Good times at community garage sale - Morgan Hill Times: Henry Miller

Good times at community garage sale

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Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2013 12:39 pm

Well, whether you were a buyer or seller, or maybe just a looker, I hope you had as much fun as Lady M and I had participating in Morgan Hill's community garage sale. We were sellers and I must admit we were a bit concerned when, after the first hour on Saturday, only one person had shown up. And he was selling magazine subscriptions - not really - but he found nothing that he couldn't live without from our collection of treasures. I really don't understand how that is possible since we put some of our most cherished possessions that a) we bought in some foreign land thinking they would remind us of where we had traveled - didn't happen; or b) are priceless objects d'art that had seen better times. For example, who could turn down an 18 inch by 24 inch wood carving of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy? Well, for some strange reason quite a few folks passed on this one before a very wise lady with an eye for a true value said, "my husband is a little nuts. He'll probably love this." So it finally was on its way to a new home. I just hope the nice lady's husband likes it as much as I did, long, long ago and doesn't decide to use it as kindling.

Well, our first day ended with a flurry of buyers. We were sure that Sunday would begin that way. Wrong. We sat for over an hour before greeting our first visitor. (This time it was a nice gentleman selling tomalleys.) Finally, a few folks straggled in and eventually a rush of people stopped by. Then, it was about time for the San Francisco Forty Niners to begin their season and, believe it or not, business ground to an immediate and complete halt.

After we closed the garage doors and called it a day, we figured we made a little more than minimum wage for our 12 hours of retailing. But the really great part was meeting the many friendly, pleasant, folks like the lady whom I convinced to buy a super duper meat slicer that we had bought years ago. (I think it was used once, maybe twice.) So, all in all, it was a fun experience. So much in fact, we may have another garage sale next month. Or maybe not.

I mentioned the Forty Niners. Thank goodness they are back. Even after a slow start, we know they will prevail, eventually. I couldn't watch much more of the Giants. After the fantastic World Championship year they had last year, it was really hard to see them falter this year. But that's about behind us. Now we get to watch the Niners and the Sharks. Oh happy day!

At one point during our sale, I was looking through the collection of priceless magazines we were offering at bargain prices and found a program from last year's Sharks season. Aside from seeing lots of familiar and friendly faces, I started to read some of the ad copy. I must tell you as a one-time ad copy writer, I am amazed how ad execs can use strange references to get across an obscure point, just to convince you that you can't possibly meet a new life's partner, get that promotion, or live a full life without buying a lottery ticket, drinking a certain brand of light beer, or driving a racy German convertible. I wish I had been that good at writing copy. But that's really hard for an engineer/techie to do.

On the subject of ad copy, a good friend pointed out an ad prepared by one of the well-known home builders here in Morgan Hill. You see, this firm's copy writer has decided that an area in town where his or her firm is building new homes is known as the "Golden Triangle." That's right, the same as the area known for opium poppy growth between Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. So now, we have our very own Golden Triangle. I checked with my good friend and very knowledgeable Coldwell Banker realtor, Jim, and he had never heard of a reference to a Golden Triangle in our city, other than in this firm's copy. So I will assume it is a creation of this particular copy writer. Maybe not the best choice.

Henry “Hank” Miller is a retired rocket scientist, he has an interest in classic automobiles, good conversation, martinis and community affairs. Reach him at

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