Bargain Hunters

JOHNSTOWN – The customers might not find a prized antique, and the sellers may not get rich, but this weekend’s citywide garage sale has been an apparent fun time for many.

Today is the last day of Johnstown’s three-day event in which “salers” are happy to see households depart with some of their prized possessions. Articles for sale with handwritten affixed prices have not only been in garages, but strewn across lawns throughout the city since Friday.

“This is the first time we’ve done it in a few years,” seller Joe Vietri of Fon Clair Street said Saturday morning, as he greeted customers from his garage.

His sale extended from his garage onto the lawn, and included various sports equipment among a kiddie pool and Kirby vacuum.

“We’re trying to make room in the garage,” Vietri said. “We’re not looking to make a million dollars.”

Various streets in the city had handmade and printed signs advertising this weekend’s garage sale posted on telephone poles.

Central Florida resident Thom Boynton pulled into a sale off Pleasant Avenue as a customer. But it wasn’t like he traveled 2,000 or 3,000 miles for the sale. He explained that he has a local home in Peck’s Lake too.

“We’re going to check out the treasures,” Boynton said.

Mayor Michael Julius said Saturday he was glad the city is a beehive of activity this weekend.

“I’m glad they’re having a good time,” the mayor said. “They’re getting rid of a few things and making a few bucks.”

Amy Weaver of 13 Irving St., was outside Saturday morning, tending to games, books, movies and cups she was arranging on her front yard tables.

“We’ve done it for a couple years,” she stated. “We usually do it on the Saturday. It’s fun for the kids.”

Large pieces of furniture like desks covered the lawn of a Matthew Street couple, who asked not be identified.

They explained that they just gotten married and were “trying to consolidate” their belongings, thereby getting rid of some of their personal items.

Someone with a serious mission this weekend was parked on one of the city streets with a bumper sticker that stated, “I Brake For Garage Sales.”

Zea Penistan of 8 Mason St. said she was happy the city decided to start the three days of garage sales on a week day.

“A lot of stuff went yesterday,” she said. “Fridays seem to be really good days.”

She added, “We normally shop [instead of sell]. But I cleaned out a room and I had some stuff that I wanted to see gone.”

On another street, customer Sharon Zaebawczuk said, “I’m just kind of looking. I got a nice toy box for my grandchild.”

In the middle of the city – at the Sir William Johnson Downtown Park off West Main Street – Jennifer Decuyke of Harvey’s Home Garden & Pet Center in Johnstown was hoping garage salers would stop by her event. The park was filled with people and dogs for the 2nd annual Hometown Dog Walk to benefit area animal shelters.

“It’s just an event to bring the community together,” Decuyke said.

Local businesses were also thrilled by the activity associated with the citywide garage sale.

Christine Bentley, frying up culinary delights at the Miss Johnstown Diner on East Main Street, said garage sale weekend “absolutely” impacts city business for the better.

“We’ve been busy all morning,” she said.

The city of Gloversville recently conducted its citywide garage. Upcoming area garage sales include one in Mayfield this Memorial Day weekend, and in Broadalbin on June 4 and 5.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected].

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