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Biggest Flea Market in Pollard, ArkansasPosted Thursday, January 13, 2011, at 6:21 AM
Pollard, Arkansas (pop. 268): This eclectic collection of antiques, assorted junk, and homespun humor greets passersby on Highway 62 between Piggott and Corning. There was no way that my friend and I could pass it up! The inside holds even more delightful treats!
It's been a while since I posted a road trip blog, so I'll just start with my latest journey, which was a 968-mile round trip to Atlanta, Texas to visit the family of my "best friend forever."
This particular friend does all the driving and loves to travel the backroads, so I've seen places I never get to see when I take the interstate.
The Arkansas backroads are especially unique. We've gone off the main road to check out places like Goobertown, Possum Grape, Alicia, Bald Knob, Swifton, Hoxie and Hope.
Friday we were tooling south along Highway 62 between Piggott and Corning, Arkansas, when my friend said, "Hey! You should take a picture of that!" He whipped the Jeep around and drove back to a flea market, labeled with a number of signs: "Bigest Flea Market in Town," and "Pat's PackRat Alley."
His attention was drawn by a cute little dummy riding one of those tall bicycles. No sooner had I crawled out of the car into the frigid air to take a picture of the bicycle than we caught sight of the barn, which was decorated with all sorts of folksy, homespun humor - a dummy taking a bath in a galvanized tub, a bear in rocking chair, an old wooden ironing board - too many items to catagorize.
"Hey, let's go in!" my friend said.
Okay, no trip is so important that we can't veer off onto a side road.
We were met at the door by Pat Holifield, the owner, who introduced us to her good friend, Peggy Aaron, 78, as pleasant a grandma-type lady as ever I saw step out of a kitchen with flour on her apron.
"Peggy made strawberry pies for us all summer," Pat said. "We gained ten pounds!"
Doors open, of course, when I mention that I write for a newspaper and might use this topic in my blog.
Pat dragged me back to a large, warm room, where her husband, Doyne, was sitting beside an enormous 7-foot long barrel stove. The room was cozy, despite the cold temperatures outside.
"My husband made this stove himself," Pat said. "It heats the entire barn."
From there, we wandered through aisles of every utensil, knickknack, whirlygig and grimshaw known to mankind. What a collection!
"This is my Indian section," said Pat, motioning to the carefully arranged items. "And this section is for the babies. We have some very young mothers here, and we often donate items to the local women's shelter. I sell these baby jumpers for a dollar, so the mothers can afford them. This is the preemie section."
Wow, a town of 268, and they have a women's shelter? Impressive!
No everyday item is too mundane to collect. Everything is fair game in the flea market business! From Betty Boop dolls to M&M statues - you never know what priceless treasurers you'll find out there in the heartland of America.
I put the photos on Facebook, and several of my friends - especially the "Golden Girls" from Bloomfield - have expressed an interest in making a day trip to Pollard.
Simple directions: Head to the metropolis of Quilin. Go south to Fagus, Missouri. Cross Arkansas state line. You will enter the city of Pollard. Go west on 62 to your destination on the right. Homemade signs mark the spot!
From the darkened hills of rural Tillman, Mo., this is your cheery, hometown reporter, Madeline, enjoying a hot cup of coffee and a warm fire on a cold night!
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Madeline DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She can be contacted at email@example.com or by phone at 573-722-5322.