And Everywhere That Elvis Went . . .

By: qwerty53

Aug 14 2008

Category: fleamarkets, Hwy 127 Corridor Sale, Uncategorized, Unique Vacation Ideas, World's Longest Yard Sale

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Aperture:f/4.8
Focal Length:40mm
ISO:200
Shutter:1/50 sec
Camera:NIKON D70

This past week was the annual Hwy 127 World’s Longest Yard Sale, which runs from Gadsen up through TN and KY and this year was extended even further north by avid fleamarketers and yard sale aficionados who can’t get enough of this popular phenomenon. In past years, I have driven most of the route between Gadsen, AL and Jamestown, TN, the town that originally conceived this yard sale as a tourist attraction. This year I took my 13-year old son in an effort to provide him with an unique educational opportunity and to further test my newly devised creative teenage torture techniques. 

This event is now well-advertised, mainly through HGTV, who each year film an episode or two during early August, and people attend from all over the U.S. This year, I met two ladies from Los Angeles who had specially planned the trip because it was on their ‘must do before I die’ list!

Exhibitors range from those who regularly travel the flea market circuit with real collectibles and antiques to those who just cleaned out their closets last week or happen to live along Hwy 127 and have whipped up a batch of fresh fried pies, seemingly a popular offering. It makes for truly open season on browsing, negotiating, and possibly even making a buck or two.

For me, this year was an eye-opening realization that beauty must surely be in the eye of the beholder, as I beheld some of the trashiest treasures and most useless kitsch ever slapped with a price tag! And where on earth will we ever dispose or recycle all of this ultimately useless stuff, when no one will even take it for free?

When not obsessed with worries of an ecological nature, I admit the sheer diversity of the spectacle sucked me right in, along with my camera. There were antique tractors, modestly priced at $700 and up, plenty of rusty plows and other old farm equipment; vintage autos were grouped here and there attracting brisk onlookers. One booth contained hundreds of sets of salt and pepper shakers, and people were loading up box tops with their selections. Also I noted throughout large quantities of fishing rods, reels, lures, kettles, cast iron reproduction banks and door stops, glassware (milk glass, Carnival glass, china both fine and overruns), pottery – the ubiquitous Fiesta and those opaque green bowls Martha Stewart made popular, purses, clothing of every size and style, hand painted saw blades, books, magazines, video components and computers and a horseless carriage marked ‘Sold’! And the spirit of Elvis lurked at every turn!

My list will stop at this point, as it is an event to be experienced rather than read about!

If you would like to see a good many photos that document the spirit of the yard sale, see:
http://www.pbase.com/qwertycards/yardsale_2008

http://www.pbase.com/qwertycards/2008_worlds_longest_yard_sale_2

 

This work and photos copyright August 2008 by Laura Brookhart

 

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