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Collecting Vintage Hankies

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Collecting Marghab Embroidered Linens

How To Make A Vintage Pillow Cover

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Tribute To Unsung Heros

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A Linen Dealer's Tribute To Unsung Heros

There are no brightly-colored tents, no kettle corn, no intriguing displays and no leisurely browsers in shade-hats and dark glasses. It's a year-round outdoor antiques mart.

The professionals of the winter unload trucks and vans beneath low-watt parking lot flood-lights. Precious antiques sit on frosty tables, half-unpacked cardboard boxes and black tarps.

I wait in the car until my favorite picker gets through with his furniture and larger items, hoping that he has come across some vintage linens in this week's travels.

As dawn cracks, dealers and customers trade notes on best brands of long johns. Transactions are brisk and businesslike. It's a close race between possible sun-up and certain frostbite.

Customers return to heated cars and steaming coffee. I have bought a box lot of hankies, including several lacy wedding hankies, a small variety of vintage table runners, towels, etc. and two exquisite society silk doilies. I've taken a chance on several filthy pieces of handmade figural lace; if they come clean, they'll be very special. I'm looking forward to spreading them out for closer inspection in my cozy living room.

Dealers pray for a few rays of warmth to make reloading a little more bearable.

Hats off to the bundled-up lords of the parking lot. They make possible the steady stream of "fresh merch" available on


Updated 07/20/2014