Even the Methodist churches of Bouckville and Madison get into the act and lay on lunches. On the Saturday we attended, the good women and men of the Bouckville church served barbecued chicken, salad, homemade rolls and delicious ice cream inside their meeting hall. After lunch — which cost us just $5 apiece — we entered the church and were taken aback by the beauty of its splendidly colored glass windows, which had been removed from an older structure before it was demolished and safely installed here. They were as bright as sunshine.
We were so captivated by the Victorian glassware amassed by GlimmerGlass Antiques, which has its shop in Schenevus, N.Y., that we lingered for half an hour, taking in one by one the pink, cranberry red, amber and robin's-egg blue vases, water bottles, glasses, pitchers and pickle dishes and jars displayed on open-backed shelves that let daylight stream through. We were tempted to buy but didn't.
Collectors of the oddball do not lack for opportunities at the show. For instance, we could have bought a Superman Club pin ($100), a Nerviline liniment bottle with its box and contents intact ($35) or three German papier-mâché 1930s Mickey Maus candy holders ($350 each).
One of the nice things about the Madison-Bouckville event is that it has a sense of humor, intended or not.
Some people come to the show just to gawk, others to take a trip down memory lane and see yesteryears' disposable objects elevated to collectible status. Several times I came across toys like ones I played with as a boy. After a while I began to feel like an antique myself.
When the hour to leave came, I waited at the gate while Liet ran off on a last-minute (but unfulfilled) quest for the booth selling Christmas jewelry. As I stood there, a steady stream of happy customers passed by: two women hauling a table, a man with a what-not shelf hooked over one shoulder, another bearing an oval mirror.
How pleasant it was to realize that the orphaned pieces they carried, separated forever from those who had owned and loved them last, had been adopted and would live new lives in new homes.
Dale M. Brown is formerly an editor for Time-Life Books. He resides in Alexandria, Va.
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On to the show
From LAX, connecting service (change of planes) to Syracuse is available on American, United, US Airways, Delta and Continental. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $369.
SHOW HOURS, TICKETS:
The show is along U.S. 20 south of, and about halfway between, Syracuse and Utica. From Syracuse: follow New York 92 south through Manlius to Cazenovia, then east on U.S. 20 to Bouckville. Show hours 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 21 ($7 entrance fee before 9 a.m., $6 from 9 a.m.) and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 22 ($6). A weekend pass costs $7; for $40, you can also attend the show Friday as dealers unpack, starting at 10 a.m. For information: (315) 824-2462, http://www.bouckvilleantiqueshows.com .
WHERE TO EAT:
Nonprofit vendors sell food at the show. For after-show hours, there are several possibilities:
Ye Olde Landmark Tavern, 6722 U.S. 20, Bouckville; (315) 893-1810, http://www.yeoldelandmark.com . American food with a colonial touch served in an 1850s landmark. Dinner only. Entrees $15-$23.
Quacks Diner, 7239 U.S. 20 (two miles from Bouckville); (315) 893-1806. Dinner entrees $6.75-$13.
Corner Grill, Colgate Inn, Payne and Madison streets, Hamilton (home to Colgate University; five miles from Bouckville); (315) 824-2300. Wood-fired grill. Dinner entrees $14.95-$24.
WHERE TO STAY:
Accommodations in the immediate area are usually booked by early June. For more information, (800) 684-7320.
TO LEARN MORE:
Madison County Tourism, Brooks Hall, U.S. 20, Morrisville, N.Y. 13408; (800) 684-7320, http://www.madisontourism.com .
Empire State Division of Tourism, 30 S. Pearl St., Albany, NY 12245; (800) I-LOVE-NY (456-8369) or (518) 474-4116, fax (518) 292-5893, http://www.iloveny.com .
— Dale M. Brown