..by Anura Guruge
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We plan to go this year. We have not been to this event in Meredith in a long time. We are all avid pickers. It is difficult for us to drive by a yard or garage sale without stopping. The Alton Town Wide Yard Sale (on June 1 this year) goes on our calendar months ahead of time and we try to never miss it — even going out in the rain a couple of years ago and picking up some ‘good’ stuff. Our biggest problem is lack of space! I am an eclectic, impulsive collector with no rhyme or reason. If it catches my fancy and the price is right I buy it. Then we have to find a place to put it, and that is the problem. Of late I am into toys not that I ever lost my interest in toys. About a month ago we stopped, by habit, a Saturday yard sale not far from home. There was only one thing that caught my eye. It was this 3′ model:
They were asking an extremely fair price — though I actually didn’t have that amount of cash on me. There was a little boy around. I asked him whether he wanted to keep it. The Mum and Dad were both adamant that they didn’t have the time to build it. I told them about all the models of ships and planes I build for my son — and how he took over. They still were not convinced. We told them to hold it till we rushed home and came back with a checkbook When we came back, I again tried to convince them to keep it. No, they didn’t want. So, I wrote them a check. I am in the process of building it. It is a bit tricky. Helps that I have built 20 or so model ships, including the Titanic. Not sure where I am going to put it when it is finished. It really is 3′ long. No, I am not going to tell you how much I paid for it.
This model, though it was a ‘pick’, was by no means my best pick. Four years ago at the Alton Town Wide I saw this Lego kit, unopened, at a house not far from Alton Central School.
I asked the lady how much she wanted for it. I won’t embarrass anybody by saying what she said. I was shocked. I asked her whether she realized that it was a collectible. She said that it might be but that she was not interested. She went onto say that she had bought it a ‘few’ years ago as a birthday present for one of her son’s friends but it had not worked out. She had kept it and now she wanted to sell it. I asked her twice more whether she really wanted to sell it. She was adamant. I handed over what she wanted. I did not bargain as I sometimes do. When she gave me the box I took it and ran to the car. I could not believe it. Yes, I checked it on eBay when we got home. Deanna told me to list it. I said: “Heck no. I am going to build it. Plus it would not be right.” It was great fun to build. A bit fiddly and some parts didn’t fit that well. But, what a model. So, I go to all yard sales hoping that I might find another great pick like one of these.