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Diamonds in the rough

Andrew Raven
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (May 31/06) - Pat Guinan has seen his share of garage sales during the four-plus decades he has lived in Yellowknife. Guinan and his wife Karen usually have one each year, where they liquidate the clutter -- from a wood-framed squash racket to an LP of the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour.

Pat and Karen Guinan pose in front of some well-worn, potential treasures at their garage sale last weekend. - Andrew Raven/NNSL photo

"You can find some really good deals," said Guinan, standing in a light drizzle outside his downtown home Saturday. Bargain hunters teemed across his driveway, rooting through boxes and clothes racks.

"Sometimes people don't know what they have."

Spring in Yellowknife doesn't start until garage sale ads blossom in the classified section. It marks the beginning of what is, for many, the competitive bargain-hunting season. It is a time when garage salers wake up at the crack-o-dawn, plan their route and set out in search of the Holy Grail, armed with coffee and Tim Bits.

"It's fun," said 13-year-old Phoenix Huynh. "You can buy stuff for really cheap prices."

The lure of the garage sale extends beyond getting a great deal, though, according to veteran bargain hunter Gail Bulger.

"I really like the social aspect of it," she said while touring tables at the Yellowknife Community Arena, which hosted the mother of all garage sales Saturday. Some weekends I don't buy anything."