TULALIP — Michael Chang retired five years ago, but for the past three years, the Boom City Swap Meet has been his job.
Every summer, Chang travels from Lynnwood to the large gravel lot at 10274 27th Ave. NE in Tulalip, where he and hundreds of other vendors hawk their wares to thousands of shoppers, including Jim Smith of Granite Falls, who was in the market for some of Chang’s old military gear.
Chang estimated that it’s taken him nearly 30 years to amass his for-sale collection of combat artifacts, outdoor doors and musical instruments, including a large harmonica that he demonstrates how to play at the drop of a hat.
“From lawnmowers to violins to sleds, I’ve got everything,” Chang said. “I go to a lot of swap meets, but I like this one. We get a lot of customers coming out from the community, and the folks who run it are very kind and friendly.”
Those customers include not only locals such as Tulalip’s Spencer Capili, but also Sultan’s Lacey Corey and Tim Haney of Camano Island, who’s a regular at the swap meet even when he doesn’t have anything specific on his shopping list.
“Whenever I see something I might like, I know if I need to have it or not,” Haney said.
For veteran rockhound Darren McIntosh, this year marks his first Boom City Swap Meet. While he’s been selling jewelry stones that others have worked on, he ultimately hopes to hone his skills enough to offer stones that he’s knapped and shaped himself.
“It’s been really fun,” McIntosh said. “A lot of people have inquired about my stones, and seeing some of the other jewelry vendors has given me ideas for pendants and rings.”
The meet’s next weekend is May 16-17 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. For details, visit www.boomcityswapmeet.com.