The Birth and Death of an Era

Prayer for the Wild Things by Bev Doolittle

Growing up in Dinkytown near the University of Minnesota campus was an adventuresome experience, as most childhoods are. I witnessed the birth of the franchise era, the grandparents of the big box shops and brand names today. There was a dance studio on the corner of 13th avenue and 4th street that my mother sent me to for ballet lessons. It had burned to the ground one day in the late early 1970’s. The area was then slated for a Red Barn chicken shop while there was already a Red Barn in Stadium village less than a mile away. I don’t think Red Barn was an actual franchise then but they were trying to be and the students and all got involved in a protest to ban it and prevent the growth of franchises in Dinkytown preserving the independent and uniqueness of the neighborhood, saving the small entrepreneur from getting pushed out or swallowed up by the bigger fish, or chickens in this case. The ban was successful and also the death of Red Barn more or less. They eventually closed in Stadium Village and was never seen again. Later on McDonald’s and Burger King managed to open their chain stores in Dinkytown without the protests and remained there for decades.

As I got old enough to drink I hung out in West Bank bars and enjoyed the bands. They used to sing about the days “a’comin” one by Willy Murphy and the Bumblebees titled “Supermarket” was one such warning of the chain store take over corruption of our society.

Today any city you travel to nearly any part of the world let alone America, the chain stores we are all familiar with have taken up roost so now just about anywhere you go there’s that “sameness”. Brand names are like these same shops, everybody has them or wants them just like everybody else. They’re a trusted source for what you want. Entrepreneurs from foreign lands now come in to give us something different and I see these businesses growing in numbers, familiarizing us with their cuisine and cultures. Though the big boxes aren’t dead yet and it’s still hard to predict where all this is going, the world changes from generation to generation.

Burger King and now McDonalds are both gone and so is my old high school. In place is Target a Starbucks, and a number of small businesses, turning out Banh Mi Vietnamese sandwiches and pizza’s with not the conventional toppings.

The film industry has hit the bricks hard. With digital photography many people in the industry lost their jobs or are suffering a massive loss of income. I have three neighbors who experience this. One had a fire and lost her equipment and after trying to replace her loss and come back into the business, was another hard hit for her because the industry wants younger people with their young perspectives. Basically, she was told she had aged out of the industry. Another neighbor who just moved back to Minneapolis I hear is having a hard time finding work because her arts have become obsolete. Another neighbor was just able to retire before taking this same hit. Eventually I’ll become obsolete too when Uber replaces drivers like me with robotaxis. People can make their own films and photos with a smart phone now and they do. Social Media and channels like Netflix are pushing out the bigger fish that was once Hollywood. However, they’re not all dead yet. The nostalgia might die with the generations that lived in those days but there are some things that never die. Music! and the Muses are eternal.

What I got out of this book is the playfulness of Hollywood characters. Many times I’ve heard actors and actresses comment on the people in Hollywood as people who never grow up. This book portrayed this well with the character who as a child was into building dinosaur models and such from the hobby kits of the day. The child never “grew up” but continued building his models and creating his make-believe landscapes for his beasts. As he got older he became very good at it and was able to build his own toys without kits and this eventually landed him a job in Hollywood as a set designer and monster creator for the movies. These people who have not put themselves above their toys and silly behaviors have done very well for themselves. Walt Disney had made it huge with his Disneylands and Worlds. He was probably one of the first to develop and use robotics to animate his characters and creatures. Emotional turmoils, silly behavior, gossip, pranks and such have kept their creative minds active and alive. This is the stuff that entertains the serious grown ups on television today. They make us laugh, care and cry, taking our noses off the daily grindstones of life even for just a little awhile.

So, Hats off for Immaturity!


A must read for anyone trying to understand today’s world.

Now selling like hotcakes on eBay and Amazon, I read this book and it sold the very next day on Amazon. I bought it off eBay with a free shipping and lower price, now you can probably do the same. I would encourage everyone to read this because the story effects every one of us in more ways than one.

This one I expect will sell fast too. We’ve been hearing this whole story that is told in both books over the years in bits and pieces as the events happened on the news. What Tom Burgis did was take these events and drew the big picture. He explained well how resource rich nations remain in poverty, as we know the ruling elites basically skim all the wealth for their own, but also describes how the labyrinth of shell companies, tax havens, etc. and the parking of money in our own nation are impoverishing us.

