Saturday, August 01, 2009

Flea Market/Drive-in, a Unique Experience

There’s nothing quite like going to a drive-in movie on a hot summer night! The weather may not be cooperating this year but that has not dampened the spirits of our guests from abroad who seek out our very unique drive-in theater as part of their Cape Cod experience. I am not a double-feature fan and must admit I often forget to mention the drive-in during my spiel about Wellfleet. But this is not a problem: our guests have done their research! The Wellfleet Drive-in is one of only four remaining drive-in theaters in Massachusetts. Guests from Colorado actually left me their guidebook, with page 280 starred. According to its knowledgeable author, Kim Grant, the Wellfleet Drive-in opened in 1957, the Renaissance for drive-ins in the USA with over 4000 in service. What I didn’t know is that a former MIT engineering professor designed the Wellfleet screen: John Jentz. Our drive-in does double duty as a flea market during the day. There's lots of junk on sale, but it's also possible to find real treasures. The folks who left the guidebook saw Harry Potter with their teenage daughter. We had guests earlier in the month, who journeyed out on a cloudy evening when the first part of the double-feature was Full Moon & Fog. They described the experience as surrealistic, with mist occasionally obscuring the screen. Fortunately, the couple were jet-lagged and didn't mind dozing from time to time. They had come not to see the movie but to experience the drive-in!

Now the flea market falls in an entirely different category but is no less memorable, an activity my kids always have on their vacation to-do list. Indeed, you never know what you might find at the Wellfleet Flea Market! Today I brought home some nice old etched crystal wine glasses for $25, and Sven bought an organic cotton shirt from Nordstrom's at one of the discount stands for ten. I saw happy children at a booth where a woman was customizing necklaces. We even ran into former fire chief Alan Hight, who was selling glass bottles, among other things. He lamented the fact that there were not many merchants out today, perhaps due to the good weather. On the way home we saw a line of cars waiting at Cahoon Hollow. It seems everyone did go to the beach!