One Ziploc baggie of magnetic poetry: 5 cents. A Burger King-issued Star Wars glass emblazoned with profiles of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia: 25 cents.
These are hallmarks of an entirely different culture, born of disregarded knickknacks buried under inches of dust and scores of cobwebs in garages across the country. For yet another year they were unearthed and put on display at the Como Community Garage Sale this weekend.
Avid bargain-hunters found an array of things, from baby clothes and toys to boxes of Hamburger Helper and a stick of deodorant while searching for hidden treasures in the neighborhood.
The second annual sale was sponsored and organized by the Southeast Como Improvement Association in hopes to attract students within the neighborhood, said Wendy Menken, a SECIA member.
“We decided to have it in the fall because the ‘U’ starts then and everyone else has theirs in the spring,” she said.
University student Paul Blincow and his wife Laura were on their way to pick up some milk at Joe’s Market on Como on Saturday when a yard sign drew them into a sale.
Their unexpected stop yielded some much needed kitchen accessories – crushed cranberry and creme kitchen towels and oven mitts.
“We’re just looking for house stuff, whatever jumps out at you,” Laura said as she milled through an estate sale.
In a community that is 50 percent students and 50 percent families, Menken stressed the value of students potentially taking leadership roles and becoming more active in the neighborhood.
Menken also said a community garage sale was a good way to bring people into the community.
“If neighbors can pull enough people together, you can get dealers coming out and bringing in people from outside the neighborhood,” Menken said.
Como area resident Marian Jacobs has participated in the SECIA community garage sale both years.
Jacobs offered potential buyers an array of coats, books and other items.
But this year’s sale was slower for Jacobs, with mostly people just driving by.
Fifty-one residents participated in the garage sale, up from 44 last year.
Most students just meandered from garage to garage, with nothing particular in mind.
Sarah Anderson, a fourth-year Medical School student, left one of the sales empty-handed.
But that didn’t discourage her from hopping to yet another sale.
“I’m just having fun looking at all of the bargains,” Anderson said.”You never know what you’ll find.”
Robyn Repya covers the East Bank and welcomes comments at [email protected]