Wednesday, March 7, 2012


By Sharon Wolff

Bossman presents: The Blob

You'll find the Nucleus (also referred to as Bossman's Jewelry Blob) upstairs at Wolff's Flea Market Palatine in Bossman & Son's Booth. What is this mysterious mess that rises above the innocuous red skirted table? How and why could such a thing exist? Over the past 2 years I have occasionally visited this conglomeration and it seemed about time to take a closer look at its contents and followers. I spent a couple of weeks observing and talking to the variety of people who routinely gather around Bossman's Jewelry Table.
Customers sift through Bossman's Jewelry Blob
Some folks are initially put off by the confusion experienced when viewing this display for the first time. They glance at it, then quickly avert their eyes and walk away, as if something so tightly tangled could be maniacal if provoked. It is true, that on occasion, the Blob has been known to bite. I highly recommend that visitors use a scraper or other poking device to move the items around.
Example of a "scraper" being used to navigate the Blob

But what exactly is this Blob/Nucleus? According to, "A Blob is a shapeless or amorphous mass; a vague shape or amount...a clump, group or collection that lacks definite shape." That sounds familiar! 

The Blob consists of two equally mesmerizing parts of Bossman's Jewelry Table. It elicits a sense of urgency fueled by the possibility of a cool find. The main section is a tabletop entity measuring approximately 3' x 4' x 5" and consisting of loose brooches, necklaces, chains, bracelets, ribbons, stray earrings, cameos, single cufflinks, vintage buttons, watches, costume jewelry, vintage jewelry, unknown metal mysteries, broken bits and pieces and beads and baubles.

Hilary closely inspects a bauble while Pam (background) encounters the Nucleus

At the center of it all resides the Nucleus, an approximate 2' x 1' x 7" ebbing and flowing tangled hub of chains, strands and beads and anything else that mysteriously and independently weaves itself into the nest. Many people are convinced that the Nucleus possesses magical powers, which enables it to subtly swallow up whole chains and envelop them in its tangled web like structure. "It's definitely alive", claims Carol who comes up to visit Bossman every time she shops at Wolff's Flea Market Palatine. She believes that "elves and fairies" come at night to add to the Nucleus. Carol likes to find various types of necklaces, broken or not, and rework them into new creations that she keeps for herself. So, while the actual Blob is large, the individual parts are not big at all. They could be quite minuscule; often requiring a magnifying glass or jeweler's loop for close identification.
Pam carefully extricates a necklace from the Nucleus

Would you be brave enough to interact with the Nucleus? Pam determinedly dug in and extracted a sweet little necklace. Daughter Hilary stuck to the loose items and claimed, "The more you dig, the more you find." She said she was at this task for hours. "I think I'm done, then I find something else."

Hilary and Pam prefer it messy and have been at this for hours

Why are people attracted to the Blob? Craig says that "the bottom is the best part" and that he's "pulled all kinds of old ____ out of here".  Dalia collects old jewelry and "puts it in a drawer" for her "son to sell when she is 70". Bossman described a customer who had a lot of stress in her personal life. "She visited the Blob for relaxation and therapy". 

Hilary's Find
All in all, it appears that everyone looks for something different in the Blob. But we can all agree that one thing is true; the Blob is here to stay. Debbie (Bosslady) says that new stuff is added weekly and that once in a blue moon you may actually find the mate to a lone earring. So, if you are plucky enough to face the Blob or have patience ala Maniac Magee to untangle the Nucleus, grab a plastic bowl and a scraper and dig in. You'll meet interesting people and find even more intriguing morsels. 

The Blob, enhanced by ambient lighting
Over the last few weeks, I couldn't just stand there without digging in. My finds included a token chip from the 1934 World's Fair, a bronze replica of the Capitol in Washington, DC, a ring, a Chai charm, a nickel with 3 holes, a tiny brass duck, 3 cufflinks, an owl pendant and a weird vintage bronze belt buckle.
A nickel with holes, 3 cufflinks & a miniature brass duck

A cool find

Oh yeah-did I mention that everything you find in the Blob costs only $1?
Happy Hunting!
Dionte of Bossman and Sons is not afraid of the Blob

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Outdoors at the
                                                     ALLSTATE ARENA

 (6920 N. Mannheim - between Higgins and Touhy – Rosemont, IL)
(847) 524-9590

Chicagoland’s largest outdoor weekly flea market is back!  WOLFF’S FLEA MARKET WILL BEGIN ITS 22nd SEASON AT THE ALLSTATE ARENA BEGINNING SUNDAY APRIL 1st.

Wolff’s will only be open on Sundays for 2012 Season.  We are open regular hours of  6am to 3pm unless otherwise noted below.

