Garage Sale Day 2008

Another year, another Sun Valley Garage Sale Day gone by.

As a youngster, my mom and grandma hauled my sister and I to our fair share of garage sales, but Sun Valley’s Garage Sale Day was the first “neighborhood” garage sale I can personally remember attending. On every Garage Sale Day, dozens of our neighbors would open their garage doors, exchanging both greetings and piles of junk with one another. Garage Sale Day wasn’t just about the garage sales — it was a neighborhood-wide block party. With each passing year Garage Sale Day seemed to grow. More and more people began to participate. Kids opened lemonade, kool-aid, soda and popcorn stands. Some neighbors began holding fundraisers for kids sport teams by grilling hamburgers and hot dogs and selling them for a nominal fee. For the parents, Garage Sale Day was all about catching up with neighbors; for us. the kids, Garage Sale Day ranked right up there with Christmas. I have this distinct memory of walking a couple of blocks back home, struggling with a lava lamp under one arm and a shoebox full of Hot Wheel cars under the other.

I don’t know what’s happened to Garage Sale Day over the years. I suspect the Sun Valley “veterans” have tired of having garage sales year after year (maybe they’ve already sold everything), and the newer residents have no desire to socialize with the rest of us. Whatever the cause, it seems fewer home owners participate in Garage Sale Day each year, and with fewer regulars having garage sales, fewer regulars have been showing up to visit them. We still go — we’ll always go — but the days of walking around and bumping into old friends and neighbors seems to be all but over. We saw less than half a dozen parties we recognized, a far cry from the days when you might recognize that many groups before you could make it to the end of your driveway.

This year the whole garage sale clan got together. Like last year, I brought my golf kart over to Dad’s, and once again it was a hit. Last year the kart ran out of holding room, so this year I fastened a 30 gallon plastic tub to the roof with a pair of bungie cords. Problem solved.

The one thing I was keeping an eye out for a futon. I’m having some out of town friends come and visit later this month, and I need some more sleeping facilities. Halfway down my dad’s street, we ran across one. Asking price? $5. Deal! But how does one get a futon home when they’re half a block away from home? The redneck way, of course!

Don’t worry — Mason didn’t really ride atop the hillbilly mobile. He took his spot in back, next to Morgan. Doug (Linda’s husband) rode along to help me offload/reload the futon, and my nephew Griffin went along for the ride. We caught back up with the group in no time after the speedy delivery.

One thing I want to mention was this year’s additions to the golf kart — fuzzy dice (as seen above) and the GPS from my truck, which was completely unnecessary but still kind of funny.

Everybody left garage sale day with something new, whether it was a vase, a toy robot, or a stinky ol’ futon. Rain or shine, we’lll be back again next year.

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