I just returned from a resale adventure. With my brother at the wheel, his wife at his side, we plunged into the self-proclaimed “World’s Longest Yard Sale” our pockets full of single bills, our heads filled with dreams of lost treasure found.
The corridor of Highway US127 runs 690 miles from Michigan to Alabama. The sale always begins the first Thursday in August and ends on Sunday. The first sale of this kind was held in 1987 and followed US127 from Covington, Kentucky to Chattanooga, Tennessee. It now includes Alabama to the South and Ohio and Michigan to the North. Don’t think bigger is always better.
Our history with this type of sale can be traced back centuries, to the “romage” sale. Ship yards would hold sales of unclaimed cargo as far back as the 1800s. We now call community sales like this rummage sales.
It is a mixed bag. There were certainly some unique old collectibles, but also plenty of places that looked like someone emptied their junk draw. Also there were sales in asphalt strip mall parking lots, some items wrapped like new fresh from shelves of Walmart or directly from China.
Meals can be a challenge when you are on the road. We opted out of the typical roadside vendor fare, deciding to check out some local spots. The Motor Inn Truck Stop on US-127 in Mendon, Ohio merited two stops. I’m still thinking about the lemon squares and fresh strawberry pie we enjoyed for our desserts. The other two were enjoyable because of their history and hometown ambiance. Kissner’s on Clinton St., in Defiance, Ohio has been in business for 83 years. The staff is friendly and clientele appeared to be local. Fava’s on Main St.in Georgetown Kentucky, was cozy and comfortable.
I wish I could have slowed down a bit and take in the American scene better. Feel like we just had a glimpse into a micro culture. Amish preserves being sold a few feet away from guns and vendors proudly displaying confederate flags. In many of the stops, the sellers seemed to share a kinship, much like I’ve seen at art fairs. Then there was the climate which took on a whole element to itself. At one site in a field, the humidity was steaming up from the grass and cicadas screeching their courtship song, if I closed my eyes I could imagine being in Costa Rica.
I did find two great purses, a watch with bling and melting “Dali-esque” numbers, some yard art and a few found objects I will probably incorporate in an art piece. Given the chance I would go again, but this time try to cover less ground. And take some moments to observe from an anthropological perspective.