Apr 1              - OPENING DAY
Apr 15            - Closes 12:30am due to stadium event (vendors must vacate by 1:45pm)
Apr 29            - Closes 2:15 pm due to stadium event (vendors must vacate by 3:30pm)
May 6            - Closes 11:30am due to stadium event (vendors must vacate by 12:45pm)
Jun 3              - Closes 11:30am due to stadium event (vendors must vacate by 12:45pm)
Jun 10            - Closed due to stadium event
Jun 24            - Closed due to stadium event
Jul 1               - Closes 1:30pm due to stadium event (vendors must vacate by 2:45pm)
Jul 8                - Closes 11:30am due to stadium event (vendors must vacate by 12:45pm)
Sep 2             - Closes 1:30pm due to stadium event (vendors must vacate by 2:45pm)
Sep 16           - Closed due to stadium event
Oct 28            - Last scheduled date for the 2012 Season

Please keep in mind, that occasionally a show may be added by the Allstate Arena that will cause the flea market to close for the day, or to close earlier in the day than normal.  We will always post updated schedules at our markets, twitter (wolffsflea), facebook ( and website ( Also call 847-524-9590 for updates.  Please subscribe to our email list through to receive immediate, frequent updates and news.

Wolff’s Flea Market in Palatine – 1775 N. Rand Rd remains open year-round. This market contains 350 indoor spaces and is open both Saturdays and Sundays. Visit Palatine for free with paid admission at our Allstate Arena Market! Please see the other side of this flyer for more information.



B. HOURS:  6:00am to 3:00pm (Open for vendors at 4:00am)

C. VENDING SPACE FEE:  $38 Corner Spaces $48 (Current reserved vendors who have a corner - $38)

D. YEARLY RESERVATION:  $150 The Reservation fee is a yearly one time fee. This fee holds a specific space for a vendor if the vendor arrives prior to 6:30am.  Reserved vendors still need to pay daily rental fees. Reservations are not required to daily vendors.

E. TABLES:  $7/day per 6’ table

F. Reserved spaces are held until 6:30am

G. Spaces are 25’ X 18’ (25’ front; 3 parking spaces)

H.  Plenty of spaces are also available on a first come first serve basis for vendors who have not reserved in advance. In 21 years, we have turned vendors away only a couple of times.  Oversized vehicles may require a second space. Please refer to vendor rules at

I. CUSTOMER ADMISSION:  $2 Adults, $1 Senior Citizens (62+) & children 6-12, children under 6 are free
                                                $3 Early Admission fee prior to 6am
Discounted multi-visit passes are available at our information booth 9am-1:30pm during market hours.

J.   MAILING ADDRESS (not flea market address):    970 ARKANSAS, ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL  60007
                1775 N. Rand Rd, Palatine
     (Just north of Dundee Rd. at Old Hicks)     

Wolff’s Flea Market has renewed its lease at the Palatine location through March 2013.  We are located on Rand Rd., just north of Dundee, only minutes off of Route 53.  This intersection is one of the busiest in the northwest suburbs, and only about 20 minutes northwest of our outdoor location at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont. This market has been open for almost 2 1/2 years and has been steadily growing in popularity and visibility in the area.

Both reserved and walk in spaces are available. Please refer to vendor rules at Reserved spaces are limited and will be dependent on what type of merchandise the vendor has to offer.  If you are interested in a reserved space, it is important that this is accomplished early in the summer as we quickly fill up once we get to late summer/early fall!

We will also have outdoor spaces available if interested.


1.     Hours:  Saturdays and Sundays, 8:00am -4:00pm (open for vendors at 6:00 am October - April).
  (open for vendors at 7:00 am May - September)

2.     Summer Pricing (May-August)

a)     A. Reservation/Storage: (non-refundable) $55 per month for the first space, $45 for the second space, $40 for the 3rd and additional spaces
b)    B. Daily Fee:   1st Space                                         - Saturday - $20, Sunday - $25              
                                    2nd Space                                         - Saturday - $18, Sunday - $22
                                    3rd Space (+ any addtl spaces)        - Saturday - $16, Sunday - $19
                                    Corners and Walls are an additional $5 per day

3.     Fall/Winter Pricing (September-April)

a)     Reservation/Storage: (non-refundable) $70 per month for the first space, $60 for the second space, $55
              for the 3rd space.

b)    B. Daily Fee:  Regular Space - Saturday $22, Sunday $28
                                     Corner/Wall            - Saturday $27, Sunday $33
4.     Additional Fees
a)     Electricity:  $2 per day
b)    Table Rental:  $6 per day, $10 per weekend (6’ tables)
c)     Saturday overnight storage for non-reserved vendors:  $4
d)    Customer Admission: $1 for adults, .50 for seniors and children 6-12, under 6 free.

5.     Every weekend, non-reserved spaces will also be available on a first come first serve basis.

6.     Spaces are 12’ X 8’ (12’ front)

7.     Vendors storing merchandise are required to pay their daily rental fee whether they are present or not.

8.      The Village of Palatine requires that all vendors supply us with their name and address, which will also be given to Palatine. Packaged food vendors must obtain a food license from the Village of Palatine.