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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

J.D., Owner of the Big Bad Truck

Garage sales this weekend were somewhat dry and there wasn’t much out there.  I shopped from about 8:00 to 10: 00am and had a few pairs of jeans, some bird art and a Mary Enbelbreit book to show for my time.   Mayer was sad because he didn’t find a single toy, but this is the nature of shopping trash.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you loose.  Little did I know, I had a treasure trove headed my way, but it wasn't just in the form of great trash.
Chandler had a basketball game later that day at 3:00pm and when it was over at 4:00pm, we headed home.  There were still a few garage sale signs out and I didn’t think to stop so late in the day until I saw an estate sale sign. 
“Let’s see what they’ve got,” I said to a car full of boys and 1 baby girl.
We pulled up to a small house with a dry dirt yard.  The homeowner, an older white-haired man, sat on an old wobbly office chair smoking a cigar.  The drive way was full of old tools and dishes displayed on a white picnic table.  I looked in the garage when some vintage furniture caught my eye. 
“How much would you like for these pieces,” I asked. 
“Make me an offer,” he replied in a grunt voice.
“Would you take $20.00,” I said.”

”Sold,” he said as he rubbed the cigar in between his fingers. 

This is when I really looked around at his trash.  He obviously wanted to get rid of it and no one else was shopping at almost 5:00pm. 
“Is your picnic table for sale,” I asked, certain it was in the driveway serving as a way to showcase bent silverware, stained coffee mugs and aluminum peeling cooking pans.
“Make me an offer,” he said.
So I did on the picnic table
And I did on the vintage hutch
And I did on the pool balls.
That’s when I realized the dilemma.
I might have an eye for buying great trash, but I don’t have a truck
(or in this case, a semi).
“Maybe he’ll help you,” the homeowner said pointing with the tip of his cigar to another shopper, an older gentleman rummaging through the tool pile. 
He looked up with a hammer in his hand, and then looked away.  I looked into the street at his enormous long-bed pickup truck.
The owner of the truck laughed under his breath, “Oh, you want me to help get your stuff home,” he said like there was no way he wanted to help me.
If there ever was such a thing as truck etiquette, I have it.  I think it’s tacky to ask friends if I can borrow their truck.  I’ve heard too many stories from truck owners about all the stuff they have to lug around for their family and friends.  Plus, I've been fortunate.  Everything I've purchased has fit nicely into my Honda Pilot.

At this point, I wasn’t too concerned.  If the trash was meant to be mine, I’d find a way to get it home; otherwise, I’d leave it.
This is when the Truck God’s smiled down on me.  They owner of the truck said, “Where do you live?”

“About 4 miles west,” I said.  “Can I pay you $10.00 to help me get my stuff home?”
“Sure,” he laughed again like he couldn’t believe he’d just offered such a service to a stranger.
See, I have truck etiquette with friends, but I can go out on a limb with someone I don’t know.
"There's no way you'll get it all to fit," the homeowner said.
But, the owner of the truck and I somewhat gimmy-rigged it all so we could get it all to my home in one trip (I did mention it was a huge truck) and away we went, 25 miles an hour 4 miles west.

When we arrived at my home, the owner of the truck backed into the driveway.  Once parked, I jumped into the bed of his truck and started lifting down tables.

“You’re tough,” the man said in a grandfather sort of way, like he was proud of me. 
I was taken back by this compliment and smiled.  “Thanks,” I said as I ever so carefully tilted the 100 pound hutch his way. 
After everything was unloaded, we talked for a few minutes in the drive way about hard work, the economy and family.  He was the nicest person with the most genuine smile and at one point I felt like I was talking to someone I’d known my entire life.  He smiled at the boys, running his hand through Reef's hair.

He climbed back into his truck and I asked "What's your name?"  
“J.D.,” he said.
“I won’t forget you,” I said, not really sure why I felt like I wanted to cry when he left.
Maybe it was his willingness to help me, maybe it was the compliment he expressed or maybe it was the sincere conversation in the driveway.  I’m not sure what left me so emotional, but I’m glad shopping trash put me in the path of J.D., owner of the big black truck.


  1. What a nice story... & what nice stuff/junk...
    And you got to meet a nice man.
    AND Now you are going to have to get a bigger booth... : )

  2. That was a sweet story...and I love all of your finds. Love that picnic table.

  3. I love it! What a great story. I love "chance" encounters... people seem to be placed in our paths when we need it the most, even if it's just to brighten up our day with a small act of kindess. Love you!

  4. Thanks for sharing that story! I was just telling my hubby the other day, a lot of the fun is meeting the interesting people along the way.

  5. That hutch looks EXACTLY like the mid-century sideboard I got at goodwill! Gosh I wish we lived closer because I'd love to have a matching hutch!!!

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