While visiting family in the rural and serene riverside town of Aberdeen, Ohio I had a chance to check out the local flea market in search of cool automotive things.

The flea market, located In Ripley, Ohio, home of the famous Underground Railroad stop Rankin House and the states annual tobacco festival, is located along State Route 52, the Ohio Scenic Byway. The flea market appears to be the outcome of not knowing what to do with a large warehouse that was constructed in the center of town to hold that ONE annual tobacco festival.

The flea market wasn’t so much a market with vendors, but rather a dumping ground for evicted hoarders. Areas were sectioned off for vendors to peddle their goods or in many cases piled their belongings. Most of the sections were piled with very random stuff (read: junk) with no caretaker around to give money.

One woman asked a vendor who was guarding his treasures if he knew where she could find the person was responsible for the goods near the entrance. The vendor replied, “Ma’am, I do reckon that’s Tommy’s stuff. I know he’s a retired boatman, but I ain’t seen him in a few weeks.”

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Then I came across this interesting little knife laying next to a Zippo and a TMNT game. Yeeeeaaaaah...

For anyone into nostalgia (sans racism), especially anything from 1980-1995, to include food (i.e. box of Little Debbie foodcakes expired in 1989) and clothes; this place was a goldmine.

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Stacked on a shelf right in front of me were three of my favorite cassette tapes: Hammer, Vanilla Ice and Corey Hart.

Next to those tapes was a BRAND NEW VHS copy of Top Gun and just 10 feet away I would come across a collection of original Atari games to include F1 Pole Position.

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Out of the corner of my eye something gold grabbed my attention - a Nintendo Game Genie. Flashbacks of code books and cheating my way through a slew of NES games came rushing back. I felt 12 years-old. Again.

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All of this was exciting, the digging, the reminiscing, but none of it had me reaching for my wallet.

Then I came to a large bin filled with die cast cars - JACKPOT!

I picked out all the ones that I thought were interesting. The vendor, who had an Obama-Hitler photo up in his booth, was nice enough to toss in two extra for free for my little boy who was tugging at my shirt saying “up, up, up!”

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I got home and put the little guy to bed who was worn out from all the sweating and exploring during our father-and-son junk dive. After putting him down I snapped a few photos of the cars I purchased using my iPhone and two sheets of white printer paper.

It’s 7:00 as I write this. In an hour we are getting back on the road for our journey back to Washington D.C. Ohio is a great place to visit, filled with flea market treasures, fried everything foods and very nice people…minus the ones using heroin.

Below are the die cast treasures I found in the flea market.

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