This featured dealer is a gentleman who strolls in the door and always displays a smile with his salutation of Hello, Good Morning, Happy Saturday, or School's ALMOST out. …..He is an expressive individual who genuinely, radiates kindness when you are in his presence. A high School English teacher in the TPS School District and has been a vendor at River City Trading Post since January of 2002...
You might recognize his number: ME74 and his booth “Oddities” on Aisle 1. We would like to introduce you to....Michael Easter.
R: Do you have a pattern when you are out looking for sales? Do you map-out or do you just drive?
M E: If it is garage sale season, I just drive. If sales are lean, I map-out with Craigslist and the Tulsa World. At garage sales, I like to hit the garage first, and sheds second, while I look around the yard for ornaments. I avoid glass cases and I poke around in closets and bathrooms.
R: Your Mother and Sister are both vendors here at the store. Do you attend sales together?
M.E: Yes. Mom has been a vendor here for ten years and my Sister just came on the scene. We don't like the same things.
R: When you were a small child, what was your first collection?
M.E: My earliest collections were rocks, shells, bottle caps, (laughing) this list is long...I then moved on to coins and stamps. By adolescent years, I was collecting music posters and albums. It became serious for me when my Dad built shelves in my room so I could display items. I would receive $2.00 a week for allowance; I rode my bike, dug through trash and was that weird, little kid at yard sales.
R: Define ODDITIES:
M.E: Unconventional, unexpected, distinct ware patterns, good structure and things with unique history. I like things with weird patterns and things on the macabre side; medical models, bones, old magic. In Missouri I picked up two coffins. One is from the 1800's and one is what they call a basket casket, a carryout to transport.
R: What has been your greatest treasure over the years of collecting, buying and selling?
M.E: I would say that’s kind of like picking a favorite child. (Laughing) I have a 1940's, Wooden, Carved Mexican Hutch. I also have a turn-of-the-century, Art Deco French Lamp. The cool thing about the lamp was that it was $10.00 and I was struggling if I could pay the $10.00. The lady behind me said “BUY IT”. So, I bought it! I appreciated her being a decent person, when she could have easily purchased it, for herself.
R: Do you buy what you love or buy to sell?
M.E: Great Question. In 2002, I had a used trash can lid that read “Junk Lover's Booth O'Stuff.” (Laughing) I was selling a lot of different things back then. Since then my booth has been through different incarnations, focusing on what people wanted to buy. Now, I am buying what I love and selling what I love. Aesthetically, it has been a long process for me.
R: Five things you can't live without:
M.E: 1. (smiling) Coffee, no cream, no sugar- (laughing) top of the list.
2. I need time outside. The Santa Fe Sky.
3. Music- In the car, or in the house...I blare music. I need the vibrations. It's a good thing for me.
R: Some of your favorite Musical Artists?
M.E: Karen Carpenter, Missy Elliott, Rufus Waynewright- He has such a beautiful voice. A crooner.
4. A fan.
5. Candles that represent the elements. Earth, Air, Fire, and Water
R: You are a High School English Teacher. Are you strict or a push-over?
M.E: I am a rigorous teacher with a big heart. Some areas I am strict, others, a total push-over. I would rather have a conversation with the student rather than dismiss them. I have known since I was a junior in High School that I wanted to become a teacher. It just comes natural for me.
R: Do you have a favorite Author?
M.E: Cormac McCarthy, his prose is dreamy with long descriptions that flow. I fall into his books. There is a sublime beauty to his books.
R: Favorite Place to vacation?
M.E: Northern New Mexico
R: Do you have any advice for new dealers?
M.E: (Claps Hands) Don't try to make booth rent with one large item. Price aggressively, work your booth, talk to shoppers, and move your items. It makes a huge difference.
R: Thank you, Michael
M.E: Thank you!