Junkin’ In Jefferson
JEFFERSON- Some junkies say, it’s the love of the hunt and the adventure it brings… That’s the real treasure! At least that is what they tell themselves while they scour through dusty, dirty heaps of who knows what. All it takes is one find. Just one precious little jewel that other eyes have passed over. Just one nostalgic find that makes your heart pound and your mind race with dreams of having your own junk store… And just like that- you are a junky. If you have hopes of becoming a junky get your start in Jefferson! Junking in Jefferson will put you on the right path, complete with heart palpitations and new “up-cycle” ideas.
Jefferson is the place for some serious junking and antiquing. Whether you are on the hunt for a claw foot bath tub, fiesta ware or a ceramic mammy, odds are you will find it in Jefferson! When you visit Jefferson, you take a journey back in time to a bustling 19th century riverport, an era of prosperity and wealth, petticoats and parasols, and Southern grace and romance. Today Jefferson is reminiscent of its heyday, with antique shops lining the old brick streets. Jefferson is a junky’s dream come true!
Junking is the retrieval of ordinarily discarded things and materials. It is a way of redefining the usage of things and turning trash into treasure. Perhaps you thought that going through other peoples’ junk was not considered a socially-acceptable practice. Junking has broken the boundaries of what is looked upon as normal, and has practically become an Olympic event.
“Junk” can mean numerous things to different people. It can mean interesting, weird, rare, common, ancient, contemporary, decorative, hideous, quaint, ordinary, old, treasure – junk is all things to junkies. Junking has become a collector’s sport. The compulsion towards junk for the true junky is his or her personal translation of the word “treasure.”
Once the treasure has been gathered, pilfered through and examined the objects are wrung dry by the discoverer, and most are quite ready to pass the articles on to the next forager by way of “up-cycling.” The quest for good junk involves hitting the major junking venues. Junkies must develop developing a keen eye for valuable items and the ability to discern quality from, well, real junk. The idea is to find items that can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of a bid on a formal auction block, or to find items that can be recycled and turned into new, unique, nuoveua riche treasures. After all, “nuoveua riche is better than no riche at all,” according to the “YaYa Sisterhood.”
Many small East Texas junk stores have probably been opened in order to allow junkies to continue the flow of endless streams of findings. It is one of the reasons too, why prices in junk shops are unpredictable and hard to assess. Like so many other things, value is in the eye of the beholder and as in all other matters of trade, the price goes up if the goods are much sought after.
If you are new to the “sport” of junking in East Texas you might need a little advice. MYETX knows East Texas is a picker’s paradise and we have spoken with several serious junkies in order to comprise a list of tips to help you on your junk journey.
- Treasure mapping is essential to making the most of your day. Serious junkies start mapping early in the week to prepare to plunder all weekend. Check out this list of stores in Jefferson.
- Make a list of items you are particularly interested in finding. If you have seen items on Pinterest or other do it yourself sites, write it down. It is easy to get side tracked and forget to look for certain things when so much treasure is before you.
- Pack appropriately. Bring old newspapers and boxes for packing your find. You want to make sure you pack your pick for a safe ride home.
- Take a back pack with items like a tiny flashlight and magnifying glass to ferret out the best booty. You might also want to pack some baby wipes and germ-x.
- Don’t forget your smart phone or tablet! Being able to access the internet to gain information about an item will help you get the most bang for your buck.
- Get to the treasure site first. Often times, being the first marauder at the treasure site will yield success.
“Always ask if that is the bottom price a vendor can take. Sometimes you can get a vendor to come down or tell you their bottom dollar on the item,” Love said.
Love is no stranger to garage and estate sales but you might also find her pilfering in unexpected places.
“Always check the side of the road and even the trash! You never know what you’ll find,” Love explained.
Love also told MYETX that having an open mind was essential to junking.
“Open your mind. You never know what one piece of junk can be turned in to,” Love said.
Another East Texas picker who has an eye for discarded items is Lara Bounds from Lufkin. Lara tells us she rides the back roads in her golf cart searching for drift wood and things people may have tossed out carelessly. Bounds is an artist and has a niche for recycling things into an amazing work of art.
There may or may not be shovels on your expedition, but there will be plenty of digging! There will be lots of excitement while rushing store to store in pursuit of the next cache in Jefferson. Jefferson will make a junky out of you!