she was junky when junky wasn’t cool.

she’s large. she’s marge. she’s large marge the party barge. our official fleamarket mascot, junky mode of transportation, and all around good-timin PiNK mobile.

but her story begins loooong ago.

remember the post of the sleepy little town amie & i were lucky enough to grow up in? overton, texas…where the pine trees are tall and the twang is thick? well, large marge spent her early years there. at overton isd. amie & i took many a school roadtrip in that white suburban. it was used for many things…FFA events, UIL meets, tennis & track teams…among many others.

{at a state UIL meet after a roadtrip to austin in marge.circa 1993. yes, that's a GIANT scrunchie in my hair}

when the day came that marge (she didn’t know it then but that was her name) was to be replaced with a shinier, newer ride, she was put up for auction. GypSY daddy & janie hit that auction likes moths to a flame (actually janie hits any auction, junk store, garage sale, or flea market like a moth to a flame…buuuut i digress).  and they walked away with…well, a $300 1980 white suburban. the seats were torn, the dash was dry rotted, and of course, no power locks or windows, but mom and dad just knew they had to rescue ole marge. they knew she needed a new home with our family. they knew she wasn’t meant for the scrap yard, but for great celestial things. she was meant for great adventure.

she. was. to one day be. a … suuuuuperhero (you have to say that oprah-style: suuuuuperrrrr-he-rohhhhhhh) of junky epic proportions.

(actually, i think dad thought she might end up at our farm in arkansas…as a farm cruiser so to speak…but when they brought her home, we loved her and knew that fate had landed at her final and intended destination).

{first trip to the farm for some good timin' river days...our cousins carved their names in the dash}

that was in 2002.

then, we decided she must be pink…

{one of marge's first photoshoots...fortune small business magazine, circa 2005}

with horns on the front, flames down the sides, pink striped curtains, and lots of bumper stickers to make her extra fancy!

and then in 2005, we did what any good gypsy with a salvaged-junkafide pink suburban would do…we held a contest to name her. it had to be the coolest of cool and totally bad-to-the-bone. and we knew we needed a little help from our friends…

submissions came from across the globe…from near and far…from sea to shining sea…

here’s just a few (well, that’s a slight understatement….) for you to peruse:

the JUNK deville – claudia from MN
gypsy soul suburban – pete from CA
big PINK – eddy tom from TX
road trippin JUNKER – betty from new orleans
LOLA – todd from TX
gypsy jalopy – julie from bandera
pinky mcpinkersons – nathan from CA
FLO – caye from el paso
rosa enfuego – hj from TX
crackalackin’ junky-smackin’ – buck from las vegas
ROXI – stephanie from TX
big bertha – meghan from houston
hot, pink and righteous - shane from hollywood
sugar shack – joe pete
lil junker – brandi from NYC
petticoat junktion – carol from TX
gypsyville wrecker – kimberly from RI
pink hunk o’ junk – heather from KS
pepto paddywagon – dee ann from Ft Worth
pink lady wanderlust – angie from FL
pickled fink – janis from KY
large marge, the party barge – theresa from HOLLAND
junk yard DAwG – malisa from TX
pepto gizmo – deb from CO
pinky tuscudaro (fonzie’s girlfriend) – susan from TX
junkillac – Denise from HOUSTON
JUNKy COLD MEdiNA – SHaWN from DALLaS
PINK punkaRELLI – TiffaNY from AuSTin
THE pinK BoheMIAN RUBBIsh RIDE – JenNIFER from SAN ANtonIO
JUNque-a-BAGo – THeresa from HOLLAND
 
after hours and hours of deliberation, we narrowed the list down to our top 10…and then left it up to y’all. you voted. and it was henceforth declared that she shall be known across the lands and throughout the world as LaRGE MarGE the PaRTY barGE.
fearless and full of wanderlust…she’s traveled the world. 
from the tour de france…  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

{lance could barely keep up with ole marge…}

and the eiffel tower… 

{did we mention she can fly?}

to running with the bulls of pamplona…

{marge in spain, valentines 2007}

and she once flew the coop on a celestial roadtrip through the MiLKY waY…leaving nothing but her rhinestone-studded tire tracks and a taco wrapper (her favorite food, extra spicy) behind.

{marge cruisin like a cosmic cowgirl towards the milky way}

it’s true! read it here!

she’s left her mark at the famous cadillac ranch…

annnnnd she’s also had a few famous hook ups…

{the paparazzi caught her stealin' kisses from the GeNERAL LEE...who could blame her?}

and recently…MaRGE took a trip to the beauty shop for a brand new PiNK paint job and new custom graphics!

