Saturday, March 31, 2018

Flea Market Finds 2017! The Best of the Weird, Wild and Wacky!

Most every Sunday morning I like to get up early with my 3 year old son Aiden and make the still dark drive to the Flea Market.
I don’t know if I really ‘like’ to get up at 5am, but I do love going on this odd pop culture archaeological dig poking around the 100s of vendors odds ’n ends looking for treasure! What I consider treasure might be different than most. It wouldn’t be featured on ‘Antiques Roadshow, and it’s not anything that’s going to be worth a fortune. It’s going to be something oddball and offbeat, cute and crazy or strange, sleazy and sexist. And hopefully it’s priced under $5! For Aiden, the point is to get as many Hot Wheels as he can talk me into buying.
The house is pretty jam-packed with past freaky finds, so I’m on a photographic ‘catch and release’
program where the fun is sharing the the sights with you!
Of course, if I run across something so head-scratchingly weird, wild and wacky that I can’t believe it exists,
I’ll somehow find room to squeeze it in sideways at O’Connell Museum!
So here are a batch of snapshots of the past year that you’re welcome to leisurely scroll through at any time of the day!
The only way that true love can be expressed, with dolphins on velvet!
A photo album with pics from Beatlemania!
Why does everyone else seem to have a much more exciting life than me?
Short story- my daughter Kieran once long ago exclaimed from the back in her carseat that she wanted to be a tollbooth operator. Years later I figured out that she just thought you built a shack and everyone drove by and handed you money.
I'd like that career too!
"The happiest invention since a child's laughter"
was also the tag line I used to sell my book!
"How to tell it's time to change the diapers" art for new parents.

A life-sized Big Bird- because who doesn't need a life-sized Big Bird?!
You wanted the best scrapbook, you got the best scrapbook!!!

"Take the bus!"
Your very own "Human Centipede 3" conversation piece!

The flea market- your best chance to snag paintings of angel dogs!
I go to the flea market to get out of the house-
I thought I was back lying on the living room floor!
At least now I'm inspired for Christmas decorating!
You'll see 3 things at every flea market, California Raisins figurines, Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass album 'Whipped Cream' and the Charlie Weaver bartender!
To go with the Charlie Weaver bartender.
Good News!
Now I'm available to take on GI Joe illustration assignments!

You can never go wrong with Batman bootlegs!
Back when The Theatre was quality entertainment!

This kept Junior calm.
Bring me the head of the next person who says, "I used to have this as a kid!"
"Mitch, you're looking great! What's different about you?"
Oh- that's my little secret!
I'm guessing this children's book had a sponsor.
For when I forget to pay the cable bill.

I pick up all my down home wisdom at the flea market.
Just for weekends!

Mattel is up on current events.
The 'born without a spine' medical chart.

A touch of class has been added to the O'Connell Manor.
Aiden and a calf statue fight over his Hot Wheels.
Someone's been up to something.

Homemade pillow cases.
Yes, I bought 'em!

Higher education.

I don't care if the dates don't match exactly!
This is being used as my 2018 calendar!
When I was a kid we didn't have those fancy iPhones ...and we liked it!

When Ringling Bros. ended the circus, a lot of clowns scrambled to find work!
I'm serious about safe sex!

Be prepared to see anything at 5am.

If you're serious about Thomas Kinked, the flea is the ONLY place to make your purchase!
I buy these for myself then pretend my kids gave 'em to me.
Smiles are free!

Even at the flea, I want to look my best!

In case you weren't sure, it's old.
Where 30% of America makes all their apparel purchases.

When Aiden gets to be too much of a handful,
for $10 and hour the Wolff's Flea Market staff will babysit.

Rule #1 if you decide to vend at the flea.
Bring something to sell!

"Lucky" is a judgement call.

Some things I just can't explain.

You can sure work up an appetite scouting for bargains!
Just make sure you bring a can opener.

Not to be an art critic, but you might have forgotten something.
It's not really 'art' unless it's made with ground colorful pebbles.
Merry Christmas!
Now all little Amy thinks about is sweet revenge on her parents.
Advertising works!
He'll work his way into your heart.
With a knife.
More rugs for my sexy publicly photos!
Yes, you turn the nose to start the music. :-)

Nothing says 'Thanksgiving' more than these!
Reading selections for your every mood!
To pass the time, write your own funny captions. I'll start, "Suzy, meet your Daddy!"

A cowboys dream is to hook up with twins!
From the $1 box!
If I could go back in time, this would be my first stop.

What might happen if you insult a seller with too low a price.

Games specifically for city kids.
"Build a wall around dog parks!"

We have a motto at the flea, "No beer can hat is left behind"!
Sunrise visions of beauty.

How all your pants ended up when I was young.
Where are they now?
Life has been tough for ken.
My painting secret is revealed!

Tarzan is 'the other white meat'.
My dream vehicle to take to the market.
But with a Frazetta painting on the side.
Back when not every kid was special.

Family photos.
PBR wrapping paper. The best way to say "I Love You"!
When you can't make up your mind between the kitten poster and the puppy poster-
just get them both!

The truth is out there!

My first illustration assignment for Playboy!
A highly prized collectors item at $1.
How I feel waking up at 5am or going to bed at 5am.

I know why he's so merry!

I don't want to know.

True story, when Ringling Bros. had their tour with Michu,
my dad took my sister and I backstage and we got to shake hands.
Yes, I've had quite the exciting life!
When the wife talks back one too many times.

Macaroni Art. What Da Vinci would have used if he thought of it.

Yes, "Little Miss No Name" found in the wild!

Help! Get us out of here!
Only if you want to throw like a girl.

Only in America.
Bobby will check Grandmas tumors for 50 cents each.

It can get lonely at the flea market.
I'd be pissed too if someone stuffed me!


