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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Shrewdness (03/07/05)

TITLE: Grandpa at the Fleamarket
By CL Gammon
03/07/05


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My grandpa possessed a certain shrewdness. He could see through phonies better than anyone I ever met. Many times I watched him as he politely listened to a salesman or politician without ever being taken in by even the slickest pitch.

Once grandpa took me to a flea market in the next town over from where we lived. The flea market was a marvel. There were hundreds of tables lined up as far as I could see. Each table was brimming with all kinds of different items. It seemed to me that everything on earth was for sale at the flea market and my six-year-old eyes were filled with amazement. My grandpa seemed unmoved, however, until we came upon a table littered with model train engines, boxcars, cabooses and everything else a model train enthusiast could imagine. My grandpa was an old railroad man and he was clearly intrigued.

Grandpa picked up at a shiny engine and a cigar chewing, heavy-set man behind the table said, “That one’s $25. It is an antique.” Grandpa set the engine down gently.

Grandpa next began to reach out for a yellow miniature boxcar marked “Union Pacific.” The man said, “Oh, that’s a nice piece. It is a very old antique. You can have it for $25.” Grandpa pulled his hand back, but he didn’t respond.

Then a little red and black caboose caught grandpa’s eye and he ran his index finger across the top of it. The man said, “Wow, that one is a really rare antique. I will let it go for $25.”

Grandpa removed his finger from the caboose and said to me, “All this guy has is old stuff. Let’s go find something new.”

Grandpa took my hand and as we walked away slowly, the cigar chewing man called out, “Hold on now. What will you give me for them.”

Grandpa took out his old red bandana and wiped the sweat from his bald head. He then steered me around and we went back to the “train table.” After several moments of heated haggling, grandpa secured the shiny engine, the yellow boxcar and the caboose all for total of $10. All three -- they have really become antiques now -- sit on my mantelpiece today. My grandpa possessed a certain shrewdness.


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This article has been read 754 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Crista Darr03/14/05
A delightful, well-written story!
Phyllis Inniss 03/15/05
I agree this is a delightful story. You must be proud of your grandpa.
L.M. Lee03/15/05
good example of bartering.
donna robinson03/15/05
You let the reader feel the patience of the grandpa as he bartered and let us see him through this six year old's eyes. I could just see the young child not saying a word, watching the grandpa!
Joanne Malley03/16/05
I love antique shopping. I think I could learn a thing or two from your dear old grandpa! Nice story. :) Joanne
Sally Hanan03/16/05
Very enjoyable. Well done.
karen McLamb03/16/05
Very Good! This will keep you reading it's so good.