This is something that should not only concern us, but anger us to no end, because here we go again with the banks involved just a deep in these schemes and shenanigans. Are we going to bail them out again?

If I were to allow the storage of stolen property on my premises, I would be convicted, so would anyone of us. We may also lose our homes and anything else of value. Parking looted cash from other nations through the real estate purchases and other means, isn’t that the same? Parking/storage stolen property/loot?

These deals have raised the price of housing so that the average American can’t afford even the tiniest of shacks and renters are paying astronomical rents because of a housing shortage! The properties of these Kleptocrats who are supposedly legally parking their money here are often empty or housing what a friend of mine calls “anchor baby hotels”, meaning the a pregnant wife or mistress of a kleptocrat that had gutted his own people can have a child born in the United States and obtains citizenship and can also have a bank account. Sanctions are a joke when there’s an anchor baby in the family with access to the these accounts.

I drove taxi for many years and now drive Uber. In the taxi I had lots of regular customers that would go from one job to the next and some would do this three times a day! They weren’t making a lot of money, but it took a lot of money just to survive. This is where we’re at folks, and over the years we thought of other reasons why, like greedy landlords, yes they’re out there, people just wanting more, they’re out there too. We all have taken a bite out of the apple, it’s in our gas tanks and our cell phones and nearly everything else we consume. There’s also the psychology that has become embedded in our lives as a consumer society itself. We are creatures of comfort, OK I get that. But over the years through the media and our peers, we’ve learned that we ain’t shit unless we’re rich and glamorous and have the latest shiny trinket of the day. We learned that success is based on how much we earn and not so much on how well we live whether we live in a shack or a penthouse. I can’t stress enough how hoarding is becoming more and more of a problem in this county too. Anyway, this might sound a bit religious now, but we have been taught to worship the “Golden Calf.” Remember that story? It’s in the Bible and probably other books too. And what happened, everything was destroyed in the end. Is that where we’re going now that this war has begun?

On that note here’s an example of one overworked worker:

Didn’t quite make it around that corner. “Hells bells! Din’t make it to the corner!”

Following up the Hoarder Saga

In 2019 I posted a couple of blogs about my hoarder neighbors. Since then a lot has happened. I had feared the worst in the beginning because of the risk the house would get condemned, but actually I came out pretty well. The health department stepped in for awhile because of a small child’s health was at risk of lead poisoning. Old houses like mine have lead paint all over them and the government has some generous grants to clean it up. This got me new windows in the attic all around, a railing installed at the top of the attic stairs, new steps going up to my apartment on the second floor, front and back, a new bathroom sink installed, two new windows in my dining room, the problematic peeling old wall paper base over plaster walls in the kitchen was fixed and they even painted ceiling.

Not a complete makeover but a lot of work I never would’ve accomplished on my own. I was inspired to paint my kitchen walls after that, getting rid of the ugly “renter’s white” color that made it look so squalid.

Meanwhile, the inspector is still busy trying to get my neighbor to clean up the basement. I learned a lot about hoarders since I’ve had to live through this. I’ve read a number of books on the subject that I have passed on to the inspector for his own use too. Generally, hoarders are very nice people and easy to get along with, a personality trait that’s a saving grace for them. However, they’re also very difficult. The inspector told me he’s had to take classes about hoarders and how to deal with them as an inspector. It would take a lot of government resources and can be very expensive to help a hoarder clean up and stay cleaned up than what the city can afford, and it’s a growing problem. Most people think hoarders are a poor man’s domain. Just the opposite. Most hoarders are from well off families, and it is not something they learned from their parents who lived through the Great Depression as many people seem to think. Hoarders are often broke because they’re also paying for off site storage units which can amount to just as much if not more than their monthly housing expense. Cities are still in the early stages of figuring out what to do about hoarders without condemnations and evictions. It’s a mental health issue and nothing short of a court order will a hoarder seek the counseling they need until they themselves acknowledge they have a problem. Five city dump trucks parked outside the house ready to clean it out isn’t convincing enough. A hoarder will continue to argue that it’s not that bad.

The Granddaughter who was in the basement with the baby has her own apartment now and seems to be quite happy with it. I haven’t seen the daughter around in awhile. I heard she’s moved about 20 miles away and probably living in somebody else’s garage. I don’t know. Anyway, all’s been quiet here.


