Refurnished Thoughts

Discover Vintage America - APRIL 2020

Antiquing in the Age of Coronavirus

by Leigh Elmore

“Just when you’re thinking that you’ve finally got it made, bad news comes knocking at your garden gate.” -- Joni Mitchell

That must be the sentiment of millions of people around the country this spring as the coronavirus makes its way through the population.

Things get slammed into perspective pretty quickly when everyone is faced with avoiding a potentially lethal exposure versus going to the flea market on Saturday morning, but that’s the reality all of us will be experiencing for at least the next several months.

And for the readers and advertisers of Discover Vintage America the effects have been devastating and they continue to mount. Late spring is the traditional time that the antiques and vintage markets perk up after a long winter and community celebrations abound. But this year, the timing of the virus outbreak couldn’t have been worse for spring shows, sales and celebrations.

The greatest priority for every individual is to stay as safe as possible and follow the guidelines established by officials in your specific community. This includes “social distancing,” which is keeping a six-foot buffer between individuals when together. Shelter in place in your homes and avoid contact with others as much as possible. That’s easy enough to write here on the front end of the pandemic. It will be increasingly difficult as time goes on.

Families may have to learn how to be “old-fashioned” again, watching TV together, playing games, etc. Maybe that’s an odd silver lining from the current situation. Social media will continue to play a big role in how we cope with the coronavirus outbreak, as “virtual” events become more commonplace. If you haven’t yet discovered the world of online auctions, this could be your opportunity. Look for more on this topic in the next issue of Discover.

The content of the current issue of Discover Vintage America was created prior to knowing the full effects of the Coronavirus outbreak. We realize that most of our readers pick up an issue to peruse the show listings for the upcoming two months.

Readers will have to assume that some of these shows are going to be cancelled. We have attempted this month to indicate which shows we know have been cancelled. But, please check with any of the show and sales organizers for the final word.

There’s a lot to love in this business and Discover will continue to provide informative content that is useful to collectors, dealers, pickers and browsers. Columnists Peggy Whiteneck, Sandra Starley, Michelle Staley and Anne Gilbert will continue to provide insightful information for dealers and shop owners, quilters and collectors.

We hope you’ll continue to support your local antique dealers, using common sense and taking necessary safety precautions.

This is Leigh Elmore’s final column as editor of Discover Vintage America. He is now officially “retired.” - Chat him up at

Corbion Crable can be contacted at
Leigh Elmore's Refurbished Thoughts Archive — past columns