By: Kaycie Kile
“Even a blind hog stumbles on an acorn every now and again,” an old fashion and light-hearted idiom that Mike Roberts, local artist, and owner and operator of the fittingly named “The Blind Hog” flea market, feels is the heart of the inspiration and sentiment behind their newly established business, located at 611 East Main St of Winnfield.
Shifting through the eclectic and overburdened corners of your local thrift store or flea market is nothing short of a journey. You enter curious in nature, hands and eyes flitting over trinket after trinket that more than likely holds a memory longer than your own. Nevertheless, there is something for anyone; a moment’s distraction, an untold story, maybe even an unlikely treasure to take home and make your own. After all, that was the founding idea behind opening ‘The Blind Hogs’ doors, stumbling upon an incongruous and spontaneous acorn for yourself. If you don’t find that sort of significance in any of the items inside, you will undoubtedly find it within Mike and Karon Roberts.
Mike and his wife, Karon, are a refreshing and welcoming pair. They’re the sort of folk that draws you into the beauty of living in a small town with their easy manners, quick laughter, and pockets full of tidbits and stories ready to share. Though they had only been open since December of last year, they’ve already accumulated quite a funky collection to sift through, including a few pieces that took shape from own Mike’s artistic ingenuity. He describes his style as “realism with a touch of impressionism,” capturing his subjects with details that lend the onlooker the impression of gazing into a photograph, not a painted canvas shelved within a local thrift store.
The Roberts are colorful characters, and the idea behind the experience they’re vending to us here in Winn Parish is no less lively. So if supporting small businesses or rooting through their curious knickknacks and trifles isn’t your thing, maybe a glance or selfie with the hand-painted mural of their blind and good-humored mascot (who may or may not bare a strong resemblance to Ray Charles around the eyes) to the side of their shop will get you out for a visit to this charming hole in the wall!
Big thank you to Mike and Karon for their time, the walkthrough and details of their business, and above all, the kindness they showed a stranger off the rainy street that afternoon. I could write much more about these two and the time I’ve had in and out with them over the past few weeks, but hopefully, there’s enough here to entice you to find it all out for yourself.