A Sixty-five Mile Yard Sale

Published 11:39 am Wednesday, November 17, 2021

From Camilla, Georgia to Ft. Gaines, Georgia is about 65 miles traveling along Highway 37. This past Saturday, they had a yard sale with somebody else’s “stuff” all along that highway.

Just like the book, Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche, real men don’t do yard sales. A fellow told me recently, “I’ve got enough junk already. I don’t need to buy any more.”

I wasn’t buying, but our Mitchell County church was participating so that it might increase its Benevolence Fund. Church members were encouraged to look through their closets, attics, and wherever junk accumulates and donate it to our yard sale.

Since I have never experienced a yard sale, I learned a lot about them. One thing I learned was that inflation does not affect yard sales. Just because the price of bacon and eggs has gone up, doesn’t mean the price of junk has. Yard sales might as well be known as “Everything’s a Dollar.”

It didn’t take me long to realize that. I took some things that I thought might sell well. Since the Georgia Bulldogs are doing well this year, I took some of my Georgia stuff. They were mostly items that were duplicates and I figured I could sell the extras and make the church some money.

We had some price tags that we could put on the items and I, naively, put $5.00 on one and $2.00 on a few of the others. Good prices for good stuff. People were interested, but bought none. They saw the prices, but still asked, “How much?” If I held firm on the price, it was no dice, but when I held up one finger, meaning one dollar, it was like hot cakes. Sold!

I told someone that I believe you could have a Ford 150 Pick-up truck with a sign for $20.00 and it would not sell until you held up the one finger.

The lady who coordinated our sale was a pro at yard sales. She had once owned an antique store and was used to bargaining with folks, but even she knew the value of “one dollar.”

I didn’t go the distance; all the way to Ft. Gaines, but stayed in Camilla. A friend of mine who was in the town for other business was amazed at all the people who came out to the yard sale. Traffic was brisk and I took a walk up the street to see what others were selling.

My favorite stop was at another church’s bake sale. You could forget the “one dollar rule” at their spot, but there was good reason. They weren’t selling old shirts and shoes. They had cakes and slices of cakes for sale. I picked out a slice of strawberry cake and paid $3.99 for a big slice. It was worth every penny!

There was another interesting observation. At least half the crowd seemed to be of Hispanic ethnicity. I can remember back in the mid-sixties when a tomato farmer in Mitchell County would bring in Mexicans for gathering his summer tomato crop. That was my first introduction to migrant labor and, although I did not interact with them; had no reason to, I marveled at their language.

At the 65-mile yard sale last Saturday, the Hispanic population walking around was quite large and it’s very evident that they are not migrants anymore, but permanent residents in our nation. I couldn’t understand them and they couldn’t understand me, but they understood one thing.

When they pointed out an item of interest to them and I held up one finger, we understood each other. They smiled and so did I as they handed over a dollar and put some more stuff in their bag.