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It's Rummage Season!

Summer in Lake County is an eclectic explosion of several spectacular seasons all rolled into a single one, and it’s extremely difficult if not impossible not to find at least something that tickles one’s fancy on some level just by looking around a little. There are all kinds of exciting options.

Depending on what a particular individual should happen to find enjoyable, it could be baseball season, barbecue season, camping season, fishing season, horseback riding season, tourist season or in my case – rummage season. This is by far the top time of year to troll for tawdry treasures.

I hereby proudly declare without caring who knows it that I absolutely love rummage sales on a variety of levels. Delightfully difficult it is to definitively decide what exactly it is that pleases me most – the intoxicating thrill of the hunt for mysterious baubles, tchotchkes and trinkets I had no idea I was even looking for, or the challenging poker game that comes with price negotiation.

And that doesn’t even include the world class opportunity for people watching – often right in their own back yards! Where else can one gain access to the most intimate histories of strangers in mere minutes than seeing the remnants of their lives displayed on card tables in their garage?

A whole lot can be learned about a group of strangers in a short time by stopping at a rummage sale. Did they take the time to price everything and arrange it neatly or was it randomly sprinkled all over the lawn like tornado shrapnel? Were they sports fans? Did they like movies? What kind of music did they listen to? Were they slaves to fashion or practical? Their history is on display.

Then there’s always the faint hope in the farthest back part of everyone’s brain something ultra rare and super valuable will be found for a ridiculously low price and able to be resold for a huge profit. We’re all looking for that original copy of The Declaration Of Independence for a quarter.

The tight economy combined with the overabundance of TV shows like ‘Pawn Stars’, ‘Storage Wars’, ‘American Pickers’ and all the offshoots thereof have taken a lot of the fun away from the rummage sale game. Everyone is trying to find the next big score instead of enjoying the process.

Personally, I don’t like to put that kind of pressure on myself. I look at rummage sale shopping as low price entertainment. Sometimes I like to pretend some piece of junk I run across is of very high value, and see the reaction of the owners when they think it might be worth a hefty ransom.

Sometimes they’ll refuse to sell it, and I’ll pretend I’m really disappointed and ask what they’d have to have for it and then sit back and see what happens. It’s great fun, and I recommend it for anyone’s personal amusement – especially when there are a lot of others around to witness it all.

Lake County is prime rummage sale territory, and I plan on hitting as many as I can all summer long. I’m running pretty low on 8 track and VHS tapes and my wardrobe could use an immediate upgrade. Maybe I can find a white belt to match the leisure suit I bought last year for two dollars.

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