September 4, 2013 | LXXIII, No. 23

Shopping and junking in the coulee

by Frankie Delano

Hey, shoppers, did you miss me? So now it’s after Labor Day weekend, which, in the wonderful world of shopping and junking signals (gasp!) the possibility of fewer yard, garage, moving, and special interest (antique and collectible) sales being held in the Coulee.

We still have a few more weeks of possibly acceptable weather for outdoor sales, that of cool mornings and balmy afternoons, which allow us ample opportunities for running the yard sale gamut, like getting to and then walking around tables and tarps loaded with mounds of great stuff, just waiting there for us to show up. Let the sunshine reign in the Coulee.

Anyway, here’s something really important for you shoppers to ponder when you are sitting around with nothing much to do, and to play off of Tom Hank’s quotable lines in Forest Gump, Junking is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” How sweet junking is!

Remember, let’s not take offense when someone asks you what you’ve been up to and you reply, “junking in the Coulee.” Why? Because junking took a gigantic, upscale leap when the recession hit a few years back. Now, everybody, including the rich and famous, are doing the junking dance. Labor Day weekend was a buyers’ paradise for shoppers on the hunt with cash in hand, starting with Friday’s early bird specials.

Here’s a tiny look at some great buys you missed out on if you weren’t out there wading through the piles with us. Across from The Pub, Karyn, with the help of family members, especially Karaoke Kevin, a cousin here for a quick visit from Indiana, had a great selection of home fashions (the new buzz phrase for home decor), and plenty of gal stuff, nice clothing, accessories and high-end cosmetics. So much to choose from, so little time … but guess what we saw there? A grouping of hand crafted table-top decorations, made especially for a previously held, local high school prom, and fashioned in rich, dark colors. The fancy ribbons, jewels and feathers, a la New Orleans style, were eye catching and beautiful.

About Kevin. You might say that he’s an unsung comedian, a great sales helper and has been known to belt out a few Garth Brooks songs like The Dance when he’s visiting in the Coulee.

Did you stop by the estate sale on Partello Park? On Friday morning, buyers showing up early were treated to a whole yard full of goodies, the tables loaded up with dishes, kitchenware, and bedding with some furniture set out on the lawn and a bunch of floor cleaning buckets and vacuum cleaners, too. Over 200 tiny, mostly ceramic shoes and 50 or more crystal and ceramic bells, a partial representation of a mother and daughter’s lifelong collections, were up for sale and really fun to examine. A close look at some of the thumb-size shoes revealed tiny high heeled numbers with upturned toe boxes. Detective Frankie D. found a new, repo (reproduction of an antique) quilt in a wedding ring design for a few dollars. An antique quilt similar to this repo, made a 100 years ago and in fair condition, would be priced for several hundred dollars at a vintage shop or market.

Kudos to the gals running the Partello Park sale for their effort to save a pair of abandoned newborn squirrels whose mom disappeared in the latest windstorm, blowing through the Coulee early last week, and leaving these little creatures homeless but in good hands, after all. On Saturday morning, the babies were sleeping soundly, curled up in a ladies slipper, and almost ready for another feeding from a dropper containing a formula for kittens.

Time to sign off, so let’s go out with a song. How about this one. Rollin’ on the River, made famous twice, first by Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1969 and then, by the Queen, Tina Turner, in 1971. When you get ready to roll to your next yard or junk sale, go for the song’s repeater, rollin, rollin, rollin. Set the mood and enjoy. Happy Sales.

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