MARSHALL - Spring is finally here at long last and with it the perennial signs of spring: trees budding, birds singing and, of course, garage sales.
One can find all the garage sale staples at the citywide garage sale this weekend: old furniture, almost unused exercise equipment and piles of children's clothing from the ages they grow out of before they can wear them out.
One can also find pretty much everything in garage sales one can find in retail outlets. But the treasures of garage saling are things you can't find anymore, or maybe never could.
Photo by Steve Browne
Shelly Rykhus’ garage sale on Whitney Street had a lot of items for sale, though nothing too uncommon. Rykhus did say she sold some Little Cat Critters mechanical catnip mice toys.
Agnes Jorgenson had a few uncommon items at her sale on Soucy Avenue.
"An old phonograph went quickly," Jorgenson said. "I've got old boots with flowers in them, some old Watkins vanilla extract bottles and this flour sifter. That's an antique."
Over on Fremont Street, Mike Loween held up something that looked like a cross between a bird cage and a hanging planter.
"It's a rain lamp," Loween said. "You fill the bottom with mineral oil and turn it on. It drips beads down every one of these strings. It looks like it's raining.
Doug Pilgrim and Jan Loft are emptying the house on 4th Street of everything they, their children and grandchildren don't want.
"We've got this train set nobody wants," Pilgrim said. "The smoke stack smokes and everything."
But some surprising things have moved.
"We sold a bug fogger we thought nobody would want," Loft said. "I've sold several pairs of free weights, cobwebs included."
Abby Dallmann on Whitney Street said she didn't think she had anything unusual, just a lot of baby clothes. Of course she did start Friday with about 50 jigsaw puzzles.
Around the corner on Marshall Street, Becky White didn't think she had anything unusual either.
"Well, last year we sold a beer keg," she said as an afterthought.
On Bruce Circle, Dawn Deutz did have something unusual.
"Mom's leather African mask," Deutz said. "It sold this morning."
Next door Polle Hauge got rid of a lot of Christmas ornaments.
"I sold a Christmas tree," Hauge said. "I loved it! I was so glad to get rid of it."
According to Hauge, it's impossible to tell what will or won't sell. What won't sell one year could be a hot item next year.
Around the corner, Sheila Jerzak also had a Christmas tree but was not as lucky.
"She sold it?" Jerzak asked incredulously.
On Skyline Drive, Barb DeSmet didn't think she had anything especially out of the ordinary, until she remembered something.
"A paper towel dispenser, like you find on the wall of a restaurant," DeSmet said.
DeSmet overlooked a television bracket next to it, the kind that supports TVs hanging from the ceiling in restaurants and bars.
On Silvervine Street, Richard Jolstad pointed out a bicycle built for two in the sale he's running for his daughter, but perhaps Brian Mosch had him, and everyone else, beat.
Mosch runs a sale out of two storage units on Saratoga Street.
"You wouldn't believe some of the stuff I've sold out of here," Mosch said.
To prove it, Mosch held up two objects that looked like twisted metal rods with large metal balls on each end, bent into a "U" shape. Mosch said they were custom tools made by a pipefitter at an ethanol plant for aligning bolt holes and flanges to fit pipes together.
"I had three storage units, now I'm down to two," Mosch said. "I want to get down to one, then I'm retiring and moving to Cocoa Beach, Florida."