Several years ago we ran a photo essay about a legendary flea market in Dallas, NC, and the Charlotte Observer‘s Pam Kelley decided to write a beautiful piece on the market after reading our post. She visited the Barnyard with one of our editors, who went to high school right around the corner. The original ToM essay contemplated what the market’s diverse clientele and wonderfully bizarre array of goods could teach us about how the small-town South has changed in recent decades. It is the heart of the Piedmont–what was once textile country, not far from where police fired on striking workers’ tent city during a notorious labor conflict at the Loray Mill. (Read all about it in sociologist Liston Pope’s classic Millhands and Preachers.) The old segregated world of mill villages and textile paternalism is (mostly) gone, and in its place is a landscape peopled by countless newcomers–immigrants from Latin America, Southeast Asia, and almost everywhere else. One of the only places where nearly everyone in Gaston County comes together is the flea market, and we snagged a few more pics during our visit with Kelley.