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Off the beaten path

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By Shannon Brock

Last weekend, Highway 127 wasn't the only place to find a yard sale.

Several city and county residents put up their poster boards hoping to attract some of the crowd off the beaten path.

Barbara Willard and her daughter, Melanie Wiley, set up camp at Wiley's house on Bonds Mill Road just under a mile off of 127.

"We've found that this is usually the best time to do it," Willard said.

In about three hours on Friday, Willard and Wiley said they had already had a lot of traffic and had customers from several different states.

"One year we actually kept a list of which states they were from," Willard said.

The two families have been setting up a sale during this time of year for about eight years, Wiley said.

"But we usually set up every other year to let stuff accumulate," she said.

But the toys in the sale had been accumulating for a little bit longer.

"We've got 11 years worth of toys," Wiley said. "We've never sold any of the kids' toys before."

And the toys weren't they only good bargain.

"We've had people tell us this was the best yard sale because of the quality and the prices," Willard said, adding that one customer phoned a friend to direct more business their way.

The women said they planned to sell on Saturday, too, but being open on Sunday was still up in the air.

"It depends on how tired we are as to whether we're open Sunday," Wiley said.

Sherry Kelly and her husband don't normally set up a sale during the main 127 event, but this year, they thought they'd try their luck.

"It normally rains," said Kelly, whose sale was on Woodspoint Drive off of Fox Creek Road. "They always get bad luck or something. But we thought we'd roll the dice, and it turned out gorgeous."

The high for the day barely hit 80, and the blue skies made perfect conditions for a yard sale, Kelly said.

By 11:30 a.m., Kelly said she had already sold a lot of items.

"A lot of furniture - the furniture always goes first."

Unlike Willard and Wiley, Kelly said all of her business had come from locals.

Lindsay Drake and Stephanie Harville said they forgot about the big event this weekend and planned their yard sale on Indian Trail without giving it a second thought. Once they remembered, Harville said she was worried they wouldn't get a lot of business because customers would be going everywhere else.

"But so far, it's been OK," Drake said.

"It has progressively gotten better," Harville added.

Drake said when she has a yard sale, she normally closes up around noon, but at 12:30, the customers were still coming, so she was still open.