Jose Ramirez looks at goods on a table at Truely Unique during the 301 Endless Yard Sale Friday in Wilson. The sale continues today.
Drew C. Wilson | Times
Gerald Bunn and his dog, Reagan, walk past a row of partial mannequins at the 301 Endless Yard Sale at Wilson Fairgrounds Friday.
Drew C. Wilson | Times
By Drew C. Wilson
Times Staff Writer
It’s a matter of taste — good, bad and somewhere in between.
“It’s one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” said Kay Soto, owner of Wilson-based Truely Unique.
Soto’s is one of several businesses in Wilson that have joined in for the 301 Endless Yard Sale.
The collection of diverse merchandise displayed in the grass and on blankets, tables and shelves just off the shoulder of U.S. 301. The sale began Friday morning and continues all day Saturday.
“The Highway 301 starts all the way in West Virginia. It goes all the way down to South Carolina. Wilson has got about 10 different places to stop at, but ours and the fairgrounds is probably the biggest,” said Soto.
The grassroots sale of goods has been running for four years now.
“We’ve been doing it for three,” Soto said. “It’s a giant garage sale up and down 301. There’e people that spent all weekend yard-saling. They’ll go get a hotel room at the end of North Carolina and the next day head back up or vice versa. I know people who make this a weekend vacation. They load up their vehicles. They might resell it, too. It’s just their own stuff.”
Soto said it’s a good way to clean the house.
“At 5:30 there were people out here already, even though it starts at 7,” Soto said. “Politely, I’ve already done my budget.”
Roughly 300 people had made purchases Friday at the Truely Unique location at 2006 U.S. 301 S.
“We have antiques here. We have kitchenware. We had tools, but they are already gone,” said Soto. “Most people think of its as clothes and just junk, but really it’s not. You have to walk around and see.”
Gerald Bunn, of Wilson, walked around to see what was available at the Wilson County Fairgrounds with his dog Reagan.
“I’ve seen better,” Bunn said. “There ain’t nothing out there that I need. I’ve got enough junk at home I don’t need any more.”
Sharon Crumpler, of Wilson, walked off with a couple boxes of glassware.
“I was just looking,” Crumpler said, satisfied. “I got some beer steins.”
Joel “Pappa J” Moore, of Virginia Beach, left with some gifts for senior citizens in a rest home.
“Today I walked out with 25 straw hats, a couple of small fans, I got a rake for an old lady in the neighborhood,” said Moore. “I’ll probably go back and get a few other items, just what old people will like.”
Moore said he was retracing the steps of his late father.
“I come home to North Carolina every year at this time for Father’s Day,” Moore said. “So I was just here looking at some sights to remember his time. He used to do stuff like this. Now I just pick up a few things and just give it away. That’s what he used to do.”
James Bolton brought his children out to the fairgrounds to make some sales in the expected crowds.
“I’m teaching them business skills by having them sell spinners,” Bolton said. “The spinner thing is a very big fad right now.”
Tennyson and Joscelyne Bolton set up their tent near the entrance.
“It’s a great opportunity to interact with people,” James Bolton said. “They need to learn business skills, so the spinners is a great way for them to learn to invest some money, set a price, change the price if needed based on flow, based on whether people need to pay this or pay that, and then count inventory, count back change, some things that really isn’t taught in our schools right now.”
Gary Pender, of the Bennett Optimist Club of Wilson, used the giant yard sale as an opportunity to raise money with a raffle.
“We have a raffle here for an arbor swing here at the fairgrounds. All of our proceeds go to help children with childhood cancer. The more money we can raise, the more children we can help,” Pender said.