News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists


Yard sale needed Wal-Mart greeter

Regina's cousin Wayne Williams and his wife Beverly were in town recently to carry out a chore most adults eventually perform.

His mother, Emmie Lou, died in the fall and they had to sell her home of 50 years on 11th Avenue Southeast. But first, they had to round up, sort and dispose of things she and her late husband O.N. collected and stored during those years.

Wayne and Beverly kept the things they or their children could use and those things which have sentimental value.

Then they ran a classified ad in THE DAILY and scrambled to have everything displayed for the three-day sale.

Experienced buyers know to arrive at yard sales early for first shot at the merchandise. Second-day lookers expect things to be marked down and less merchandise from which to choose.

The last-day buyers are the bottom fishers who know that the next stop for remaining items is a charity organization.

That's also when the shoplifters showed up to steal.

That, by no means, is to say that every buyer and looker who came the third day was a shoplifter. Most were legitimate bargain seekers.

One woman, though, who asked about a pile of towels, tried to leave with a steam iron.

Insisting her daughter needed Beverly's help with clothing in another room, the woman sacked the towels herself, called her daughter and tried to pay the $1 asking price.

The bag was too heavy for towels, Beverly said, so she looked inside and saw an electrical cord. She pulled and out popped the iron.

"Yeah, I got that, too," the woman said.

A man tried to pay for a pair of used men's trousers and a wrench from the tools on sale in the garage fell out of a pocket and onto the floor.

He shrugged it off.

Now you know why Wal-Mart's famous greeters are also bag checkers.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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