{marge gettin' fannnncy this past summer}

and she got a new seat cover…

{yeah, that's right. faux fur. texas longhorn. yeahhhh, baby}

and she’s made a special stop at the service station for a little pre-antiques week check-up…

{in round top at the service station last week...thanks 2 tara royer steele for the shot!}

AND now…we think she needs to be accessorized! we’re putting out a CALL 4 BuMPER stickers!

and we need a little more help from our friends! y’all send us yer stickers! mail ‘em in! bring ‘em to the antique show!

let’s get margie realllly dressed up!

 

March 23, 2011   15 Comments

there goes the neighborhood…

some of you may remember our ‘searching for mayberry’ post…and if you do, then you may remember that we ended the post with the promise of a big announcement. big news on our next great adventure.

{that's right, population 77. one of the smallest incorporated towns in texas}

we finally found a place to put roots for our gypsy souls.

yep, we just put the town population over 80. that’s right, we moved. we loaded up the fam and headed to the wild blue yonder. to the country. to the wide open spaces of sprawling oak trees and rolling pastures. (well, we’re not officially moved yet, BUT we’re in the MIDST of moving…baby steps buy the land, baby steps move the fam, baby steps move the warehouse. it’s all about baby steps at this point, y’all :))

round top, texas. home of the FaMOUS RouND ToP/WaRRENTON AntiqUES WEEK and birthplace of the JuNK GypSY JUNK-O-RaMA prom. it’s where we’ve made some of the best junker friends in the world and it’s where we decided we never wanted to be anything else other than a junk gypsy. (we’ll tell you the story of our first show at warrenton soon)

it’s home to the world-renowned FeSTIVAL HiLL, the LEGENDARY 4th of JuLY parade, a general store called the RounD ToP MERcANTiLE (which is, i might add, one of my most favorite places…it’s where you can buy anything from organic spinach to hardware to deer corn…everyone knows your name AND you can buy it all on tab), and of course RoYERS ROUND top CAFE.

{the concert hall @ festival hill...you have to see it to believe it}

and here, yes here, is where we are going to build our FirST-EVER-long-time-comin JuNK GypSY store. we realize this seems like a slightly muy loco decision. to build a retail store in a town whose population sign reads 77. we’ve weighed our options, we’ve driven miles and miles across all of texas including every major city, we’ve looked near and far from here to there. we’ve spent hours (actually years) deliberating this decision…pondering the proper zip code for our flagship store.

{yep, this is our view...and you probably can't tell in this shot but that's a crane over to the right on the pond}

as i type this blog, i glance out the window and see a beautiful country pond with peaceful ripples from the february breeze. it’s recently been inhabited by several ducks that are effortlessly cruisin their temporary home. the pond is shaded by evergreen cedars and spanish moss-filled live oaks. and past the pond, i see longhorns grazing in the pasture and horses kickin’ around in the cool morning. other than the rattle of the keyboard… i can hear the wind. and the birds. and that’s all.

alas, it’s because of this and so much more, that we’ve concluded, without doubt, that the country is the ONLY place for the first-ever, long-time-comin’ JuNK GypSY store.

where there are more trees than parking spaces.

where you can see the stars at night.

where things are still done on a handshake.

where the green grass grows.

we’ve hugged the trees (there’s over 100 on the 10 acres we bought for JG)…

we’ve planted bluebonnets…

{amie & me pausing from bluebonnet planting to pose AmERICAN GoTHIC style}

 

well, kind of…

 

we’ve moved in portable buildings to the construction site to temporarily office out of…this one came straight from AUSTIN CITY LIMITS to the new JuNK GypSY world headquarters in RounD ToP, texas. amie, mom, & i felt like rockstars…the keys were labeled “artist 1″ and “artist 2″. :)

{oh yeah, feelin pretty cool right about now...}

{over to the right is our temporary office...straight from ACL:)}

part of the JG crew is moving to MaYBERRY too. archie (our resident super-model) & crazy legs will soon be round top residents. we like to think the business that moves to the country together, stays together. we’ll be moving the shipping warehouse soon into the one below…fannnnncy!

{cleared the gate by 3 inches...whoa, baby!}

we’ve completed phase 1 of operation: old macGYPSY farm…

{relocating the soon-to-be chicken coop/GoaT hotel}

we’ve flagged the future site of our store…

and we hope to break ground soon…stay tuned for the play-by-play!

 tomorrow, we start PhAsE II…we’ve rescued an old farmhouse that we’re movin on to the property…it’s the cutest little thang this side o’ the mississippi!

{she's got potential :)}

as they say, you can take the girl outta the country but you can’t take the country outta the girl…and we’ve decided, you can take the girl outta the country but she’ll find her way back as fast as she can. 

happy trails from the gravel road….

