By Crazy Joe - Be A Survivor
It is October and many folks are cleaning out the basement or garage one last time for that nice fall day to have one last yard sale. Ah men scoff - yard sales. The thing our women folk try to drag us to on occasion. Yard sales are a place some of our money goes to and in return the women folk bring home more dumb junk to hang on the front door or store in the garage. If we are lucky it will get sold when she has a yard sale in the spring. That does not guarantee we will get our money back but at least it is out of the basement or closet.
I remember being in my early 20's and my mom tried to get my dad to go with her. He used to say "a bunch of someone elses crap which I don't need and that's why they are selling it - it's crap". Yes I had heard about yard sales and saw them while driving down the road. Lots of women milling about over tables on a front lawn. I knew to stay clear of yard sales until one day a friend of mine needed help. Carl told me his mom's friend had some lawn equipment she was getting rid of. Carl had a lawn business and could use some more tools and a new spreader especially since it was gonna be free. So I went with Carl to this woman's house to help him load up whatever she was giving away.
We got there and she greeted us and explained how her HUSBAND DIED two weeks before. She took us to his domain. Out behind the house was the large garage which housed his life, his tools. This is where this man obviously created, planned, built and repaired things the past 40 years. Not as fancy as "Norm's This Old House Workshop" but BOY!!! this guy had some stuff. Table saw, wood and metal lathe, drill press and enough hand tools and hand power tools to stock a hardware store. She told us how she was having a yard sale next Saturday and was getting rid of everything he owned. This also included all his hunting gear in the house. I had an awakening, a realization in those first 10 minutes at this woman's house. She was going to sell a lifetime of stuff and here we were being offered dibs and for free anything we wanted. To bad I am a medium to large and this guy was an extra large. I was a newly wed and took 10 pfaltzgraff dinner plates and matching sandwich plates - the original brown and cobalt blue "folk pattern" which I still have to this day some 30 years later. I also grabbed a small tool box and a few hand tools. After helping Carl load up all the yard equipment we thanked the widow and headed out.
I started checking out this yard sale thing and learned many of them were being held for the same reason. I then started stopping, while by myself of course, at them. I started seeing things that were barely going for pennies on the dollar. Also good manners and nice conversation could get me "oh go ahead and take that one too no charge - what's a quarter to me". It did not feel odd being a 20 something surrounded by 40 to 70 year old women. I was on a mission. I discovered I loved yard sales because the huge savings it could bring me. I was finding stuff hardly ever used and brand name stuff too. In secret I started telling my friends about what I was finding and buying. It blew their minds especially when I had the Stanley Skill Saw with me that I only paid 4 bucks for. The guy died. His wife wanted it out of the house. This scenario was commonplace.
So men I strongly suggest the next time YOU ARE ALONE and you see a yard sale - STOP. Sure there are lots of baby toys and clothes, house wares and Christmas decorations BUT!!!! you may see the pot of tools at the end of the rainbow. A friend of mine recently got the one piece overall thermal lined Carhart brand jumpsuit...how can you say no to this for 10 bucks. Sure it was a bit worn but no holes and no rips or tears. My last find was a three foot bow saw with a nearly new blade - mine for 3 bucks. The real "find" in this is that it is made of real thicker steel and was made in America maybe 40 years ago. This is the last point if not the more important one. So much of this stuff is 30, 40 or even 50 years old. Built to last and made in America.
Why wait for the real recession/depression to go out and save some money. If you are in need of some car jack stands or a huge table top vise weighing 50 pounds - price it out new so when you see it for sale for 10 bucks let me know how much you saved. And remember men - real men love yard sales but never tell or let the women folk find out. That could be the end of us.
Happy tool, gear or equipment hunting...Crazy Joe in South Jersey
...that is all.
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