By Frank Lewis
The city of Portsmouth held its first flea market Saturday, outside Spartan Municipal Stadium, and though a couple of raindrops fell, most folks just popped out an umbrella and kept shopping. Minutes later — at about 8:30 a.m.— the sun came out and all was right with the world again.
“I think so far we’re having a pretty good turnout,” Portsmouth Second Ward Councilman Rich Saddler said. “I think we’ve got about 40 vendors so far and there’s still a few people coming in. We’ve just been dealing with the parking, but I think it’s going pretty good so far.”
The flea market was the brainchild of Portsmouth’s Parks, Recreation, Service, Buildings and Cultural Committee, which Saddler chairs.
“It is our first time out and I think by the looks of it, if it continues to go like it has been throughout the course of the day, then we’ll probably do one in the middle of summer and definitely one this fall,” Saddler said.
Jeanette Jennings was able to come out from under her umbrella long enough to speak with pride about her recent accomplishments and the handcrafted items she had created for the sale.
“Tuesday will mark my one year and two weeks clean and sober, off of the drugs. It feels amazing after 18 years of addiction,” Jennings said. “So I started by doing my home in Americana and that’s where it began.”
Jennings was talking about her hand-painted items and other creations which had served as a therapeutic backdrop to her recovery.
“I make everything from Americana to apples, the little blackboards. I’ve got the swags,” Jennings said. “My mother Lareda helped me. She did the lighthouses out of the flowerpots. We’ve already sold four of those. We paint. We decorate with Americana stars, ribbons. We’ve done magnets. There’s cinnamon over there.”
Joe Stotridge had not done anything with woodworking since high school, but in recent days that has changed.
“It has been 17 plus years and here recently for just a hobby, because I have had health issues, I have picked it back up,” he said.
Stotridge said people interested in his items can reach him at the warehouse at 438 East Second St. or on Facebook under Old Crow Primitives.
“We try to make what people want,” Stotridge said. “I do custom things too. If a person wants a certain thing I try to make it.”
People sold items that looked like they had been stored in the garages for awhile others had new items, including Cincinnati Bengals jerseys and hobby accessories.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.