CORNVILLE — April Hertlein braced for the haggle when a man asked about a cardboard box filled with glassware at her yard sale. What caught her off guard, however, was the man’s offer to buy just the box.

Baffled by the request, Hertlein, 47, fell back on four trusty words, which were used countless times Saturday morning by the dozens of vendors at the 29th annual 10-mile yard sale.

“I just said, ‘make me an offer,’ because it’s all about wheeling and dealing around here this weekend,” Hertlein said.

The yard sale, which stretches more than 10 miles, from Route 150 in Cornville to U.S. Route 2 on the Kennebec River in Skowhegan, continues today.

With clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine Saturday, hundreds of people turned out to check out the dozens of vendors’ wares displayed under tents and on tables set up alongside the road.

Traffic frequently slowed to a crawl while drivers peeked at the thousands of items for sale, ranging from books and clothes to tires and car parts. Some of the vendors sold food and others had games and activities for kids.

Although the sales technically started at 8 a.m., the first shoppers were showing up at Hertlein’s Beckwith Road home two hours early. Some people even stopped by Friday evening to buy a few things while she was setting up.

Because the nice weather was expected to draw big crowds, Hertlein said people kept saying they wanted to arrive early before all the prime stuff was sold. She sold a kayak and canoe Friday evening and noted shoppers were coming from as far away as Canada.

Hertlein’s husband, George, added that some bargain hunters will also wait until the last minute. There are always a handful of vendors on the final day who start giving away things, rather than packing them away for another sale, he said.

But he warned there would probably be slim pickins this year for the last-minute deals and giveaways, which are more likely big attractions when weekend sales are slowed by rain.

The couple has take part in the community sale for at least a decade, back when the annual event was known as the six-mile yard sale.

Despite selling thousands of trinkets over the years, April Hertlein said Saturday’s deal for the cardboard box stands out above the rest. The man mentioned something about the name printed on the box, paid her $2 and rushed off toward the highway.

While he loaded it into his van, Bill Marshall explained why he paid $2 for the small cardboard box with a picture of two tomatoes a Mecca Farms logo in red. His son, Alan, had worked for and befriended the former owner of the New York farm, a man who died several years ago.

The box that Marshall, 81, of Milo, bought Saturday featured the original Mecca Farm’s logo, which has changed since the farmer’s death. Marshall said his son has been looking for keepsakes from the old farm.

“You can’t find this stuff anywhere, and I know my son is going to get a kick out of this,” he said.

David F. Robinson — 861-9287

[email protected]


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