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Amelia Antiquing – Teenager Style

article and photos by guest blogger Fiona Chace-Donahue (actual teenager visiting from Maine)

Antiquing is an activity that young people just don’t seem to do. I want to challenge the idea that antiquing is not for teenagers, because as a teenager myself I truly feel that antiquing is an activity for people of all ages. Whether you find lost pirate treasure in a shoe box or just browse the book collection, you are almost guaranteed to discover something to your liking that can be bought at a reasonable price!

Amelia Island has several downtown art and antique shops and I made it my mission to visit each of them to find interesting items for teenagers, notoriously bored by anything old and not electronic. Eight Flags Antique Market  (602 Centre Street) is where I ultimately spent three hours over the next two days. I tiptoed through the door and was greeted by that old smell: the dusty yet homey scent that reminds me of an attic. I was surprised and happy to find that the woman working at the desk did not ask me to leave my giant backpack behind the counter. I had expected her to because one, it was so big that as I moved about the tightly packed store, I was constantly bumping into delicate things and two, because teenagers have a bad reputation relating to shoplifting. I wove through the store and was thrilled to find just what I was looking for: old postcards. The selection was huge and I dove right in, intent on finding a love-letter postcard. After digging through the Valentines section, I found what I wanted: a postcard from a wife to her husband wishing him “many lovely days with good luck and good health and everything that’s good” signed, his loving wife. I also found a little love story on postcard that was written all over in tiny German, even over the postage stamp box. After my search for love, I looked at the state postcards and was delighted to find one from my hometown in Maine. Being the sentimental teenager that I am, I picked out a postcard from my state that had a map on it and mailed it to my geography-nerd friend back in Maine, asking him to prom and indicating the location of the dance with a little star on the map.

Messages from the past

Messages from the past

Once I was done reliving old love stories via postcard correspondence, I headed to the record section. It may be a little hipster of me, but I love records and truly think that everything sounds better on vinyl. And there is no better place than an antique store to find deals on great records. I thumbed through the hundreds of brightly colored albums and finally decided on a pink copy of the Beach Boys album, Pet Sounds. Near the extensive record collection, I saw some large posters. Judging by the pictures and text, most were from the 50s and 60s, but their age didn’t take away from their charm. Who doesn’t want a Louisiana Sweet Potato poster to hang above her bed? Around the corner from the posters – viewer discretion is advised due to graphic images – were sticker-covered skateboards with fairly new wheels, several surfboards in decent condition, and hundreds of matchbox cars.

For the superhero lovers, I found Marvel comic books from the past few decades and for the theater enthusiasts, more pieces of jewelry, both costume and real, than I have ever seen, from bracelets and earrings to long and elaborate necklaces and big rings. And for those who don’t care for the items listed above, I found light-up flamingos and glowing signs saying “EAT,” BEACH,” and “RELAX” as well as designer bags and shoes and a whole area of the store dedicated to Coke products, from Super Bowl and Olympics Coke bottles to refrigerators and snowboards. And not-to-be-forgotten, for those of us who enjoy the finer things in life, I discovered romantic dressing robes, fur stoles, and lambskin gloves.

Eight Flags isn’t the only teenager-friendly antique shop in town. I went to Trailer Park Collectibles, (702 Centre Street) which has an amazing collection of rubber duckies as well a candy station, and Pickers Market where I was delighted to be refreshed by complimentary cookies and lemonade while I perused the large store which featured large amounts used books, movies and CDs that someone would actually want.

Throughout my experience with Amelia Island’s downtown antique shops, I wasn’t treated like a suspect teenager, I was treated with the same respect as the adults in the store, even as I dug through the matchbox cars and rearranged items to take pictures. So if you are a teenager on Amelia Island, give antiquing a try; it might surprise you with its treasures. Take a step into the past and come out on the other side with either the knowledge that antiquing is really not for you – or with two less dollars and a yellow beanie baby.

Fiona will be attending Mount Holyoke College in the fall, and bringing some of her Amelia Island treasures along with her.  Find out about Amelia Island’s unique places to shop for antiques and more here.  

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