The Frozen Mississippi River still flows beneath the ice

It’s been over a year since I wrote a blog. I haven’t been too busy but I sure am lazy! As age sets in I think about what to do with my collections. I worked a flea market last summer and there was lots of interest in the few cigarette cards I had put out for sale. One buyer met up with me later in the year and bought an album of American cards from me that consisted of numerous cigarette cards, Arbuckle Coffee Cards and some gum cards. As sad as it was for me to say farewell to those pieces of my collection, it’s just as well for me to sell them now than to leave them for someone else to do it when I’m either not here anymore or I become unable to do so later. I’ve basically been out of the card scene for awhile so the interest from old Sports Cards collectors that have changed and come over to the non-sports cards is new to me. I have read that during the pandemic unemployment times cards have been bought and sold at a much increased pace than before, so maybe this new interest is most recent. However, I did monitor eBay and haven’t noticed anything new during that time. Perhaps I didn’t monitor it close enough. Anyway, the time comes when we should consider passing our collections on to other custodians. After all, that is what we are, custodians. Collections are a preservation of history and heritage and all have their place somewhere and in some time.

Most of my collection does consist of British cigarette cards, they’re not considered worth as much as the American cards, something I heard a couple of dealers remark on at the flea market. But the vast issues of cigarette cards are world wide. The American cards only cover a few subjects in comparison. Asia had numerous issues and some most interesting stories in connection of the subjects. South American sets are hard to come by but there are numerous single cards that can be found. African cards, Australian, New Zealand, Malaysia, Cochin China, a number of European, pretty much any continent and country had issues of cigarette cards. It was in the interest of the tobacco companies to sell their cigarettes and the little pictures inserted in the packs provided an incentive to smoke and collect. I would venture as far as to claim that there were people who probably learned how to read or at least advance their reading skills from the biographies printed on the backs of the cards. Nearly every subject was covered in cigarette cards issued by tobacco companies and there was also much to learn from them as well, like Air Raid Precautions during the World Wars, First Aid, How to make something, complete instructions on how to make a wireless radio was set issued in Britain. Germany had a photography set that illustrated to the collector on the use of shadow and light to enhance black & white photos. If you insist on only collecting American cards, you are missing quite a lot.

The list of subjects is endless. Everything under the sun had been depicted on cigarette cards at one time.

Hassan, The Oriental Smoke
Boon Island Light

Light houses have been a favorite of mine since childhood when I used to dream about living in one. This set of 50 Lighthouses is dated to 1910.

When was the last time you tried to cook a pigeon? There are 50 cards in this set titled “Cooking Subjects” dated 1889.

Postage stamps are another collection item. The Post Office entices collecting with all the pretty commemorative stamps in a display case. Many of us have a hard time using those stamps so they usually get stored in albums. With the Forever Stamps these collections never lose their usage with age. But if they don’t get used in a person’s lifetime, they’re often sold for less than their value at sales. I was told people buy them up and use them to pay the postage on packages, because even if they’re not Forever Stamps, they still have their face value.


PHOTOS TAKEN WITH THE STARS! That’s me with my friends and Mac Davis

As most of the nation is unemployed during this pandemic it’s been a good time to catch up on much needed sleep, spend time with our family and get a lot of things done at home and around the house. Old photos is something everybody probably has and as they lay in a box forgotten for many years, now is the time to organize those memories before they are forgotten. I got in this photo with Mac Davis, who I didn’t even know about at the time, because my friend Laury was a musician and singer and a huge fan of other musicians and singers. She’s got albums full of photos of her posing with the famous. We were probably only about 15 or 16 when this photo was taken. Laury was smart and knew all the tricks of sneaking into the backstages of concerts and catching the stars just before they walked onstage. I remember climbing over a tall fence and running for it. The stars were usually very nice back then and allowed a photo like this to be taken. A cop had took this picture before escorting us out of there, Mac himself handed him the camera and asked him to do so. I had a lot of fun with Laury, she was very talented, adventurous, bold, and not afraid of anything. I have to admit, I’d never had pulled this backstage photo off on my own. I can’t remember what year is was and the date wasn’t written on the photo, but I do remember this happened at the Minnesota State Fair and Laury moved away while we were still in high school.

