Garage sale enthusiasts will tell you the real thrill of the hobby is the hunt, the feeling that comes with finding the one thing you never realized you could not live without.
If that is true, there was no better place for bargain hunters to be Saturday than Sun City West’s Annual Community Garage Sale. A section of the parking lot at the R.H. Johnson Recreation Center was cordoned off and packed with dozens of booths.
Harvey and Shirley Cochran are Surprise residents who have been attending the community sale for three years.
“Some of our Sun City West friends told us about it initially, and we just really love it,” Shirley Cochran said.
Harvey Cochran said curiosity is a big part of the appeal for them.
“We just love to see what goodies people have,” he said.
Shirley Cochran put it a little more bluntly.
“We know what junk we’ve got,” she said. “Now we get to find out what junk other people have got.”
Right away, the Cochrans bought some things they were hoping to find, and at least one thing on a whim. Harvey had been on the lookout for a style of sandals that had gone out of production and sure enough, a woman at the sale had a brand new pair. A few booths over, Shirley saw an outdoor extension cord with multiple outlets. This was an impulse buy.
“For five dollars,” she told the seller. “You’ve got it.”
Sun City West residents Jim Hopp and his wife Diana had a prime location for their lot, right in the corner where people who parked would almost have to walk past them. Hopp said he was using the community sale primarily as a way to clear out some garage space, but he did have one big ticket item he was hoping to unload — a portaboat.
“I’m getting just a little too old to fold it up and get it up on the roof of my vehicle,” he said. “I bought an inflatable that’s easier for me to handle so I’m hoping to sell the portaboat here. I’m pretty optimistic I’ll find a buyer.”
Elaine Cooley and her husband came all the way from Sheridan, Ore., for the community sale. Well, not exactly.
“We have some friends who live here, and we came for a visit,” she said. “So we thought we’d come and check out the garage sale for a bit. I like it so far. It’s really interesting.”
Asked for her opinion of the items she had seen so far, Cooley said she had just arrived. Then she paused.
“Actually, I did just buy a set of knives,” she said. “So I guess this has already been a success.”
Jeff Dempsey may be reached at 623-876-2531 or firstname.lastname@example.org.