As she picked up a small porcelain figurine, Ellen Lohsen exclaimed, “Oh my goodness, this reminds me so much of my childhood!”
Lohsen, of Lake Hiawatha, smiled as she placed the bauble down and walked away, stopping to peer into the bag of goodies that she had purchased at the Monster Garage Sale, held at the Sussex County Fairgrounds on Saturday.
The event, sponsored by the New Jersey Herald, welcomed more than 1,500 bargain hunters, searching for “whatever catches the eye,” as Culver Lake resident Elaine Ayers said, or for others, like Gregg Kobylarz, of Highland Lakes, in search of something very specific.
Ayers, who snatched up a few knick-knacks, like dried autumn flowers, said she enjoys coming to the event for the “thrill of the hunt.”
“I don’t look for anything specific, it’s just whatever I see,” she said. Her friend, Judy Emmans, of Branchville, who had already purchased a candle, said she is a very “specific” shopper, making sure she picks up items she may only need, but not necessary “want.”
In the true essence of real bargain hunters, Kobylarz and Lohsen, who were shopping together, waited outside the Richards Building early Saturday for the 7 a.m. opening for early birds.
Kobylarz, a Harley Davidson motorcycle owner, said he had his eyes set on snatching up any Harley-related items he could find.
“I got two clocks, a telephone and two Harley jackets,” he said, with a smile. “I love collecting it.”
Kobylarz, much like Lohsen, was also brought back to his own childhood when he came upon Fur-Fish-Game magazines, dating back to the 1960s. Kobylarz said he still subscribes to the outdoors magazine.
In the BBQ Pavilion, located adjacent to the Richards Building, vendors Mark Francomacaro and his wife, Debbie, had an eclectic variety of items for sale, including several samurai swords, a candelabra – and a bicycle dipped in gold.
Mark Francomacaro said he purchased the bicycle last year at the Brooklyn Bike Jumble, a bicycle flea market held in Brooklyn each year.
“It’s like a puppy, everyone loves it,” said Debbie Francomacaro, who said her husband likes to buy bargain items at various flea markets, enjoy them for a little while and then turn them around.
In addition to over 100 vendors, the event welcomed several food vendors and more treasures inside the fairgrounds’ Shotwell Building.
Lori Comstock can also be reached on Twitter: @LoriComstockNJH, on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/LoriComstockNJH or by phone: 973-383-1194.