As the weather becomes hospitable enough to produce several breeds of parasitic insect problems, it also welcomes yard sale season. As if Ashland didn’t have enough reasons to go exploring, now a stroll or drive about town can become a treasure hunt. Every town has garage sales, and even for its size, Ashland’s thrift scene is somewhat lacking, but Ashland makes up for just one Goodwill with it’s the friendliness and abundance of spring and summer sales.
A town that is comprised of so many students will have sales abound during the end of the school year to make room for the college turnover. As you go browsing, don’t sell student sales short. Although the stereotypical student’s wares won’t be as valuable or as gently used, they have the market for cool stuff cornered. Students tend to be rasher and less prone to clutter-bug prudence. College kids are at that magical age when they are young enough to still get fun Christmas presents from their parents, but are old enough to sell them in haste when a more important urge strikes them (use your imagination). Also, when the school bookstore doesn’t buy back books, students will peddle just barely obsolete, but still plenty educational, editions for mere change.
Sales from the yards of Ashland’s older set can be worth a stop too. A sure stop for one-of-a-kind kitchen ware linins and the occasional great record, senior sales are like a museum for sale. Sometimes thoughtful sales-residents will sticker price everything for your shopping convenience. The downside is that these sales tend to be a little more expensive, but sometimes haggling will work, and when it doesn’t you can try to ask the old timers for help moving something. I once snagged a free hunting knife for five minutes of my muscle.
From fledging gypsy babies selling nickel lemonades, to old buzzards finally loosening their talon-hold over a four-generation pitcher from which to pour it, sales like these are a free way to enjoy the small town charm we pay for with our exorbitant real estate prices. No matter what the age, ever seller has a story that’s worth your time even if the goods aren’t. Perhaps the secret to Ashland’s great sales are the many travelers who, while they can’t stay here for too long, always find themselves pulled back into our green valley with goods from many orients.