The hubs had the day off and we were on a mission: to find an old shop that he had stumbled across driving around town one day. An old house on a hill with a big sign that read ANTIQUES. Our Rusted Route took us to Cary, NC… and when I set eyes on this place… I knew exactly why he wanted me to see it! It was the perfect hidden gem!
Old junk surrounded the building on every side. You could barely see in through the windows. Goodies stacked all the way to the ceiling. No exaggerating. In all honesty, as we got out of the car, I feared that this place was no longer in business. It looked as if it had been abandoned for yeeeears!! With no cars around (except for this ‘ol beauty), we still got out and walked to the front door…
Over old rusty tools, through chippy wooden arches, I was beginning to wonder if we were trespassing? We meandered through old gates, over old tires… when we passed this turquoise cactus, I knew we had to be close to the front door. I had never seen so much junk!! Good rusty junk!!
To my disappointment, the door was bolted shut! It was a sort of mechanism that looked like it hadn’t been touched since man first walked on the moon. But, there was a sign on the door! It read, “OPEN. Call such-n-such-a number.” Ooookay? So, it actually had a number there and I thought, could it be that we call… and the junk gods would bestow their heavenly presence allowing us to dig through their treasures. We called.. and called again. But to no avail. I was bummed.
So, we left. We went to get lunch. My favorite. Chinese. That should ease the pain. As we were driving there, I shared a picture of this wonderful place on my Facebook page, and may have shed a tear as I shared that I think they are no longer in business. To my amazement, just as we were finishing lunch and I was opening my fortune cookie, a comment on my post… “No, wait. I’ve been to that place before. Just call the number on the door and Mr. Fleming will call you back. He is OPEN.”
Say what? We scarfed down our fortune cookies! Check, please?! And we were on our way!! I called again and he answered on the first ring! The angels sang!! He had been in a meeting earlier and couldn’t answer his phone, but told us he would meet us there in 30! Score! It took me no time to round up this stash…
Some rusty tin roofing, an old yellow chippy door, a rusty headboard, some shelves, an old sift, a farm stool, a couple license plates, well… I don’t need to keep going. You have eyes! I got quite the stash goin’. And then I spotted this sign on the side of the building!
I know, right?! I love it! I’m guessing it came off of an old furniture store, perhaps?
By this time, we had spent at least a couple hours with Mr. Fleming. Just the three of us. So, we kinda got to know each other. And he is such a genuinely nice man! Kinda reminds me of my dad, he would give you the shirt off his back. I asked Mr. Fleming what he thought about that old sign. He said, “Oh, that old thing? If you want it, we can take it down?” Seriously? See. Shirt off his back. I couldn’t believe it! I won’t tell you what I paid for it, but let’s just say it was more than a quarter, less than $5!! And it’s HUGE!! Goes to show it never hurts to ask…
Mr. Fleming got the ladder and he and the hubs took it down. I had it in the shop for some time, but have since decided that it belongs in my home office! (hey… change of heart!) And with a story like that, I just can’t give it up!
So, if you are ever in the area, and looking for a crazy cool junk hole, with a man who couldn’t be nicer, visit…
L.T. Fleming Antiques
603 East Chatham Street