Once president of Early Wheels of Iowa, the organization that oversaw the Greenfield Swap Meet for many years, Forrest Harmsen of Des Moines now simply gets to enjoy coming back to the event each year.
This year, he was able to swap and sell a few odds and ends he had. It was nothing big, but he enjoyed being at the swap meet and talking with those he gets to see there every year.
The swap meet first came to Greenfield in 1987 and this is the second year that a local group known as the Greenfield Swap Meet Committee has taken leadership of it.
The trucks, trailers and tents disappeared Sunday night almost as quickly as they arrived Friday morning at sunrise, putting a cap on what organizers are calling another successful swap meet.
While he likes the items vendors bring to the swap meet, there’s something more that keeps Harmsen coming.
“I keep coming back for the love of old cars, parts, and a lot of it has to do with the people,” Harmsen said. “I’ve known the same people down here for many, many, many years. A little while ago we had five or six people here. They all knew I was involved and stop by every year.”
Harmsen is very complimentary of the way in which the Greenfield Swap Meet Committee has taken over the event.
“We’re so happy this is being carried on. Our group just got older and it was becoming more difficult,” Harmsen said. “We got in conversation [with the people here]. I think we had about a three-year transition. I think it has carried over very well. I can’t imagine we could’ve done it any better.”
Greenfield Swap Meet Committee President Alvin Havens reports that while exact numbers aren’t in yet, vendor spots paid for this year seemed to be up slightly at the swap meet, which enjoyed favorable weather with little to no precipitation, comfortable temperatures and sunshine.
Citywide garage sales in Greenfield also accompanied the swap meet.