Down East 2013 ©
Spring has finally sprung here in Mahoosuc Mills. You know what that means, don’t you? Yard sale season is upon us. Hallelujah! I can’t wait to get out there and see what everyone’s getting rid of! And how organized they are.
If you want some general tips on how to have a successful yard sale, see my blog entry from May 1, 2009, entitled “Yard Sale Pointers.” Assuming you’re up to snuff on the basics, let’s move on to something I didn’t cover in that blog, which happens to be the number one yard sale rule: once it leaves the house, it doesn’t come back in.
Honoring the number one rule is easy if you remember the golden rule of yard sales: if it has any sentimental value, I don’t care if it’s a bottle cap, keep it. If you remember that golden rule, then rest is easy. You’ll be ready to part with everything in your yard sale.
That means at the end of the day, whatever hasn’t sold gets sorted into two piles: dump and Goodwill. It’s just common sense. After making all that effort to get rid of the stuff, why the hell would you haul it back inside to collect dust for another ten years? See, this is why your yard sale only goes until 3:00. That gives you time to sort through the stuff that didn’t sell, drop some at Goodwill, haul the rest to the dump, and still make it to the baked bean supper in time to get a piece of peanut butter pie (which is always the first to go)!
Besides, you know your stuff will be appreciated by the folks at Goodwill and by Whitey Hebert down to the dump. (I’m sure you got someone like him in your town, too.) Just about every weekend, spring through fall, Whitey and his son, Little Whitey (who’s got to be over 6 feet tall, and probably weighs 250) are pretty much camped out down to the swap shop there, waiting to score all the stuff that people didn’t sell at their yard sales.
Whitey Hebert, now there’s a piece of work. You’ll never see him at a yard sale. For a fella like Whitey, buying stuff is out of the question. That would be failing at his life’s mission, which is getting stuff for free. No, Whitey backs his truck right up to the Swap Shop at the dump and just stands in the doorway. When he sees you driving up, he’s like, “Come to Papa.” Your boxes of junk never even hit the ground. They go directly from your truck to his. All of it, he’s not picky. And Whitey never breaks a sweat. If there’s any heavy lifting to do, Little Whitey does all the work. His father just stands there chewing tobacco and supervising.
Now what does Whitey Hebert do with all that crap from the Swap Shop? Well, I’ll tell you. He brings it home, puts it under one of them blue tarps and your stuff merges into what’s got to be one of the moldiest yard sales in Maine. Whitey’s wife, June, runs that part of the operation. Poor dear. You’ve probably seen her sitting in her lawn chair, house dress, hair in curlers, smoking a butt. Charlie calls her Our Lady of the Perpetual Yard Sale.
Anyhoo, keep your eyes peeled. Them yard sales signs should be going up any day, now. And remember: the early bird gets the all the good stuff !
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flipside!
(Listen to the podcast of Ida's column here. )