Home Columns & Editorials Iva's Input That was a fine old time!

That was a fine old time!


That was a fine old time!

Well, if you weren’t trying to get anyplace in a hurry, that is.  The annual Garrettsville community garage/yard/porch sale seems to have attracted quite a crowd for most of the weekend.  Some of the narrower thoroughfares were a challenge for those just trying to get into their own driveways.  Down Park Ave. some savvy shoppers parked up at the Intermediate School then walked down to peruse the situation on Park and Liberty–maybe even Maple and Water, for all I know–before hauling their treasures back to the cars and off to new homes.  

On the Park & Liberty corner there was a LARGE assortment of goods available, including an upright piano in pretty good condition–didn’t seem like a fast mover to me.  BUT when I returned home Saturday evening (no, not from bargain-hunting) the old 88 was gone, so somebody must have found a soul-mate (It would have to be a pretty serious affection to even THINK about moving a piano at those temperatures).

And speaking of temperatures…the weather was just great.  Not much will put a damper (pun intended) on a yard sale faster than lousy weather, a steady drizzle, say.  Same thing applies to an auction.  Doesn’t matter how great a bargain Aunt Celeste’s walnut dining table with ten chairs is, if it has to sit out in a thunderstorm; kiss your customer base goodbye.  You can sit on the porch and watch it warp; plan to use it for firewood when things get grim next winter.

I’m not much of an expert on yard sales but it seemed to me that the big sellers in a lot of cases are juvenile items, from infant to intermediate school level or thereabouts (That’s when they start getting really insistent upon having the “in” stuff, come hell or high water.  Tough, I say.)  Kids’ toys were out all over the place; ditto for clothing and furniture.  At some point, everyone apparently recognizes the fact that the ten-year-old will never again go for a ride on the BIG WHEEL and it can go to a new home with no regrets.

Adult clothing is a little more problematic, but with the same underlying theme: the realization that you will never fit in THAT again or that you must have made that color selection either in the dark or under the influence.  A related influence is the departure of the fledglings from the nest and the desire to have that space for sewing/office/hobby/guests/whatever.  If they (those leaving the nest) want the stuff, they should take it with them (For years, my mother had, in a upstairs room, a genuine miniature replica of the Sphinx–with the nose still on–created out of river clay in my sixth grade year.  I think that souvenir-hunters must have  purloined this artistic monument and it’s in a collection somewhere.  Anyway, it’s gone.  Keep your eye out for it.  Worth a bundle by now.  I’ll autograph it.).

The Boy Scouts were set up to dispense sustenance–hot dogs, doughnut holes, etc–and appeared to be sustaining quite a few when I went by.  Cold drinks were at a premium everywhere.

I do wish that I’d had time to go scouting out wooden boxes; I got one good-looking one from the neighboring emporium, but they had one of everything, just about.  Anyone looking for exercise equipment is usually able to pick up some bargains.  There are plenty of NordicTrak items or treadmills or sets of weights available, it seems.  Clearly, someone has decided that hanging things in the closet is preferable to draping them on dormant equipment in the middle of the room–bedroom, TV room, basement, whatever–or has just decided the heck with it and settled back with another piece of pizza.

Now, of course comes the denouement (from middle French, desnouer, to untie), as the Francophiles snootily say, of the community trash pick-up.  The Moment of Truth : what goes back into whatever cubbyhole it came from and what goes out front waiting for that Big Closet in the Sky…or the pickers.

Bless ‘em, the pickers will swoop down at all hours of the day…and night…look through your heap of leftover stuff and find something they deem worthy of attention and possible redemption.  I tend to feel that I haven’t measured up, somehow, if nobody takes anything from the pile.  What, my trash isn’t good enough?  I’ve still got enough unnecessary stuff to be Christmas in several third-world countries, Burkina Faso, perhaps, or Myanmar (formerly Burma).  The big difficulty is in the sorting.  I still have ancient barn beams taken out when Porter Construction made my living room and dining room safe for the Christmas Walk by replacing the sagging wooden pieces with steel.  Can I throw these out?  It would break my heart.  There are still c. 1927 windows down in the basement that would be great for somebody’s craft project–stained glass, maybe?  Am I going to toss those out there?  Not on your tintype.  Make me an offer.  There’s a table saw purchased to build show sets; not in that business anymore.  What to do with a perfectly good piece of equipment?  It may take me until next Community Clean-up to decide these questions and if I hit many more auctions the questions may be moot.  Don’t hold your breath.