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Shopping and junking in the Coulee

Junking in the Coulee


Last updated 11/6/2013 at 12:19pm

Get ready for some griping. Here’s Frankie Delano’s ongoing, seasonal complaint, and you all are welcome to join in if you can relate to my current rant. While I was out and about in the Coulee and elsewhere this past weekend and listening to some tunes on the radio, I heard an announcement that there are only a few shopping weeks left before Christmas Day. Can you believe it? Anyway, I thought to myself, I’ve only got two-plus months to shop until I drop. So starts the holiday shopping frenzy.

Do you know what a yard sale shopping frenzy is? What’s next is an explanation that seems to fill the bill but may seem a bit odd to you. While not like the holiday shopping stampedes that we hear about when hundreds of shoppers show up in the early morning hours with some diehards sleeping outdoors to be first in line at a store featuring bargains, especially electronics and games, yard sale frenzies have some of the same components. Such as the urge to be the first on the scene before all of the good stuff is picked over, and also, going back again just before the sale stops to cut deals on what’s left. Call these smart shopping strategies.

Read on. Here’s what I witnessed at a local yard sale a few seasons back.Two seemingly nice gals were standing side by side at a table loaded up with clothes, and at the same exact moment they both grabbed a t-shirt, both pulling on it with steel grips until the material gave way and ripped. So much for that t-shirt. I have to admit, that was a real, live shopping strategy gone bad.

I can’t say good-bye without dishing on the last yard sale I went to. If you were driving on Columbia Avenue in Coulee Dam, a while back on a Friday, early that is, you probably saw a herd of vehicles heading north to the fantastic sale held in Andy’s yard and driveway. I arrived at 10 or so and joined a group of happy shoppers (I guess we were in the second wave) milling around among an assortment of tables, chairs, old 1940s radios, some already sold and waiting for transport, and more tables holding household, home decor and theme stuff. The early crowd got away with (yes, I”m going to say it) some really good stuff such as this sweet deal: a new bathtub kit, one that fits into a corner, priced at 50 bucks instead of hundreds of retail dollars.

Here’s another great buy! Less than $100 netted a savvy buyer a set of six authentic ice cream parlor chairs, all with rusty, heavy bent wire backs and legs and seats intact. A deal that would cost a buyer hundreds of dollars in shops and cities elsewhere. We all bought stuff at that sale on the cheap.

Here’s a request that was brought to my attention recently. Once a sale is over, remove all the old signs from the posts, poles or other sites because if we have the time to put them up, we should make the effort to take them down. I’ve forgotten to take my old signs down in sales gone by, so I’ve got no room to lecture anybody else about signage.

Halloween in the Coulee is always a great event for the kids and the kickoff to the holiday season. I was on the lookout for flying monkeys and at least one glowing, green faced witch with a hooked nose and an extremely tall black hat. She and her monkey crew flew in and hid out somewhere for a night or two, probably out at the Steamboat Rock campground or maybe in the Spring Canyon Campground. She pulled off a candy caper in the Coulee, the monkey crew swooped down and grabbed candy and goodies from the trick or treaters. Meanies!

The holiday bazaars were underway in the Coulee with several events held last Saturday. Kudos to all the volunteers and event coordinators. In closing, Detective Frankie D.’s still looking for yard sales, come rain, wind, snow, and freezing temperatures, so I’ll see you out and about. Think spring.


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