February 15, 2011   83 Comments

home goin…

as i think about mayberry and getting back to the basics and all the simple things about small-town life that make me happy, it always reminds me of an experience that i feel honored to have been a part of. an experience that will stay in my memory until the end of time, an experience that profoundly inspired me beyond all measure.

{because i don't have any images from my experience, i searched for images that conveyed my thoughts...i love this one courtesy of sue henry photography}

as some of you may know, in the south (and not to exclude our northern friends…it may be this way in the north too, but i know this to be true here in the south), African Americans do not have funerals. they have “home-goins”. and when the father of our dear friend passed away a few summers ago, it was my first time to attend a home-goin.

it was moving. it was touching. it was deep and profound and SOUL-FUL. it got inside of you in a way that i don’t believe the traditional ‘quiet and solemn’ funerals do. those in attendance that day, although deeply sad that a loved one was leaving them, were celebrating the event that LeMarCUS was goin’ home. hallelujah.

 it was the middle of JuLY…steaming hot in texas. as i sat there in those old oak pews housed in this picturesque little, old, white wooden church (the church was like something out of little house on the prairie) nestled down a long dirt road in the middle of the country in northeast texas…i stared up at the stage, with it’s beautifully grand, old, red velvet curtains & it’s preacher podium appreciating and absorbing every site and every sound and every emotion.

my seat in the back was the perfect view at the backs of all the beautiful, southern-belle-style hats perched atop every womans head as they fanned their tattered paper revival fans. through the “hallelujahs” and the “amens” and the “preach it brothers”, i was overcome with the beauty and the POWER of this entire moment.

and i’ll never forget when the preacher said: “it ain’t that bad to leave if ya got someplace to go.” and at that moment this small-town girl who grew up in a quiet-style church proudly threw my arms up towards the heavens and exclaimed to preacher jarrett, “amen, brother.. HaLLELuJAH!”

afterwards, we all gathered under the majestic pine trees that make me feel at home like nothing else … long mis-matched tables lined up end-to-end…and the feast began. smokey-saucy slow-cooked bbq ribs, baskets of crispy-spicy chicken, ooey-gooey casseroles, homemade breads, every home-grown vegetable you can imagine, and don’t even get me started on the southern-style desserts…

home-goin…such a better word than funeral. i feel a bill should be passed that the new official term is home-goin, not funeral. because after all…we’re all just goin home…

January 25, 2011   27 Comments

searching for mayberry…

somewhere between the 1 flashing red light and the almost spiritual football stadium, we grew up…

{nothin' like those friday night lights...}

{seriously, nothin' like it.}

in the little oilfield town that nestles in the pine tree-covered hills of east texas …where the dairy queen stands at the edge of town like a beacon in the night and where, at the local grocery store, the boys still carry your groceries out to your car….even if it’s just 1 jug of milk.

it’s where you can walk from the downtown florist to the post office and to the library all during your lunch break…and still have time to grab a slice of meringue pie and a cup of coffee with the mayor at the city café.

it’s where we rode in the beds of pickup trucks to my parent’s pizza place for lunch….

fitting as many as possible into the cab and the bed became a bonafide sport.

{we were so proud of this old truck...dad's old 1980 GMC work truck...aka sanford}

and on halloween, all-out water balloon combat broke out…and every house was lovingly adorned with toilet paper. it’s where boys were required to tuck their shirt tails in before class (a moment of silence for dear CoaCH ChESTER ROy), to take their caps off at the door, and to walk a girl to the door after a date.

{small-town ChRiSTMAS parade...me and amie with fellow 4-H'ers on our homemade 4-H float}

it’s where the old school with the auditorium circa 1932 still stands….dusty, faded, green velvet curtains and an old wooden floored stage. we stood on that stage for plays, for speeches, for blood drives, for taking school pics, and then walked across it to graduate….me crying my heart out as i sat in the creeky wooden chairs…knowing this place, these people, this world was a very, very special part of my life. and scared to death i may never know this kind of wonderful again. where life was sweet and good.

{me with mom and dad on graduation day...yep, red-faced from all the cryin:)}

the halls were alive with energy on game days as cheerleaders would stand between the classroom doors and hold mini pep rallies while everyone rushed to class. the principal believed your word and you held to it…because you had respect for authority and pride for your school.

we didn’t have fancy classrooms or a nice parking lot or high-tech teaching tools….but we had so much more. we had love for our school and town. pride. respect for our teachers. we were challenged just as equally…and inspired…and amie and i believe we are the luckiest girls alive to have grown up in Overton. our Mayberry.

as my granny sikes always said…”time marches on..” and somewhere between then and now, we graduated high school, moved away to college (texas A&M, whoop!), ended up with jobs in the cities, became certified junkologists when we started junk gypsy, and had babies…and although our address was no longer overton, tx…our hearts never wanted to be anywhere other than a small town.

no matter where we roamed, we’ve always heard the beckon of the country. the call of mayberry. the lure of big green pastures and wide open spaces.

