, William Sevier, of Creston, said it's nice to come out to the Greater Iowa Swap Meet and Flea Market on the Old Threshers grounds, sell some antiques, make some money and sit outside.
Sevier was selling 'heavy things” during the Swap meet from Friday, May 24, to Saturday, May 25 - everything from old iron, road signs to salt shakers.
Despite a drizzly, stormy morning Friday, Sevier said he was impressed by the number of people who came out to shop.
'It's hard to find them anymore,” Sevier said. 'There's a lot more people here than the shows we usually go to.”
Alan Baird, of Sperry, comes to the Swap Meet every year because he likes old stuff.
'It keeps growing every year. The weather won't affect the crowd. People will still come out,” Baird said. 'I usually just buy.”
Mitch Cromwell, of Ft. Dodge, agreed that while other shows are fading out, the Swap Meet continues to draw a crowd.
In fact, 150 vendors were registered for the Swap Meet last week. Bob Alt, of Clinton, volunteers to help organize the meet every year. He said that the number of vendors in 2019 was comparable to 2018.
'The best part is coming down and seeing all the friends we've made. We come down here and have a lot of fun,” Alt said.
Pat Dietze, of Waverly, Neb., said the Swap Meet is a social event, and while the 'internet kills swap meets,” she hopes the one in Mt. Pleasant continues drawing a crowd every year.
Bob Spies, of Tipton, said that selling at the SWAP Meet was a 'new adventure” for him and Deb Meumann, also of Tipton.
'It's our first year doing flea markets,” Meumann said. 'We're both retired and got into it because of boredom.”
Spies said he has been going to flea markets for years as a collector and does some woodworking. He figured, why not start selling what he's created and refinished?
Jennifer and Chuck Reid, of Burlington, were also at their first SWAP Meet, hoping to make a little money from their blacksmith shop.
Chuck said the couple goes to a few markets a year to sell some of his metal work.
Deb Heitmeier, of Mt. Pleasant, is an executor and was selling items from someone's estate during the SWAP Meet. Heitmeier said she used to be in the craft business and sell at shows regularly, but now she just comes to finish estate sales and check out antiques for herself.
'I get to see a lot of people I know,” Heitmeier said. 'People who come here are nice, friendly and good people.”
Rod Hope, of New London, was selling at the SWAP Meet to 'clean out the shed,” he said. In addition to antique tools, Hope was selling his grandmother's blue and white china. He said she collected it from a grocery store that used to give out a cup, saucer or place if a customer spent a certain amount. Hope had dozens of pieces of china displayed.
'It's been a couple years, but I enjoy trading my stuff for someone else's stuff,” Hope said.
Even with drizzly weather on Friday, May 24, Hope said that there were a lot more people than he expected at the SWAP Meet.
While Hope never intends to bring home just as much as he sells, it always seems to happen that way, he said.