Carmel Magazine

Spring-Summer 2019

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Page 112 of 267

The next junking expedition was to a little agricultural town called Spreckels. The drive is only 15 miles and about a half hour from Carmel, winding through a hillside dotted with wineries and bucolic scenery. Spreckels was home to John Steinbeck who lived and worked there for a time, and used it as a setting for "Tortilla Flat." It was also used as a loca- tion for the 1955 Steinbeck movie, "East of Eden." It was built to house workers for the Spreckels Sugar Company plant which operated there from 1899 until 1982. The Spreckels plant was the world's largest sugar beet factory, which has a special meaning to me, as my father's first crops were growing sugar beets in the Northern California farmlands. This was Spreckels annual "all-town-yard sale." Charming houses main- tain the style and spirit of the town in their "lucky charm" pastel colors with white picket fences. My first finds were paint palette scrapers. Their handles were all weathered from use, and some traces of old paint and stucco still remained on the well-worn blades. But it was a pile of old gal- vanized steel hooks against a fence that caught my eye. I wasn't sure what they were, but I totally wanted them. I later found that they were meat hooks from an old slaughterhouse in the City. Everyone needs one in their life to hang plants from. Nothing shouts out "coastal" more than the Moss Landing Antique Street Fair, which is only a 25-minute drive from Carmel, set amidst the his- toric harbor town of Moss Landing. It's a favorite bay for watching blue and fin whales along with humpbacks, an occasional orca and plenty of dolphins. There's so much mist that vendors cover their wares with umbrellas and constantly swipe their metal items from the dampness. The booths are filled with all things coastal. Concrete mermaids, crusty wooden oars, surfboards and galvanized everything. Although I adore anything vintage leather, my find of the day was a huge galvanized whale. Everyone wanted C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 9 111 A great coastal display at the Moss Landing Antique Street Fair. Dealers set up in the morning mist and straw fields, their tables full of galvanized junk, crusty boat oars, concrete mermaids, vintage surfboards and flea market paintings.

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