To Market to Market…….

To Market, to market.
Another memorable aspect of those times in The Inner West was the markets in church yards on each Saturday. They are still going but many have now turned into new goods markets, mainly selling cheap trinkets, Chinese socks and aluminium sauce pan with anodized pink lids. The best part of the ’old’ markets were the food stalls. We knew a couple that used to live near us but had moved to somewhere far away. He was a steady husband but seemed more interested in jazz than earn money to keep family. She was German and the pillar of that family. Then, as mysteriously they had disappeared they turned up as stall holders of organic fruit and vegetables. They had become vegetarians but on many occasions I had seen him slip away from his greens and leave the wife to man the stall and he would be munching on a meaty Chinese spring roll.
Years earlier, when they were still living in the Inner West, the wife had taken on the franchise of organic cosmetics. It was supposed to have been made from mink oil and was credited with having miraculous properties and healing powers. She was struggling but forever optimistic hoping to keep their house and family together while he would be glued to the radio, listening to jazz. He claimed to be a trumpet player but no one had actually ever heard him play.
Anyway, a mink oil party was arranged at someone’s place on the waterfront and the host was kind enough to cater and provide coffee, cool drinks. The evening proceeded well and the different mink oil products were displayed at the front on trestle table with a nice table cloth. The wife took the stand and started explaining the benefits of the products and some clients of her who had already purchased the products were in agreement that it had helped them obtain better skins. Blemishes had disappeared and they even felt better.
The magic of the mink animal and its well known healing properties throughout the centuries were touched upon, when out of the blue another German, a man this time, got up to say that his wife had tried it and her skin had broken out in rashes. The product was expensive and he felt it was a waste of money!
The evening turned sour and the seller of the products was seen to cry and wipe tears. She did so much her best to make things work out. The cruel fate and general difficulties tipped the bucket over. Soon after, they disappeared from the scene, only to pop up as organic fruit and vegies sellers at the Saturday markets years later. One of their sons must have inherited some of the perceived trumpet skills of his father from mouth to fingers as he played the violin extremely well. He had become a very confident boy and earned good money busking in front of the church were the markets were being held.

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