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Duchaine enjoys hobby of flea market buying, selling

Oxford native Laurie Duchaine, 54, fondly remembers spending time on the University of Mississippi campus as a child.

“My father worked for the university,” she said. “He was dean of admis

sions, so I was at the university quite a bit going to the swimming pool there.”

She also remembers spending time at football games.

“When you walked around the Square, you knew everybody,” she said. “There was a hardware store on the Square. There was a grocery store on the Square that delivered groceries. It’s changed quite a bit.”

Duchaine has been a dental hygienist for the past 32 years in Oxford. She and her husband, who worked for the Oxford Fire Department, spend their spare time going to flea markets.

They also enjoy buying and refurbishing items to sell at the Cotton Boll Antique Mall at 1501 Molly Barr Road in Oxford. That’s where she was found Sunday afternoon.

“This is a part-time hobby,” she said. “We love to go to flea markets, buy old things and fix old things up, or find a creative way to use something old.

“Problem is, your house gets full. And then you decide to turn it into a hobby. And because you still like to go to those places, you just don’t need anything. So you bring it here and let someone else enjoy it. That’s what we enjoy doing.”

Duchaine has several pieces in her booth at the antique mall, including an old shoe drying rack that has been transformed into a shelf, and the side of a school desk that is now a piece of wall art.

People purchase different items during different seasons, she said.

“They like more outdoor, porchy things right now,” she said. “Come August, the students will come into town. They like little things, like tables and mirrors and things to hang jewelry on. “During football season, we’ll see everyone wanting something red and blue. It doesn’t matter what it is. So the seasons do make a difference in what sells and what doesn’t sell.

“A lot of people look for unusual wall art — taking something old and making it into something you don’t normally see on the wall.”

About LaReeca Rucker

LaReeca Rucker is a writer, reporter and adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Mississippi's Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

A veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience, she spent a decade at the Gannett-owned Clarion-Ledger - Mississippi's largest daily newspaper - covering stories about crime, city government, civil rights, social justice, religion, art, culture and entertainment for the paper's print and web editions. She was also a USA Today contributor.

This year, she received a first place award from the Mississippi Press Association for “Best In-Depth Investigative Reporting.” The story written in 2014 for The Oxford Eagle chronicles the life of a young mother with two sons who have epilepsy, and details how she is patiently hoping legalized cannabis oil experimentation will lead to a cure for their disorder.

Her website is www.lareecarucker.com.

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