Friday, May 26, 2017

Boothwyn

From the time when I was a little kid I have gone to the Booth Corner's Farmer's Market. Some call it Booth Corner's, some just say Boothwyn, and other just say they are going "up to the sale." It is all the same. My dad always called it Boothwyn but a lot of other people just called it "the sale." Now the term "the sale" more or less refers to Brigg's Auction that is across the street and held every Friday night. But Boothwyn or "the sale" means both.

When I first went with my dad as a kid the place was old and had dirt floors. It was a throwback to the old days, sometime in the 1970s the place caught fire and burned down. When it was rebuilt it was done with concrete floors and better lighting. It also was rebuilt with air-conditioning which the old place didn't have.

The farmer's market was an awesome place to go. We would walk around and it was a buffet for the senses. The smells, the sounds the sights were all great. The farmers market at Hares Corner in New Castle was closer but not as good. The big attraction at Boothwyn was there were not one, but two model train stores. In the main farmer's market was a booth occupied by a place called Trains 99 and across the street in the building occipied by Briggs Auction was Cheap George's Trains. George passed on and it became E&T Trains which moved over to the farmer's market building when Briggs kicked out all of their non-auction vendors.

In the 1980s I would often ride up with Dave Jensen. Dave was a character and a major influence on my teen years. He was a couple of years older than me and always had a car, which I never had until around the age of 20. We would ride up in Dave's car and walk the farmer's market, buy whatever fresh food appealed that particular night, and check out the model train stores. Actually the food part was mostly about me because Dave only ate French Fries. Back to the model railroad stuff, Trains 99 was discount trains and mostly focused on Lionel trains but sometimes would have other stuff. Cheap George dealt strictly in used trains and each week it was a bit of an adventure to see what he had to offer. To this day I like to visit E&T to see what they have. My best purchase ever was a Bachmann China DF-11 for $30, one of the best deals I've gotten on model trains.

Dave and I would check out the auction after making our rounds. Often there would be nothing of interest and we would leave and go out to route 202 where there was a mini golf course and riving range nearby. Next to the mini golf place was an ice cream store. We would play mini golf, drive a bunch of golf balls at the driving range, and eat ice cream. At the driving range we would try to hit the jeep that was outfitted with a ball scooper upper and sometimes we would turn around and hit the golf balls across route 202. We would wrap the night up by about 10PM and be home by 11. It was a great, innocent way to spend a Friday night. Always fun, we'd look at girls, and Dave would always drive really fast on the back roads. Sometimes near Thompson's Bridge we would stop and drink water from a spring alongside of the road. The pipe at the spring has been long removed but I will always remember that we could stop and drink fresh spring water from the hillside. That is one of the things that is forever gone.

Even today, I enjoy riding up to Boothwyn, the food is still good, Trains 99 is long gone, but E&T still carried the torch for Cheap George, the auction is still neat to check out but there is hardly ever anything I care about, and I like to ride fast on the back roads. I like to smell the fresh roasted peanuts, I like to walk amongst the people, and I like remembering the days gone by.

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