Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tales From the Front: First Monday Trade Days in Canton

Sandy and our daughter, Mindy, along with Brenda (Sandy’s sister) and LouAnn, formed the group of hens who dreamed this up.  On only one other occasion, years ago, was I forced to attend the shoppers’ monthly feeding frenzy in Canton, Texas.  I told myself then that it would take a team of Clydesdales to drag me there again. It wasn't exactly a team of Clydesdales, but it was a bunch of horses--about 350 of them, that would indeed take me back to Canton.

Phannie's RV Port, with all lights on preparing for next day's departure to Canton

Sandy gives Phannie's wood cabinets a drink

Mason and Sandy, ready for departure 

It’s not that I begrudge my beloved an occasional pilgrimage to this vast assemblage of flea-market Bedouins for reasons that only females, I think, can fully comprehend.  Most guys (with, uh, some exceptions) just don’t get it—the fascination with all things cute and kitschy.  And I can assure you that is an apt description of all of the stuff these gals felt compelled to buy rather than to hold on to the money burning a hole in their purses.  But money just isn't cute, and it is entirely acceptable for them to exchange it for something that is.   Frankly, I would rather have squirreled away the money or spent it on something worthwhile, like the latest electronic gadget I think I might want.  The problem is, I can't really use this as an argument, because I get way more of these than I should.  So, I wisely keep quiet, smile a lot and keep the cash flowing.  Perhaps to demonstrate her annoying selflessness, Sandy limited most of her purchases  to those for our grandson, Mason.  This is fine with me, and I take no small degree of satisfaction in the fact that his parents--and not us--will have to find a place to put all that stuff.  (Sorry, kids!)  
It’s okay, though, that we guys don’t have to understand or appreciate the female mind which, the ladies will probably tell you, has attained a far greater level of sophistication than that of the male.  Male brains, according to them, have either atrophied or even regressed in the eons since we guys emerged from the primordial soup. (Yes, to hear their side of the story, it was only the male of the species who evolved from swamp slime; females, obviously, could only be a Divine creation.  My reaction to this illumination was, predictably, a rather neanderthal-like grunt.)  But I digress.

Main gate at the older section of Canton First Monday park

My role in this Canton escapade, which I happily accepted instead of going into the mosh pit of shoppers at the vendor sheds, was to be (along with Bubba) the bus driver, taxi driver and ATM while they shopped.  No arguments here; parking would have been almost impossible on Saturday, because every piece of Canton's open land was occupied by vehicles for miles around the sellers’ sheds during this weekend and all the rest of the first Mondays.  This was an especially busy weekend, as the sellers had all their Christmas-themed wares available which, for this group of shoppers, was like waving a pork chop in front of a coon hound.  Saturday at the park proved to be a zoo, and our ladies claimed they were unfairly constrained by the crowds from looking at everything they wanted to see.  What a pity, I thought.  
Sandy and LouAnn find bargains!

Sandy with sister Brenda

We had not been able to secure RV space in our desired park—Mill Creek Ranch.  This is a very nice park with beautiful facilities and some very nice park model cabins for those visitors without RVs.  However, bookings are required several months in advance for trade days weekends.  We stayed instead at Canton I-20 RV Park, a very serviceable facility with a friendly and accommodating staff.  Warning:  Reserve your spaces well ahead of time if you’re planning to park anywhere near Canton on trade weekends!
Saturday night’s restaurant selection proved quite successful--
the Red Barn at the Wills Point exit off I-20.  This is a very modest joint, open only on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, serving some fine catfish, shrimp and all the fixins, not to mention some killer cobblers.  We would definitely go there again.  For a great breakfast at a quaint little local dive, try the Bluebird cafe in Wills Point.  A word to the wise: Stay away from Juanita’s Mexican Restaurant in Canton; we’re not sure whose idea of Mexican food this is, but it’s not ours.  Really insipid stuff.  
The ladies’ quest for shopping treasures having remained unrequieted by the constraints of the vast crowd on Saturday, they determined that Bubba and I would return them to the melee on Sunday morning.  This proved to be a much better experience, as the park was far less crowded.  (I have to assume that most folks were in church and not being backsliders like us.) After picking up the girls, we had a nice pizza lunch at Jerry’s on highway 19 and made our way home.  All in all, it was a good weekend trip, and Phannie’s comfortable easy chairs and HD TVs were a perfect place for Bubba and me to kick back until we received the next summons for taxi service.

Sandy, Mason and Mike arrive back at the RV port.  (Mason LOVES RVing!)


  1. For just a second there I was going to feel maybe a tad sorry for you. Not happening.
    You got to drive the big bus and hang out.
    It's the best angle. Ever.

  2. Looks like the girls got some great buys! We try to stay away from Saturdays...Sundays are much less crowded until the church crowd gets there. We go to church early and get there early. Glad you had a wonderful weekend with your grandson!

  3. You really should post more often. You have a great talent for humorous writing :)
    Your description of being dragged to Canton could have come from my other half, if he was a writer :) Not the humorous descriptions, just the unenthusiastic attitude :)

    Great post!

  4. Me thinks you didn't have such a bad time of it. I'm not a shopper so Jim doesn't have to fret about that. But it sure does look like the girls were having a great time.

  5. I vote for spending the money on electronic stiff!

  6. I would have to vote for the electronic stuff too! I hate shopping (and yes, I am a female).... I just love to shop on the internet and have it shipped to my door rather than getting into the mess of shoppers, especially during the Christmas season.


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