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One man's junk ... cheap

Published May 26. 2012 09:02AM

"How about this?" Harry held up my antique wooden sauerkraut masher.

"No," I responded.

"How about this?" he pointed to my large copper boiler.


When he reached for my beautiful antique wooden grape harvest basket, I just glared at him and said, "Funny."

He grinned, knowing he got my goat.

"Just kidding," he said. But I wasn't so sure.

Last Thursday he decided he was going to have a yard sale on Friday. He was trying to round up as much stuff to sell as he could and I was trying to save as many of my treasures that he seemed determined to get rid of.

I told him anything inside the house was off limits. He had a whole bay in the four-car garage that was packed to the gills of stuff our daughter dropped off the day she moved five years ago plus his own "garbage" filling up the garage.

Since he decided to do this at the last minute, I didn't have time to go through it, so he took everything. I tried reasoning with him, telling him I couldn't help Friday or Saturday because of work and commitments. But he argued that there was going to be great weather and the next few weekends were out of the question.

"I want to do it now."

I threw up my hands in defeat.

So I tried to prep him for the big event.

"Pretend you're on 'American Pickers' and someone wants to buy what you have. I'll be Mike. 'So how much is this old worthless piece of garbage that has been sitting in your garage for the last 30 years and you didn't even know you had?'" I said in a low manly voice.

Harry said, "$275."

"OK. That's good. Now I'll say, 'Would you take 75 cents?' and we dicker until you get the price you want. OK? Now, go out there and sell that junk! Oorah!"

He had a prime spot right along Rt. 209 at my sister's house. He took out three pick-up truck loads of stuff.

As he started setting up, he realized he might have some "treasures" he shouldn't sell.

My cell phone rang.

"Hey, I just came across Becky's salt and pepper shaker collection. Do you think I should put them out or keep them?"

"Keep them," I said.

A little later, another phone call.

"What about her lighthouse collection?"

"Keep them."

Phone call ..."Maybe you should have gone through this stuff first. I don't know what I should sell or keep."

Duh ...

"When can you go through it?" he asked a little late.

So Saturday morning before my very important previously scheduled "Girls Day Out" with my gal pals, I arrived at Harry's yard sale.

I began perusing his wares.

"OMG! You can't sell this! This is her prized pumpkin tureen. Becky was so proud of that," I exclaimed and quickly scooped it up and placed behind the table.

One by one, I picked out items that never should have been for sale.

"You're taking all the good stuff," he complained. "I won't have anything left to sell!"

Big exaggeration.

Later Saturday when we met for dinner, he informed me he was going to extend his sale to Sunday. Feeling guilty for not helping Friday and Saturday, I showed up Sunday after church, to offer my services.

I wasn't there long before I saw Harry the Haggler in action.

Lady: "How much for this picture frame?"

Harry: "A quarter."

A quarter? That was easily worth a buck!

When she asked about a really pretty glass dish, he said, "A quarter."

I looked at him as if he had sprouted another head with three eyes.

She left with a bag full of stuff that she paid $1.75 for.

When another lady asked me how much a very thick book was I said a dollar.

Harry quickly said, "No, that's a quarter."

I gave him my "Are you stinkin' nuts?" look.

After they left, I asked him, "How come you only charged that lady a quarter for that book and for everything that other lady bought?"

"That's what I've been charging for books and for this other stuff. I don't care how much I make, I just want it gone!" he said.

Needless to say, we're not going to be able to retire after this sale.

When we finally decided to call it a day, we began to pack up what's left. We made piles of items ... things that will go to the Salvation Army Thrift Store, things that are going in the garbage and things we decided to put out by the road for free, which were all gone by Monday morning.

How successful was Harry's yard sale?

He took three pickup truckloads and came home with two pickup truckloads. So I guess you could say, he sold a truckload of stuff.

As we unloaded Sunday night, we promised ourselves that we'd go through it and have that garage bay empty by Memorial Day.

I'm not holding my breath.

Harry vowed, "I am never having another yard sale ever again!"

From his lips to God's ears.

But then I was thinking, we could pack it all up and head for somewhere along the Rt. 127's 690-mile-long yard sale held every year in August, from Addison, Michigan to Gadsden, Alabama.

The Cumberland Mountain area in Tennessee would make a great vacation destination this year. And we could put out a sign that reads ... "Good junk cheap."

Especially if Harry the Non-Haggler is selling.

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