After Harvey, antiques shows bring needed sense of normality to Fayette Co.

Customers walk through rows of vendors at one of the antiques shows that started in Fayette County on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. (KXAN/Chris Davis)
Customers walk through rows of vendors at one of the antiques shows that started in Fayette County on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. (KXAN/Chris Davis)

WARRENTON, Texas (KXAN) — The annual antiques shows that Fayette County is famous for are returning this weekend, providing vendors and customers a taste of normal life in the midst of rebuilding from devastating flooding from Hurricane Harvey.

“You know, it kind of gives you hope,” Timera Thornton said.

She was shopping at various vendor tents at the antique show taking over the Bar W field in Warrenton Friday. It’s one of several popping up along State Highway 237 between La Grange and Round Top.

The antiques there are timeless; the show itself couldn’t have been more timely for Thornton and her family, who come in from the Houston area to shop antiques every year they can. Their home, fortunately, didn’t get damaged during the storm or its aftermath, but they still felt the lasting effects.

“Luckily I was able to communicate with my family,” Thornton said, “but we had lots of friends and we didn’t know if they were flooding out or what was going on.”

“It kind of takes your mind off of everything that’s going on,” Roy Wied, who runs the show at Bar W, said. He and other independent organizers aren’t sure what to expect this year. Some of the vendors couldn’t make it — Wied said about 10 canceled from his show — and a lot of customers might not, either.

“They figure 30, maybe 35 percent are coming from Houston,” Wied said.  “So they’re not real sure how many are going to come. I’ve seen a few come up from Houston saying they just need to get away from it.”

People in Fayette County are glad to have them.

“We need it,” Jana McCann said. The senior manager for Old World Antieks in La Grange said the owners are planning to open their shop at one of the antiques shows Saturday morning for the first time. “Everyone’s excited to be here, you know. It’s a nice distraction from all of the hard work we’ve been doing.”

Fayette County’s economy needs the influx of people, and the residents need to feel the sense of normality the shows bring. It’s going to take a lot of time to restore La Grange to what it was before the storm; entire blocks of mobile homes are completely destroyed — nothing left but dirt plots and cinder blocks where homes once stood.

“I think that it’s going to make us stronger,” McCann said. “Weather the storm to get stronger.

In the meantime, people like Thornton are finding comfort in the timeless. “I just think the more you get back to normal,” she said, “the more hope it gives people.”

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