Local flea market provides a fun shopping experience for all ages

Driving down Highway 190 was a pretty uneventful way to spend a Saturday morning.
My friends and I were craving something exciting and different to do, but we weren’t entirely sure what that would entail.
We decided it might be fun to check out the Bell County Flea Market. So, we put the location into the GPS and headed to 1930 George Wilson Rd, which is only six minutes away from campus.
As we found a parking spot and headed out, my excitement grew.
It had been years since I had been to a flea market. My greatest memories taking me back to when I was in elementary school and my parents would take me on an early Saturday morning to score good deals on household items.
I was shocked to discover that the market was fairly desolate, my friends and I being some of the only travelers at this site.
However, it was freezing that day, so I assumed many regular shoppers stayed home to avoid the cold.
Regardless, I was surprised that there weren’t many people there. After checking out some of the booths, I soon discovered that this flea market was a trove of hidden wonders.
From tin plates representing famous pop culture figures or vinyl albums, to antique jewelry boxes or a giant Sinclair dinosaur statue.
This flea market has items that are sure to please a wide variety of people.
There are stories behind the items, as many of the objects found at the market are vintage and collectible, but there are also stories behind the vendors.
David Lambert is one such seller who runs a shop at the Bell County Flea Market.
“I’ve been in this store for five years,” Lambert said.
“I’ve been setting up here at the Bell County Flea Market since 1989.”
In response to what his most interesting interaction with a customer was, Lambert was quick to give his answer.
“They’re all interesting as long as they give me cash,” Lambert said.
Lambert went on to describe his buying method, in which he tries to make a dollar on every item he purchases.
“If I can sell it for only $50, even though it’s worth $300, I’ll buy it for $49. On Saturday, I normally try to sell about 4,000 items and make a dollar a piece on them.”
“We’re closed on Sunday, even though the flea markets open,” Lambert said. “Before I got saved, I was a publicist for Roadrunner Records. I was in the metal scene for about twenty-two years. I gave them opinions and ideas on how to better their image to sell their albums and records. I was friends with Slipknot, I know Marilyn Manson, the guys from Linkin Park…”
On the wall next to the door are some photos of famous people Lambert has met, one of which was of Lambert and Stan Lee from Marvel Comics.
Besides selling a variety of items, Lambert is also a pastor at Faith Tabernacle, which is the oldest church founded in Harker Heights. He has been a pastor ever since he was saved in 2004.
Another seller is Janie Gonzales. The main purpose of her shop is to make the children who come in happy.
“My parents started in 1980,” Gonzales said. “I couldn’t have any kids, so I got into buying toys to make kids happy. When they arrive here, they want to come to my booth first. They say ‘I like going to her, she gives me some free toys, and she gives me hugs.’”
She also runs the store with her mother, who is 83 years old, and Janie has been a vendor for 16 years.
“The best deal is when the parent lets the child pick whatever they want and they don’t have a limit,” Gonzales said.
“I think that’s wonderful. They just let them select whatever they want, and they tell me “what’s the total?” And then there’s some that they’re not able to buy, and sometimes I bless them with a gift, and I let them pick whatever they want.”
If by chance you’re wondering what to do on a quiet Saturday morning or afternoon, I highly suggest checking out the Bell County Flea Market.
Who knows? You just might find something that you would never have expected to see.

Author: Sarah Ifft

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