Thursday, December 22, 2011

dumpster diving and curb/alley picking

If you are a follower of American Pickers or Antiques Roadshow or some of the other new shows dedicated to trash and treasures, you certainly have heard about people striking it lucky in the most unexpected places.  All over the country there are city wide clean up days when people can haul accumulations of unwanted "stuff" from their basements, attics, garages or sheds and leave it curb side or in an alley for pick up.  Before dawn, flashlight in hand, coffee in the car there are the true pickers out and about looking for that perfectly good item that will find a new home at their house.  Our extended family includes a sister-in-law who lives in a large city where she has found really big items such as a perfectly grand patio set that was listed on ebay for about $500.00!  Now that is a real deal.

Someone was relating stories of how he used to go to abandoned farms or farmsteads that were to be demolished to clear the land and find useful items in graineries and barns.  These included old implement catalogs which are in hot demand these days.  He also found long forgotten signs and machinery parts that are not available except in those places Mike and Frank are fond of exploring---they always act as though they struck gold or found the ultimate Christmas gift.

These interesting books, manuals and advertising sheets can
be found at Exit 55 Antiques in Fergus Falls.



I must admit that being a book lover has prompted me to dig through a dumpster, plus grab things from the jaws of a hugh garbage truck.  Years ago a fellow teacher and I heard the publishers' sample textbook room/closet was to be emptied and we arrived in time to throw armloads of books into the trunk of her car while the driver of the truck looked on in amusement.  At least we provided new unused books for our students to enjoy!  Several years ago I was asked to help set up an estate sale that included mint condition books that had been stored in trunks in the attic of a garage.  The son-in-law of one daughter was going to be helpful, but he threw away dozens of wonderful vintage books that had been collected by a lady of the house in the 1890s.  Needless to say I quickly filled boxes that went home to my bookshelves! 

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