Spoils of the Rose Bowl | Deadstock U.S. Gov’t Towels

In a beautiful episode of good timing, my trip to Los Angeles had me in town for Rose Bowl Sunday. A few friends and I went out to Pasadena to peruse all of the good vintage clothing, furniture and objects. The trip reminded me that the Rose Bowl is different than other flea markets I normally attend out East. Even compared to Brimfield, the Rose Bowl is all business, especially the clothing section. Those people are there for one reason only, and they take that shit seriously. I’m not saying it is bad – and you can totally find a deal here or there – I’m just saying the whole undertaking is just business. As long as you go into it with that mindset, you are okay. One vendor in particular was a total dick to me for taking pictures of his booth, which sort of set the tone for the whole day. But I understand how people are weary of folks at those shows. You never know who is who. Plus, every asshole with a camera and a computer has a “blog” now. Whatever the hell those things are.

Encounters of the rude kind aside, I did manage to scoop up some really cool deadstock government towels. The guy I bought them from (I picked up about 10 for a few bucks each) told me they came from a hospital circa 1954. He had a bundle of them, along with some brand new enamel wear, wrapped in the original packaging. These are the kinds of things that keep me coming back to flea markets. I love all of this old random stuff.

Comments on “Spoils of the Rose Bowl | Deadstock U.S. Gov’t Towels

    Andrea on June 16, 2010 10:26 PM:

    The enamelware! Did you score the enamelware?

    Wjletch on June 16, 2010 11:47 PM:

    Good ol’ southern quality right there….

    Michael Williams on June 17, 2010 2:26 AM:

    I don’t allow myself to buy enamelware anymore — I own too much! It was really great stuff though…

    Shawn on June 17, 2010 7:36 AM:

    The Rose Bowl is 100% business, with every retailer in the US and Japan having their design team search the vintage clothing, it has to be. Spoke to one vendor last time I was there and he said he makes his ‘year’ selling to the retailers. Makes you really appreciate the smaller, more local markets that we all go to on weekends or once a month.

    Great find, reminds me of a box of dead-stock towels a friend of mine had for his pool. Purchased them from the manufacturer that made them for the YMCA. Classic size, white with a blue or red stripe, with YMCA down the middle.

    DavidH on June 17, 2010 8:59 AM:

    Alas, the PCC Flea in Pasadena is still for the everyman. Check it out if you can.

    william on June 17, 2010 10:33 AM:

    There is an “everyman” flea market in Long Beach, Ca. at Veterans Staduim. 3rd Sunday of every month.

    unitedstyle on June 17, 2010 11:01 AM:

    Seconds on the Long Beach Flea. There’s a few vendors from the Rose Bowl who also exhibit there. A lot less overwhelming for the first-timer. $5 to get in.

    R4 on June 17, 2010 12:36 PM:

    I think there is some fun/conversations to be had between the business as you get to know some of these guys…it is an intense scene though. Business is still super slow that side of the flood gutter…..and given how many vintage items are sold there and turned into garments/income for larger companies-for their pattern/patches/wear taking photo’s can be perceived as creative shoplifting from the vendors perspective. More relaxed on photo’s across the bridge.

    Ryan on June 17, 2010 12:54 PM:

    did you by chance pick up any of them good ol’ “made in usa” shrek mcdonalds glasses?

    TVD on June 17, 2010 1:01 PM:

    Some good flea markets (veterans stadium) and vintage stores in long beach for sure. Michael, i will show u around if you are in the hood.

    david on June 17, 2010 3:58 PM:

    omg just awesome….hopefully you didnt leave the enamalware behind,
    shame on you if you did…pristine enamalware is almost impossible to find. it’s always chipped up….since you were in los angeles did you stop by the flea at Fairfax high school..it’s every sunday….next time if you didnt…it doesnt get raped by dealers so theres always good stuff !

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