It’s pretty amazing when I think about it.
In a few days I’ll be sitting in my front yard, greeting people from throughout the United States and even the world. I’m not exactly sure just where the people will be from, but in the past they’ve traveled from Hawaii, Alaska, California, Massachusetts, Florida, Alabama, Rhode Island and probably just about every state, and a number from Canada. We’ve also had people from Japan, Mexico, England and several other European countries.
Fortunately for me folks will be surprised by a chance to visit an author in his home environment, and many will be heading out with signed copies of my books. For a self-employed author like me it just doesn’t get much better than that.
As a bonus, we will be thinning out our extra possessions and pocketing a bit of extra cash in the process.
It’s great fortune for us to reside on U.S. 127. We don’t even have to leave home to take part in The World’s Longest Yard Sale.
It’s termed The World's Longest Yard Sale for good reason – it actually is the longest yard sale in the world. The sale, which runs Aug. 4 to 7, is 690 miles long and travels through Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. The majority of the route follows U.S.127 from Addison, Michigan, to the north to its southern terminus at Chattanooga, Tennessee.
I’ve noticed that many people who live a long distance away begin at Addison and head south, hitting our residence north of Bryan along the way.
That sale is a true boon to many area businesses, especially restaurants and hotels on and near the route, as crowds flock to take advantage of the bargains along the way. Just about anything you can imagine is for sale along U.S. 127, both by local residents and by professional vendors who rent spots to offer their wares.
In our sale we’ll offer antiques, collectibles, books, tools, some handcrafted items, and Diane is thinning out her stuffed animal collection. We will have some stuff that we consider junk but others may well view as treasures. And that’s just what Diane, myself and our family members will offer. We have friends from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania planning to attend with their antiques, plus the return of a longtime friend who has been a part of our sale for decades.
I was a bit slow to catch on that setting up a book display with my own historic house in the background is a great way to promote and sell my books. Many people enjoy meeting and speaking with authors and getting signed copies of books, so I am happy to oblige them.
When folks realize that this is my home and the house plays a prominent role in some of my books, they often are intrigued. Quite frankly just the fascinating conversations I have with visitors as I sign books is well worth my time spent at the sale.
The only downside to having our own sale is missing out on traveling the route ourselves. I have run across some amazing finds and bargains in past years. We typically shut down our sale either Friday night or early Saturday, and check what others in the area have to offer. I hope to do that this year as well.
I’m very much anticipating interesting conversations with our visitors. What I’m not looking forward to is continuing to go through our possessions, lugging totes and boxes down the stairs, setting up tables, and arranging and pricing everything.
And what I’m really not anticipating is packing up the unsold items afterward, and lugging the boxes and totes upstairs in the garage. But I know it’s part of the deal, so I’ll buckle down and do it.
I hope you’ll have a chance to stop by, say hi, take a look at what we’ve got to offer, and even get a signed copy of any of my books you’ve missed along the way.
Don Allison is an author, historian and retired editor of The Bryan Times. HGe can be reached at www.fadedbanner.com.
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