My blog contains a large number of posts. A few are included in various other publications, or as attached stories and chronicles in my emails; many more are found on loose leaves, while some are written carelessly in margins and blank spaces of my notebooks. Of the last sort most are nonsense, now often unintelligible even when legible, or half-remembered fragments. Enjoy responsibly.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Anderson, SC Jockey Lot

On the northern county line of Anderson County in South Carolina exists a cultural anomaly of epic proportions. Anything, and I do mean anything, seems to exist for sale in this one location. It draws people from as far away as the swamps of Florida to the back woods of Gatlinburg, TN, and even from the parts of Alabama where the term relative humidity literally means the moisture between two cousins having sex. This 65 acre flea market is the largest in the Southern United States and goes by the simple name: The Jockey Lot.

Each visit to the Jockey Lot is an experience that everyone in my family cherishes - mostly because it makes us feel better about ourselves. Now I’m not saying that these individuals are below the national average of intelligence, hygiene or “correct” breeding, I’m just saying that a large percentage of them prove that there is no minimum or maximum amount of chromosomes required to successfully procreate. This is the crowd that makes Larry the Cable Guy culturally relevant and on job applications probably list smoking as a hobby.

I wouldn’t even mention that their personalities can be fully described in hat form, that they consider teeth something they’re going to have to buy, or that most of them have more invested in their trucks than in their homes, except that I neglected to mention you wouldn’t get a full picture of the people who will be your shopping companions if you should ever decide to visit the Lot de Jockey.

You see, the Jockey Lot is a place that allows people to openly sell live poultry, next to pirated DVDs of last week’s movie release, adjacent to a pile of used and unwashed clothes, down the row from open boxes of medication, across from someone serving food that could give diabetes to a sugar ant, and all from sellers who consider showering optional. It is a enormous garage sale of people who don’t have to look their neighbor in the eye while trying to sell them last year’s must have, and still boxed, As Seen on TV products.

Personally, I find the fact that their high art comes in DVD form, that they classify Sunny D a fruit juice and think of Jesus mostly as an accessory, as kind of endearing. In all honesty, there really isn’t anything more entertaining than waking up early on a Saturday morning, hurriedly driving to this mecca of shopping delights, hopping out of the car to immediately see a mullet-clad female using the term redneck as a complement to try to woo her hubby in the Buy American shirt to purchase a cheap Chinese knockoff of a European bag designer while their toddler is shooed away from the semi-automatic gun table. So if you do go and happen to see something like that, and you will, just know that it’s going to be a good day at the Anderson Jockey Lot.


Butch said...

I'm acutally a vendor at the Anderson Jockey Lot and have been for 13 years. I operate a photography booth. From your photo I make a wide range of souvenir items from tshirts to car tags and everything inbetween. My booth allows me to advertise my Wedding Photography bussiness. The Jockey Lot is my life's blood. Without the Jockey Lot I could not survive. Which brings me to why I'm writing this post. It's been rumored that Wal-Mart is trying to, or has, purchased the Jockey Lot. I can't find anyone who will confirm or deni this rumor. If the rumor is true, then what happens to my life. And not only me but the other 1,500 vendors at the Jockey Lot. I've heard horror stories about Wal-Mart putting people out of bussiness. Just never thought it would happen to me.

Brian Hamilton said...

I have several friends who work for the country who have all told me that this is just a rumor that is going around.