Big garage sale weekend brings treasures, perils

<I>DAMIAN MULINIX photo</I><BR>One seller set up a sign to attract garage salers along a block of other sales, offering great parking, with one exception.

World's Longest Garage Sale offers a variety of finds

PENINSULA - From trash to treasures, garbage to grandeur. With so much stuff to find, it's only logical that it has to last four days.

The World's Longest Garage Sale, which took place Friday May 28 through Monday, May 31, offered people on the Peninsula the chance to clear out the coffers and get rid of all the stuff that has been piled in the collective closets and storage spaces for far too long. At the same time, anyone looking for something antique or even slightly used had the chance to try their luck at around 100 sales from Naselle to Leadbetter.

For example, at a sale near N. 16th and Ocean Beach Blvd, record albums were going for a nickel-a-piece. A jazz classic by Cannonball Adderley, and a rare Thelonious Monk LP, as well as full sets of Mozart 78s that looked as though they had never been played before, were some top finds. For those interested in sports memorabilia, a soft cover copy of "Who's Who in Baseball 1975" was to be found at one large vendor sale in Seaview. The book, which features lifetime stats up to 1974 for every player to make the major leagues in '75, has several interesting facts and notations. One obvious oversight however comes on the first entry, that of "Hammerin'" Hank Aaron, who broke Babe Ruth's all-time home run record the year before, yet there is no mention of this in the book.

One group that profits greatly, in more ways than one from the sale, is the South Pacific County Humane Society Animal Shelter in Long Beach. Thanks to donations of saleable items from the community, they had stuff piled along tables throughout the hallways of the kennel - old kitchen appliances and housewares stacked next to shaggy brown dogs with a friendly faces. The shelter is normally able to raise about $5,000 each year from the sale according to Diana Galbreath, shelter director, usually on a lot of "antique-type stuff." She said a lot of people upgrade on their computer stuff, so they get a lot of that as well. They also had records, tapes, CDs and comic books - all in plastic with cardboard backing - including many Spiderman titles, three-for-a-buck.

Perhaps the best part about holding a sale at the shelter is that while people browse for treasures, they also get up-close and personal with the animals there - some end up walking away with $10 in old dishes and a new pet.

"That's why we do this here," said Galbreath

She said that last year a robust feline named "Cat-zilla," which had been in the shelter for eight months, ended up being adopted by one happy shopper.

In Ilwaco, one of the biggest sales was held in the field and old warehouse behind Red's Antique store.

"Is this popcorn machine for sale?," one shopper asked of an old vendor-style popcorn popper on spoked wheels.

"Yeah, I think he wants $1,100 for it," was the reply.

Dick Lundquist and his wife Betty own the majority of the stuff; the two recently sold Red's.

"It's an accumulation of all the auctions we've gone to and didn't put in the store," he said.

Just then, a woman with small dog in tow walked up to Lundquist with a handful of kitchen utensils, looking for a good price.

"I've got two tongs, one spoon, one thing and one thing," she said of the items she didn't know names for.

"How about $2?" Lundquist replied.

His warehouse was filled with items that many people might lovingly refer to as simply "junk," like a set of enormous snowflakes made of white and silver garland over metal wire. Lundquist had bought the set for decorating the store and was selling them for $35 a piece, and had already parted with several.

You could see a vast differential in the "quality" of sales after driving around for awhile. One guy's sale in Midway was so small that it's hard to imagine he made enough money to pay for the signs he made from the sides of cardboard boxes. On the other end of the spectrum you had the cul-de-sac of 229th Place in Ocean Park, which was almost like garage sale heaven, as seven of the dozen-or-so houses on the block hosted sales.

Jerry and Anita Anderson of Battle Ground have been traveling over for the big weekend sale for the past five years, setting up their RV with a table in front, where they host their sale. This year, the couple brought their friends Wayne and Jackie Harry, who set up right next to them.

The Harrys had a bevy of unusual alcohol-related items for sale from back "when we used to be entertained."

"I think we've had liquor in these before," said Jackie of a set of bottles for rum: shaped like a pirate, cactus jack: a cowboy, and Scotch: a highland Scotsman in kilt and bagpipes.

Though it may have been easy to get burned out on the whole process, you know it won't be more than a weekend or two before those same people are out there again, selling stuff they thought they couldn't part with, and buying stuff that in some cases will end up in sales of their own not too long after.

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