Tuesday, May 26, 2009  
   Volume 79 - Issue 21 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“Obviously there was a little bit of fat left.”
- Councillor David Cole  
- on the Community   
Services budget   


Looking Back - John KinnearIf it's true when they say: "You are what you buy", then the electric yoyo I bought at a garage sale last year doesn't leave me in a very good light.  It was one of a dozen or so oddball items I felt compelled to add to my meaningless collection that Saturday and I suppose ultimately it will bear a masking tape label of 50 cents and be displayed at my own garage sale someday, some year.
My wife Lorraine and I have found "saleing" to be a most entertaining, social and sometimes very rewarding activity.  Saturday summer mornings in the Pass, like many other towns and cities, is a time for some to drive around to the locations indicated on posters at the post office or in the paper and peruse the offerings of those who claim to be "moving" or just fed up with all that clutter.
Amongst the deals I forked out money for one Saturday were: a bamboo bent rocker, a brass lobster ashtray, a piece of railroad rail made into an anvil, a World War Two book on armaments, a hanging basket chair (yes, I bought one of those bloody things) and an airplane kite. I figure I get told to go fly one enough times so I might as well own one.
In this world of throwaway, disposable everything garage sales are a unique type of recycling that keeps a lot of "good junk" in flux, moving from household to household and out of our regional landfill.  "One man’s junk is another man’s treasure".
Eliminating the excess stuff around us is like weeding a garden. It gives what remains a chance to take on a new significance; to come alive.  Going through your possessions can break the anal-retentive hoarding habits that signify insecurity in many of us, both rich and poor.  Get rid of everything you really don't want, need or use.  You've forgotten about most of it anyways.
Garage sale, tag sale, lawn sale, porch sale, barn sale, attic sale or estate auctions, they're all the same.  Whatever you choose to call them they are designed to make some room, generate a fistful of mad money and give you an excuse to sit around all Saturday and/or Sunday, sip coffee and pontificate on the weather with perfect strangers. Going to them is a wonderful opportunity to meet new neighbours, explore other people’s properties (discreetly of course) and chat with perfect strangers on a warm social level.
Garage salers come in all types and sizes, young and old and are united in a common cause.  That is to buy something they think they can use, that someone else doesn't want anymore and that is selling for peanuts.
Even "free" offers of stuff can't compare to legitimately "scooping" a perfectly good clock radio for 75 cents from someone.  (Tip: Watch for any twitching, hesitation or eye blinking when you ask "Does it still work?")
There is one particular type of saler that shows up at garage sales that is a pain to everyone concerned.  These pests are known as "early birders" and are likely to show up three days before a sale and whine about "going away" the day of the sale or that they are working that day and can they please come in and have a quick look.  Be sure to run them off with a garden rake and let everyone have a chance at your prime junk at the appointed times posted.
Of all the garage sale oddities that I have come across there is one item that stands out in my mind as one of the most outrageous examples of 20th century junk conceivable.  It is hidden away, down my basement; a gift from my dear mother, who was a champion "saler", prone to buying those oddball items like a nude statue corkscrew.  The condemned item gathering dust is a plastic doll about one foot high; a buxom blonde in a black negligee, sitting pertly with her legs tucked underneath her and long blonde hair draped over her shoulders.  All in all she’s not that bad except that she is also an AM  radio with a 9 volt battery hidden somewhere in her umh.... bottom.  The feature that has cursed "Marilyn", as I call her, to obscurity is the unusual location of the off/on and station tuning dials, the positioning of which seems to shock almost anyone who beholds her.  Except my mother of course, who found "Marilyn" to be outrageously funny.
My best buy ever was a large old reel to reel tape recorder I bought a few years back for ten bucks.  Next to it at the sale that day sat a box with 25 - 4 inch reels of music that the owner no longer wanted as he had copied all of them to cassette. Priced at 25 cents each, each reel had 4 full albums on it of music from my "era", which gave me over 100 albums of "my music" and a tape player to boot.  So for $16.25 I was able to drown myself in 60's and 70's music anytime I wanted.  You'll note I speak of this "bargain" in the past tense.  Anyone wanna buy a tape recorder??  Garage sales, they're a real gas, man!!
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John Kinnear Archives

   Volume 79 - Issue 21 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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