Several years ago I made my first trip up to the Brimfield Antique Show in Massachusetts. Having never been before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but my friend assured me that we would have a great time and unearth some fabulous treasures (boy, was she right!). We left at the crack of dawn before the sun came up, hitched a small trailer to the back of my Suburban and hit the road with great anticipation for the road trip ahead.
When we arrived at Brimfield, I was taken aback at first by the sheer size of the antique show. Several thousand dealers were spread out in booths across multiple fields, which extended along Rt. 20 for almost a mile. Comfortable shoes were a must! It would be easy to become overwhelmed by the incredible volume of antiques and vintage treasures, so we quickly learned that it was best to have a plan. We made note of what we were hoping to find and tried to keep track of where we had been, and ultimately we were delighted with the success that we had! When we drove home after that first day, with tables and bureaus strapped to the roof of the car, the trailer filled and secured with bungee cords, and the inside of the car packed to the ceiling, we were both shocked when we realized that we could have used more room – there was so much more to buy!
Recently, while trying to figure out what to do with a bare wall in my house that just needed a little something, I went into my garage and pulled out a pretty shabby-looking console table that I bought on that first trip up to Brimfield but never used. One by one, I started layering different objects from around the house onto the table (some new, some old), trying to create a little vignette that might work. When I finally finished, I realized that much to my surprise, several of the items that I decided to use had been collected over the years from trips up to Brimfield. There’s no greater pleasure than when you realize that your house is filled not only with things that you love, but also with things that you have collected over the years that remind you of the places you’ve been. When I look at that table, I remember the dealer from Kentucky who sold it to me. And when I see that stone crock under the table, I’m reminded of how excited I was to find a crock with its original lid. If you had seen what that stool looked like before I had it re-covered (with the brown linen fabric that I purchased at Brimfield for $10), you might have walked right past it.
For me, the fun of going up to Brimfield is not only in the fabulous finds, but also in the hunt itself. Since that first trip, my friend and I have been back up to Brimfield several more times, and we’ve devised a strategy of sorts for covering as much ground as we can and for visiting the shows and vendors that we like the most. It’s taken a few trips, but we’ve settled into a rhythm, and we’ll definitely be back again. So, with the spring Brimfield market opening on May 14th, and another to follow in July, I’m thinking I might just have to plan another road trip!