Other memories I found at an estate sale. There were a lot of books at this sale and I found many of them very interesting. I opened one and found a bookplate of a judge I had before me in court once. I had a problem with a slumlord who was in the process of selling the property to an institution who would’ve paid a relocation fee to the tenants, but this landlord was trying to kick us all out so we couldn’t collect. He must’ve had something to gain by doing that. The poor tenant upstairs from us was just devastated. His roommate had moved out and he had plans to attend graduate school at the University and wanted to stay in the area because it was so close, but he didn’t want to live in a dump and so approached the landlord with a proposition the fix the place up at his own expense. They made an agreement and he did an excellent job of it, he patched all the walls and painted them fresh, sanded the floors and refinished them, fixed and replaced a broken toilet, then invited the landlord up to see. The landlord took a look around admiring the work then decided the place was worth more rent so he raised it. Meanwhile a tree in the back had fallen down and went through the roof of the back pantry of my unit which was open to the kitchen. The landlord wasn’t about to spend a penny to fix it and we knew he was selling the house. He was trying hard to find a way to evict us and with all that going on we just called the city inspectors over about the roof and he got cited for that and a lot more. The upshot was, we didn’t get any relocation but then he didn’t get to keep whatever money he was probably getting for ousting the tenants and had to spend even more fixing a house that was going to be torn down. So, that explains what I was doing before this judge. I remember he was a prick and had made the decision that I should voluntarily move like the guy upstairs did without any relocation payment. When I got home from that estate sale, I looked up the obituary for this judge and found an interesting news article about him. He ended his days just out of jail in a halfway house. He had been incarcerated for stealing approximately $400,000 from a trust fund of a mentally vulnerable adult that he was managing. When one of this clients managers had requested the funds to replace the roof on the house, the judge told him the funds were depleted.

I read something he wrote to one of the newspapers how his attitude had changed since he was now the one in custody. “A Fallen judge Rethinks Crime and Punishment” He admitted he was hard on a lot of people who came before him in the court but that the system should lighten up more and take mercy on them. Blah! Blah! Blah! His collection of books included much about Witchcraft and the Devil and other weird stuff that probably wouldn’t be found in your local bookshop. A strange but varied collection. Speaking of weird, I have one more story for today.

Years ago when they were still searching for the body of David Wetterling, a body had washed up in the Mississippi river with the hands and the feet cut off. The body was a young boy about David’s would be age at the time but it had been embalmed. It was discovered that the body had been dug up from a cemetery by a group of kids who were messing about with the occult. They were staying in a room in an old warehouse about 3 miles up Lake Street. They stole the body from a grave, put it in a bag and carried it on the city bus to the warehouse. This warehouse had a number of tenants living there, we used to call it the “Home for Displaced Husbands”. My ex-husband was one of them and he gave me the inside scoop. He told me there was a pentagram painted on the floor of the room this group of kids had, they had a party of some sort and the body was the feature for whatever they were doing. I remember that year there were a number strange occult events. My neighbor had one where she was spelunking with a couple other people by the river and came to a trap set up in one of the caves. A trip wire attached to a rifle. They got out of there and called the cops. The cops found more strange things in that cave and told my neighbor that it appears the trap had been set up to deter anyone from entering the cave because someone was planning a ritual suicide and it’s possible they had foiled it. Evidently some people believe that suicide is the ultimate sacrifice and insult against God’s ultimate creation of man. Yikes!

Well, Stay home and stay safe so we all can finally get over this pandemic. People have a hard time believing some things really happen until it happens to them. I’m trying hard not to be one of them. I was one who didn’t always take the advice my parents tried to give me so I wound up in the school of hard knocks. Just had to go my reckless way and find out for myself. Age makes most people cautious and I consider myself very lucky to be alive and healthy, now I take care that I stay that way. I hope you do too.


If I were to have read this book as a kid I probably would have wanted to become a Taxi Driver, it looks like so much fun. However, I became a Taxi Driver anyway, by accident. One day out of a job a friend suggested I apply at Yellow Taxi and that’s where I settled my bones. Over the years Taxi driving was one of the first jobs to become marginalized. There used to be a union, retirement plans and other benefits that could be taken for granted. The 1980’s was the beginning of the era of going from the status of employee to the status of independent contractor (Gig workers in today’s language). Other industries soon followed as employers saw a way to save the expenses of worker’s compensation insurance, and other benefit plans. Employees were then given the false impression that they are in business for themselves, and in a sense they were, but in reality they were only really responsible for themselves. Some worked hard and made money and even saved and invested wisely. They were a very small group. Others worked hard, made money and blew it all away, but the majority who also worked hard and didn’t make much more than a living have become the largest group of all and the income kept on dwindling. At the end of the day, no one has a retirement plan outside of Social Security, including yours truly here who didn’t wise up until too late in the game. If I win the lottery I’ll be fine.

