Monday, June 6, 2011

National Road Yard Sale

Who knew there was an annual 800 mile-long yard sale along Route 40, spanning St. Louis to Baltimore—and running right through Indiana? And where else would you find out about it than a beauty salon? One of the women who works in the shop where I get my hair done had gotten up early to check it out between Indy and Richmond, near the state line, and was talking about the treasures she’d found when I got there Thursday afternoon.

Of course, we had to go! Highway 40 is archetypal Indiana, with its corn and soybean fields, old farmhouses, and little towns. We drove, stopping here and there, when something caught our fancy.

I've got to say, it was mostly a lot of junk. Still you had to appreciate the sheer weirdness of selection—everything used underwear to rubber-banded sets of restaurant swizzle sticks, Sponge Bob lights, cassette tapes, ratty baseball caps, worn combat fatigues, and a waxed, gleaming, cherry red chopper—being sold from yards, tents, barns, churches, parking lots,under beach umbrellas, and the back of pick-up trucks and campers.

I mean, who wouldn't jump at the opportunity to spend all afternoon on a ninety-five degree day for the chance to discover these irresistible ladies-with-fruit-hats salt-and-pepper shakers?