Saturday, September 12, 2009

How about some neat stuff?...


About seven years ago, our county Libertarian Party started holding a Labor Day weekend garage sale. It gets a little bigger and better every year. We depend on donated items to stock the sale, and I'm amazed every year at what some people will donate, and at what some people will buy.

When I came home from work Wednesday evening befor the sale, I made the unfortunate discovery that some one had dropped off 14 old window sashes. We've thrown away hundreds of them when we install new windows in peoples' homes. My first thought was that I would have to pay to throw these away also. I left them beside the garage and put a piece of plywood in front of them so they would'nt get broken, and make more of a mess for my wife to clean up.

Then, one of the first customers at the sale asked if we had any old window sash. She explained that she used them as a background for painting. I told her that we had just received a special shipment that we hadn't uncovered yet, and I took her to the window sash department. She agreed to buy 8. After some creative pricing enhancements, she agreed to buy 14. Life is good.

When I was younger, before the age of electronic games, Mr. Machine was a popular little robot with a clear body so that you could see all of the gears and springs that made him walk around, move his arms and toot (in the original definition of tooting). I always wanted one when I was a kid, but I never got one. Someone donated one (although it was a 1970's reproduction), and I thought one of my prayers had been answered, however belatedly. One of our most faithful helpers sold it out from under me. Life may be good, but it isn't always fair.


Even with 4 tents this year, some items had to sit outside. Luckily, concrete dogs were in high demand, and this one didn't have to sit in the sun to long.

I wasn't sure how black boxes were going to go this year. We had a whopper. It was 6 feet wide, 7 feet tall and 4 feet deep. And really heavy. It had 6 casters under it, and it used to contain a big screen TV that was used in hospitality rooms at NASCAR races. We didn't get the TV. Just the black box. Towards the end of the sale, I was getting worried that I was going to end up with a big black box in my front yard. Forever. It was a great relief when somebody stopped in and decided it was just what they were looking for. It was more of a relief when they paid for it, loaded it up, and hauled it away.

Two days after the sale we recieved a call from a man in Kentucky, who had heard about the black box from a friend who was at our sale. He said it sounded like just what he was looking for. I told him I'd try to find another one before next year.

This is what was left after "Give-Away Charlie" worked his magic on four tents of neat stuff.

(That's "Give-Away Charlie" on the left)

We've already started collecting even neater stuff for next Labor Day.

See you then.

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