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Happy Corner: Junquetique

by Hazel Wells Tison

My last two articles have been promoting the 1/2 cent sales tax for Doctors Memorial Hospital that will appear on the General Election Ballot on Nov. 3.  Both those articles were based on information assembled by Chairman of the DMH  Executive Board Cynthia Brooks and Dr. Hui Nguen and others. I could easily write another article, but lest you  get  weary of reading about our Rural hospital and the need for you to vote for the ½ cent  sales tax I am going to write on a different subject. Perhaps I will tell you about our gigantic yard sale held last Saturday down at my childhood home in Washington County which we often call  the Dunbroke or the Seldom Rest Farm. Baby Brother Max gave it that name and next youngest brother, Clyde named it the Dunbroke, I think. Both are pretty descriptive.

At my Dad’s death, the old  home fell to my sister Muriel Turner who is 12 years my junior. Mama wanted it to go to Muriel and frankly we did her no favor taking our inheritance in acres and giving her the old  home.  But she has done an excellent job keeping up the old place and making us all welcome to visit there any time that she and husband Roy are in residence. (Or any other time we choose) It means a lot to each of us 6 remaining siblings and 18 grandchildren of my parents who have pleasant memories  of spending time there. (Two adult grandchildren are deceased.)

We know the importance of Strong Families  and we consider ours to be a strong family and the memories made at that old farmhouse located on a clay hill on Route One Bonifay Florida in Washington County are instrumental in making us a strong family.  We are not big on socializing with each other. We each have our on circle of friends and acquaintances. We could not be considered a voting bloc as we are independent politically. But there is an indestructible bond that even those who have married into this clan are aware of and most of them feel a part of.

"My memories all are enchanted, my memories, all are exciting, my memories burn in my head with a steady glow." - Jerry Herndon

So what about the yard sale which Muriel wound up calling a Farmers Market Yard Sale? And why is it worth writing about? It all started because niece Maria Rogers Heil and partner Jay discovered termites in the dining room of the “Country Home” so named by owner, Muriel.  Fortunately, Jay had the skills and the time to make the necessary extensive repairs. Maybe I was the one who suggested that we do a fund-raiser, though I know as well as you do that a yard sale is not a major source of income. But since we all tend to be junk collectors, we rallied when the call went out to participate.  Grand-Daughters rallied.  Grand-sons, at least my sons, were nay-sayers.”People won’t come this far out to a yard sale,” they said.  

But we proceeded. Going through closets, garages, attacs, basements, barns. Hauling truck loads of “junk” to the old unfinished barn on the home place. Friends who heard about the sale wanted to donate some of their treasures. My daughter who came from Bartow for a week to help with set-up brought treasures and some donated by her friend.  Her daughter and son-in-law came from Trenton to help and brought a load of stuff from sister Gail in Gainesville who could not make it.  Niece Anita came from DunEden.  Her sister Nancy who runs a thrift store for SOCKS (Save Our Cats and Kittens) in Ft. Walton Beach brought her pricing gun and 2 days of work. Nephew Gordon helped drag out stuff from the old barn plus a truck load of his own stuff.  Nephew Emory and wife Robin helped set up while setting up her own sale. Niece Carla brought tables, lots of tables and helped clean up the leftovers. My son Hiram mowed the large yard and dragged off a large fallen limb. Nephew Tom Russ brought Honey. Son Glen loaded tables and my own junk.  Great Nephew Austin Heil and wife Arum manned the check-out table.  Great niece Ava manned the treat sale. Her mom Meredith made flyers and signs to advertise. Daughter in law Judy made a big pot of “stew” to feed the participants.

I can’t name everyone who helped or contributed stuff, but Muriel accounted for over 50 family members who pitched in and worked.  And it was work. Did we make a pile of money?  Less than $1000 dollars.  Was it worth it?  Yes.  We got to spend more time with family members working for a common cause.  One of my cousins drove over from Pensacola just to be with us assembled at the old place. And we disposed of a lot of stuff. Will we do it again?  Doubtful. But family bonds were strengthened. Memories were added to some of those childhood memories  of “Pa and Grannie-rea.” Muriel agreed that we should do something like that more often.

And by the way, people did turn out. They drove from much farther than from town.