Junk Jaunt features unique treasures

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Updated: Sun, 29 Sep 2013 11:53:04 CST

Central Nebraska's Junk Jaunt is more than 300 miles of yard sales, where one man's junk is another man's treasure.  And with more than 500 vendors in 35 towns, Nebraska's three day event has something for everyone.

"I collect Mason City items because I'm originally from there.  So that's what I look for when I do go shopping," said Phyllis Sayer of Amherst, who traveled the Junk Jaunt loop all three days.

"One older gentleman said he had like 900 salt and pepper shakers and he bought, I think, five or six sets from us," said Linda Kube, a vendor from Hastings who put extra inventory from My Sister's Closet up for sale.

"One couple came by this morning.  The back end of their pickup was loaded with wagon wheels," said Dorothy, Jarzynka, a vendor from Cairo. 

From books selling for just cents, to crock pots up for more than $300, the 20,000 shoppers that travel the Junk Jaunt's loop every year don't walk away empty handed.  But after days of preparation—setting up displays and carefully picking prices— there's no predicting what shoppers will go for.

"What you think is going to sell high, doesn't sell, and what you think you're not going to get rid of, like my air conditioner, somebody came up and bought it," said Robert Hessel, a first time vendor from Grand Island.

And just as unique as the treasures, are the shoppers themselves. Last year's event brought visitors from 34 different states and this year's event is even bigger.

"Well this morning I had a gentle man from England, jolly ole' England.  And I just sold a quilt to a lady from South Dakota," said Geoffrey "Slim" Young, a vendor in Cairo.

"And we've had people from Wisconsin, we've had people from Texas, from Colorado, from Iowa," said Kube.

The Junk Jaunt is always the last Thursday, Friday and Saturday of September and while this year's event may be over, the countdown begins for 2014. 

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