{the country is calling....}

and now, we’ve finally answered the call….

stay tuned for big news on our next big adventure….GeT ready MaYbERRY, here comes the JuNK GypSIES :)

 

 

(big thanks to matt prosser, literary aficionado and fellow overtonite for lettin’ me steal his overton pics off flickr :))

December 10, 2010   48 Comments

ThE JunK GypSY ManiFESto

The way I see it, life is a beautiful adventure. 

a WiLD, MagiCAL, ChaoTIC, madly-beautifully-unplanned adventure.                  

There is something great and inspiring and liberating about hitting the open road…driving with the windows rolled down, Janis Joplin cranked up, letting your hair and all your worries blow in the wind…in search of something new. Something different. Something yet to be discovered out there in the wild blue yonder.                  

{JaNIE, AMiE, & JoLIE at the ArKANSaS farm circa 1980}

That’s how we, my mom-Janie…she’s the relentless, never-say-die fanatic of all things junky, my sister-Amie…the eclectic, wild-at-heart creative soul, and myself-Jolie…the spirited southern girl with a rock n’ roll cornbread soul, got caught up in a business that has taken our lives down a path we never could have planned for. There were no stodgy business plans for this ride . . . just grassroots dreams and starry-eyed faith!       

We set out to find a great business, but instead found a great life.                    

It all started long, long ago in a one-light town – Overton, Texas. OuR little MayBeRRY…where the twang is as thick as the gossip, the folks are friendly, and the football field is a spiritual experience.
 
 Amie and I were raised in a hard-working, down-to-Earth family. Our parents Janie and Phillip opened Overton’s first and finest pizza restaurant when we were just kids. We didn’t know it then but we were learning the basics of business firsthand. Basics that can’t be taught in a textbook. Through mopping floors, baking pizzas, and learning from our customers and co-workers, our pride of knee-scrapin’ hard work and our entrepreneurial genes laid the foundation for the road ahead. We worked together as a family and as business partners in the restaurants for almost twenty years when we decided it was time to hang up the chef’s hat and move on to junkier latitudes.       

      

{JunKIN at the WaRRENTOn AntiQUES show}

We are THE JUNK GYPSIES and we reside in our junky little town of Gypsyville …The raucous and rowdy home of gypsies, junkers, dreamers, and true-blue rebels across the globe! We believe every man’s trash is truly our treasure, junking is a way of life, and garage sales are our Rodeo Drive. We’d rather be at a fleamarket collecting chippy-peely cast-offs than anywhere else. That’s what we do. We find character and charm in unlikely pieces and then chaotically and beautifully mix them with other found objects and vintage elements to create our own unique JUNK GYPSY style. It’s a little bit hippie, a little bit rock n’ roll, and a whole lot of repurposed Junk Gypsy flair!                   

{AmiE & JoLIE cleanin out the cobwebs!}

 We began in 1998 with $2000, a beat-up pick-up truck, and our share of blood, sweat, and tears, selling vintage fineries, roadside treasures, and custom-designed clothing.      

{OuR fiRST set o' wheels for junkin...}

{AmiE & DaD in the early days...}

 Our journey hasn’t always been easy, we’ve taken a few wrong turns and hit a few roadblocks along the way BUT we have fought from the trenches with our never-say-die attitude and always DREAMED big!      

{LoaDIN trailers in tha mud....}

                     

We believe in loving what you do and doing what you love…in learning something from every pitstop and every path along the way. We believe in the beautiful, wild human spirit and that it only grows richer and stronger day after day, year after year. We believe in big love and big dreams. We believe in family. And above all of this, we believe in BELIEVING.                   

{JaNie takin a midnight ride}

So head on over to Gypsyville – take a Greyhound bus or a midnight train ride. . . just get there some way, somehow cause it just might change your life!                   

And then with a little wanderlust in your soul and a rebellious gleam in your eye. . . take a magic carpet ride through our wild and spirited world!   

To all of you…WELCoME HoME!                

 

**NeXT on our RaMBLINGS from the RoaD…ThE MiRANDA LAMBERT-JuNK GypSY AiRSTREAM ChRONICLES**

CLiCK here for a viDEO preview!           

{MirANDA LamBERT's AiRSTREAM-gettin' gypsy-fide!}

March 3, 2010   54 Comments