My solution to gun control!
The kid that brought this to school in 1976 was beaten up within half an hour.

Add a "Y" and I could hang this in any room of my house.

Some things I find pretty sweet, like this baby's nightlight.

"Dress Good" is right!

Clowns are hilarious!

I'm not going in the van to find out.

The vendor proudly told me that "I made that myself"!

Kids love comics!
Finally, all my Shawn questions have been answered!
Let's get ready to bargain!

His eyes follow you wherever you go.
I recommend the rat.

If I could have thought of any way to use this bowling alley ball return cover,
I would have brought it home in a second.

You can finish the art yourself.
More helpful tools for my career.
A happy clown!

"Mitch, are those new glasses?!"

Nice beaver!
"Excuse me, I'm looking for figurines of pigs having sex."
"Right this way Sir!"

Too exciting for just one photo!

Two arms, no waiting!
How I used to get most of my comics!

I've been looking for a match to my other lampshade for years!
I still regret not buying these.
One of the strangest songs of all time.
YouTube it. :-)
Who cares what time it is?!

"Aw Nertz" and "That For You" are 2 of my famous comeback lines!

The game takes 5 hours to play.
I made it myself.

File under "You'll find anything and everything"!
So good you need TWO exclamation points!
Flea market food. Something light for those long hours of walking under the hot sun.

Two hands, no waiting.
Games you can usually only find in the Vegas 'Toys 'R Us'.
"Will inflate to 15 inches" is from my ad.

Teen heartthrob Barnabas Collins.
I went to one in Tijuana,
I found out this was't the urinal.

If you're looking for a 4' tall cowgirl frog in fishnets and a leopard outfit,
you'll need to come with me to the flea.
The heart wants what the heart wants.
There's a VERY limited market for this item.

I had the same jacket.
No I know how billboards are made!
Shuffleboard and cocktails. I'm there!

Before there was Reservoir Dogs.
I hope it's a left shoe!

Let your freak flag fly at the flea!

Hey kids, lets look at the family photos!

1988 to 1993, the best years of American art!
Actual ceramic banks. And I've bought 4 of them so far. :-)

I'm guessing this worked.
Pretty sure this 'Doctor" is making it up as he goes along.

Thinking these are "Don't" signs.

They're on hold.

Perfect for my living room!
You think your day is bad.

Dented, rusty, moldy and chipped. Otherwise 'Mint'!

I see you!

Give me a few weeks and I'll be available for kid's birthday parties!
"Dramatic Dollies" are my passion!
At first I thought they were 'spinning plate' kits.

If only I had a backyard tree!
It's called cough syrup and vodka.

It's what clowns are made of.
It was that 3rd burrito.
If you're going to be a welder, do it right.
I have a weakness for fluff.

When pets and owners start to look alike.

When my friends and I want the same item.
He was caught right before he had to pee.

From the "Stan" mask craze of the late 90s!

Sometimes the vendors will save me the trouble of making up funny captions.

When you're waiting to find out the winners.

I ONLY buy items recommended by Miss America!

If you visit my home you'll wonder why you suddenly developed a constant ringing in your ears.
Don't worry, it's not you!


Area 51!

Cactus planter. Hilarity enthuses.
I'm thinking one of these tapes is a Cold Case file.
Kids say the darnedest things!
A series of 2' high greeting cards.


A wig on a vacum.
I will NOT make any 'perfect wife' jokes!

Another item I regret leaving behind!
When you pay for the rights to the show, but not Peter Falk's likeness.

And you thought no one was making great stone and shell art anymore!

Your guess is as good as mine as to what that sticky white goop is.

Citizens Arrest! Citizens Arrest!
I think they know all about Oral Sex and the Law!

Aiden dd not like his gift!

You'll have to buy it to find out!
Just as I found them.

Yes, really signed by Fury!
Truth in advertising!

Pretty sure this is from a Clive Barker book.

I personally would have airbrushed out the poop before it went to the printer.
More great ideas that didn't pan out.

More Mitch O'Connell treasures found in the wild!

"Santa Wives"! Coming to TV this Fall!

Don't put your nose where it doesn't belong.

More projects I'm working on for the Church Bazaar.
Do you have any extra glue?

Since you can't go to Bozo's Circus,
have Bozo's Circus come to you with the GRAND! PRIZE! GAME!

Everything and the kitchen sink!
G'nite everyone!
Tip your waitstaff!

Wait- Jesus wasn't blonde and blue eyed?!
Kids today!
Get a job!

Do of the Day winner!

The only painting of a nude man hand-gliding that exists on Earth!
So that would be one too many.
"All Wow!" is another phrase I've been using to advertise my new book!

Gang Barbie.
Knives ...for her!

There was the brief window in the late 60s when you could 'get rich quick' being a mime.

I'm been giving away these "Adult" 8-Track stickers with every purchase @
Ronald couldn't take it anymore.
3-D relief light-up sofa sized paintings.
What more do you want?!
More Vendor humor! :-)
I will by any Pink Lady merchandising!
I'm going with 'rat'.
The Flea "PC" Market!

I like this, but that's why I bring a camera,
so there's still room for me to fit in the house (if I walk sideways).
Right next to the white baby golfing diapers.
Stylin' with my new coat and metal detector!

The stuff of nightmares.
I had a dog like that.

Beauty has a new name.

Let's play doctor. I bring this on first dates.
Jus' passin' the time.

I bought this one for my daughter.
Too cool!

I don't want to know what Elmer did to win this.

Chick did a guy who plays the zither.

We decided to stuff Grandpa,

The designer of the Sex Pistols first album is now vending.

I really bought it.
And yes, it didn't work.

Life at the Ponderosa.
Don't judge!

And that sums up the Flea Market!