Treasure hunting at garage sales
Published: Saturday, July 16th, 2005
Tucumcari resident Mary Ann Molinas laughs when she admits it, but, yes, she once bought a bed pan at a garage sale. “It was made out of that blue and white speckled tin like they used in old dishes,” she said of her 50-cent purchase. “I was going to make it into a flower pot.” Instead, alas, the bed pan sits in her storage shed, which stands pretty empty at the moment, she said, since she recently hosted her own garage sale. She raked in $300. Molinas is not alone in her penchant for garage sales. Many area residents said you can easily find a garage sale every weekend in Tucumcari. “I love them,” Molinas said. She holds her own every two years or so. She also tries to attend some every Saturday. In addition to the bed pan, Molinas said some of her finest finds include an antique heart she bought on a gold chain for 50 cents, clothes for her grandchildren and at least 15 bells to add to her collection of 80. It helps, Molinas said, that she goes to the garage sales with a couple of missions. In addition to the massive bargains she finds, she is also a collector of Southwestern items and things that have chilies on them — like the chili spoon rest and chili place mats she has in her kitchen. The recent sale she held included knick knacks, mini blinds and a rocking chair she said she adored but for which she had no room. She finds the sales she frequents through newspaper ads or the obsequious cardboard boxes on many a corner advertising treasures for sale. Although Molinas said she buys a lot of things from sales that she does not need, she is not one to get rid of her treasures at her own sale. Tucumcari resident Kaylene Davis also hangs onto a lot of her things — like the gifts she gets from her students — but she is no stranger to clearing out her own garage at least once a year. “If I haven’t used it in two years, it goes,” Davis said of the items she sells. Davis likes to make the sale a family affair and invites her sister who recruits some friends. “We usually try to have at least two families involved,” Davis said. “The more stuff you have, the better it goes.” Davis only frequents garage sales for buying purposes if she is looking for a particular item. She said she is much more interested in getting rid of clutter than amassing more. She also said money is not the object — purging her house out is. “The most challenging thing is trying to price all the stuff,” Davis said. “I go in knowing they are going to bargain with me. When you’re trying to get rid of it at the end of the day, if someone came up and said ‘I’ll take all that’s left for a dollar’ I’d probably give it to them,” she said.
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