C'est La Vie trois


Last updated 4/30/2014 at 12:47pm

There were a few hyper-milers (snail drivers) in the Coulee last week-end, starting on Thursday afternoon with a few more driving in slow motion on some of the streets in Grand Coulee and Electric City on Friday and again on Saturday morning, on the hunt for a moving sale and another sale, advertised as in a garage but actually outdoors.

And yes, slowing down to a snail’s pace makes a difference when there’s foot traffic on the streets and drivers “putting on the brakes,” sometimes with only inches to spare, thus avoiding a rear ender. I witnessed a junk sale rear ender in Omak a few years ago. There was a display of posturing and shouting, and a little crowd of shoppers stopped rooting long enough to get the scoop on to the two gals involved, but not for long. After all, rooting takes priority over not-so-friendly talk and a dent or two.

Neither of the sales, as advertised in The Star, carried that dreaded disclaimer, “weather permitting,” so despite the wind doing its best to interfere, and mean-looking clouds and drippy rain off and on, plus two highly anticipated events outside the Coulee, quite a few local shoppers took home some great stuff and real honest-to-goodness rusty, junky treasures.

Up in the Grand Coulee heights, Lois and Gaylen’s moving sale was a humdinger (I like this slangy word so get used to it), and featured an assortment of furniture and appliances, all good condition and priced right for a quick move out. Even better than the household stuff were the gizmos displayed on tables and benches inside the garage, such as an old hand-held “bee hive smoker” made of metal, most likely tin, and sporting leather bellows.This unusual item sold for a few bucks and was in good shape. Another goodie, priced at over $100, was 1900-era railroad signal lantern, from Chicago, with its original green and amber glass domes, metal light reflectors, a base for kerosene oil, lit by a wick, and a handle (for swinging the lamp back and forth). Collectors, as noted online, will pay upwards of several hundred dollars for a signal lantern, depending on its condition.

Do you have an interest in learning about old timey farm implements? Well, this topic might be a stretch for some of us, and yet, learning something new about something old is a good thing! The case in point being that we, shoppers, found a lot of the rusty but not junky stuff out on tables and lined up on the grounds at a really cool sale on Washington Street in Grand Coulee last Saturday.

The homeowners, Tim and Joe, and “old” Tim (as he called himself) and another guy, a retired farmer (maybe), knew and shared the history on the stuff on sale there. Besides the tools, home remodeling and repair items and household items, there was a selection of not-so-familiar items, from long ago and used in an “ice house” along the Okanogan River, near the town of Okanogan, plus tools, made of wood and metal and some covered with rust, that farmers used for plowing the fields and in everyday work conditions. There was a gizmo made of metal, with a wood handle and hand-hewed tray that, a long time ago, a farmer’s wife used to grind up corn and possibly other grains. It sold for $5. And, among other rusty items, this shopper took home a rust-covered saw, kind of looking like the long-bladed saws that lumber jacks used a hundred years ago to cut down trees, but this one-handled saw, about 6 feet long, was used to cut ice blocks from the Okanogan River. Nice find.

Finding old timey things that have a backstory and that can be traced to a location in your neck of the woods makes a find extra special. See you at the sales. I’’ll be one of the shoppers peering at the rusty junk!


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