Does anyone remember the Orange County Marketplace in Costa Mesa? (The OC fair grounds) In the late 80's my parents would take me and my sisters to the swapmeet and we'd shop there all day. I don't think we ever got to finish walking the entire swapmeet. I used to save my allowances for weeks because I knew I would find lots of things there and wanted to be ready when I did. My favorite part about going to this swapmeet was the Old Fashion Ice Cream Bars. Yumm! 1/2 almonds and the other 1/2 chocolate sprinkles.The Orange County Swapmeet was a place our family visited a lot during the late 1970's. We had relocated to Santa Ana in 1978, coming up from San Diego. The swapmeet was where my folks would find stuff for the house.
Back then, most of the vendors were still folks trying to get rid of junk in their garages. They'd lay out everything out, and we'd pick through it.
Many times we'd find something old that someone was selling, and which triggered a fond memory of something else years ago. My step-dad would talk to the seller about it, and they'd share some memories together and some laughs. That's part of what going to the swapmeet was about, to peruse all this old stuff that you don't see anymore, and maybe find something valuable.
Now it's all different. The vendors are all businesses who find the swapmeet a cheap way to market their inventory. It's not much different than going to a shopping mall, except you have to pay to get in, and you don't get elevator music or air-conditioning.
The last time I went to the Orange County Swapmeet was in September 2001; I bought one of those Thomas Kinkade "knock off" paintings that they make in China to hang above my fireplace.
I understand these days the OC Swapmeet has become more like a fair, with lots more entertainment, rides, shows, karaoke contests. And I guess for that matter, it's almost like going to an amusement park. For what it is, I guess that's great. I still remember the old swapmeets where you could take a stroll down memory lane.