What I have learned about Spring Carlisle is that everything I think I know or understand, I really don’t, at least not unless Carlisle is some odd parallel universe.
For example, it’s one thing to hear that the swap meet at Spring Carlisle is large, but it’s another to realize that over the course of four days you end up walking 18 miles —yes, 18 miles! —if you want to see everything.
Much like the unique home-made shopping carts I observed, just when you think you have seen it all, you really haven’t.
When I think of a swap meet at a car show, I expect to see lots of car parts and other car-related things. However, in this Twilight Zone that is Carlisle Pennsylvania, I found everything I could ever possibly want, things I didn’t need, things that made me laugh, and things that made me wonder why they were ever made in the first place or what purpose they could possibly serve.
Some of the oddities of the Spring Carlisle swap meet included a giant bull statue, a huge dragon statue, interesting dolls and mannequins, various children’s rides, antique buggies, kitchen towels and vintage televisions.
What I enjoyed seeing the most were the vintage books and brochures used to sell cars and top educate the new owners.
As I was enjoying the swap meet it almost became a game to name the most obscure car make, model and year to see if someone had it.
Of course, they always did.
Photos by Nicole James