The saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” and perhaps that’s the concept Harrodsburg residents Harold and Audrey Lester kept in mind as they advertised their “classy trash" on Thursday during the first day of the World’s Longest Yard Sale.
“I think we were traveling, and my husband saw a sign like that in another state,” said Audrey Lester, who confirmed over the phone with her absent husband that the state was Colorado. “He’s been naming it ‘classy trash’ for nearly 10 years.”
In the years they have participated in the continuously growing sale on U.S. 127, the Lesters have seen people from every state.
“A lot of times we keep records,” said Lester. “In the last two days, we’ve seen people from 14 different states, ranging from Alaska to California. U.S. 127 brings people here. They not only buy from vendors, but they spend money on hotels and in restaurants, too. It’s really good for the community.”
Jack Leonard, an antique seller in Versailles, said he grew up with the Lesters, so he always tries to stop at their yard sales.
“My theory is, if they can stand in the hot heat all day, then I can surely stop and shop with them,” said the flamboyant Leonard. “If we’re trying to live locally, then you try to support. I stopped on Tuesday and filled my car. Now, I’m back again to get something that I really wanted. I like their stuff. Some of the things I’ve bought, I’ve decided to keep and not sell.”
Leonard said selling antiques is what he’s been doing for 20 years.
“This is how I make my living,” he said. “I always try to look for something different; something that isn’t your normal collectable. I work in a shop with other dealers so if I have something different then maybe mine will sell.”
The Lesters also were antique dealers at one time.
“The antique market is depressed,” said Lester. “Some of the things we are selling were left from that. Other things are just common items. ‘Classy trash’ is a good name to call a bunch of antiques and collections. Some things that don’t sell will go to Goodwill, and others will be boxed up until the next sale.”
On sale at the classy trash yard sale were many vintage pieces, including an outdated, black-based sewing machine with gold embroidery; still intact U.S. Army uniforms with bar and stripes; a collection of books including “Indian Summer” by John Knowles; artwork; tools; jewelry; and more.
The U.S. 127 sale is also known as the 127 Corridor Sale. Thousands of people already have begun to join in on the four-day, fun-filled occasion that spans 654 miles in five states from Hudson, Mich., to Gadsen, Ala. The sale began Thursday and ends Sunday.
The Lesters’ yard sale is at 557 Chestnut St. in Harrodsburg, right across from the Mercer County Fairgrounds.