During this pandemic business has really slowed down. The airlines have claimed to have lost 85% of their business, which I can believe. There are armies of commuters who live in one city and work in another and they were catching those planes like the rest of us would catch a bus. Those airline commuters also needed rides to and from the airport.

Luckily I’ve been able to stay home and get unemployment. The federal supplement was great but didn’t last long. As an Uber/Lyft driver now I’ve been able to make that choice myself. I expect I’ll have to pay all this money back someday, somehow but I’m not going to worry about that. Avoiding this deadly disease is more important and I don’t think I can trust the public with all the rumors of it all being a big hoax that has a lot of people confused and over time, complacent. Now that the electoral votes have counted in a new president the roads are as quiet as the shut-down was in the spring. I just went for my weekly lottery ticket and noticed that there was no traffic. The old president isn’t happy that he wasn’t voted back in office and neither are his supporters. There’s lots of shouting about fraud. I expect protesters will be out in force while the new president’s supporters party in the streets. A lot of us are probably anticipating more than just street brawls in the coming days. Businesses are already buying riot insurance and boarding up. That’s right folks! You’re not insured against civil unrest or war. Read your policies and take care. These could be Halcyon days or the calm before the storm. Meanwhile, taxi’s are still in business and there are Uber/Lyft drivers still on the roads, it is an industry that may never go away after all.


Happy Halloween folks! It’s that time of year again and the snow is already making an appearance. There are people still camping in the city parks even in these cold temperatures. Crazy!

I’ve been thinking about the housing crisis going on all over it seems. It isn’t people moving to the cities from the countrysides that’s creating the problems here. I hear on the radio how the Mall of America is nearly empty with closed store fronts. Online shopping has been effecting the brick and mortar retail shops for quite some time now and the pandemic has made it worse. I hear that small businesses are going under due to the pandemic, but in reality, most of them don’t need to pay the rents anymore, they can sell from their homes or rent a warehouse or locker now for much less. The world is changing. Are people so impatient with the lockdowns or is it the owners of the real estate that lost their tenants who are the ones behind all this crying? We’re so easily duped. The system is rigged against us. Coming from the taxi industry I can vouch for that. I had the raw experience of being duped and seeing the system rigged.

Landlords. I have nothing against landlords especially the small one who made the wise investment in order to have a nest egg and retire someday when working is not an option anymore.

I’ve had pretty good landlords for the most part before I became a homeowner myself. However, I have seen a shift in rental property go from the hands of the individual to the big investment and management companies. Much has contributed to this shift. First I’ll begin with the irresponsible tenant who is capable of doing much damage and making it tough for the next guy. It can take a landlord a long time to evict a tenant these days usually for non-payment of rent. The small landlord cannot afford to carry the burden of a bad tenant. Then there are the justice warriors who cry for tenants rights against the landlords constitutional rights over his own property. As these cries chip away and change things in favor of the tenant it becomes more of a loss for the landlord who eventually will cut his losses and sell out to the big guys who can afford and do know how to deal with bad tenants, usually raising the rents so that tenants without a decent job can’t pay the rent. The philosophy is, if a tenant has a good income then that tenant must be a good rent paying tenant. Make sense? That’s one solution and it seems to be working well. At the same time there are all these cries about socialism. People seem to associate socialism with communism, but in a way that is where all this is going; Communism the government owns all the property. What will we be when the corporations own all the property?

That’s the mighty Mississippi frozen under that bridge.

Soon it will look like this in Minneapolis. That’s the Washington Avenue bridge going to the East Bank campus of the University from the West Bank. Just downstream from the 35W bridge, the one that collapsed in 2007.

I was once told that commercial property was a money maker but the world changes for everyone. Uber disrupted the taxi industry and the internet disrupted the retail industry which in turn is disrupting the commercial real estate. The moguls are now scrambling for another money maker, housing. Most of us couldn’t fathom buying a commercial building, the purchase price and upkeep was way over our heads and most of us never learn about it anyway. The American dream was always to own your own home. That’s still possible but getting more and more out of reach. I own my home with a partner and this partnership is what made my home ownership possible. Maybe everything isn’t perfect but it’s not so bad. I could do worse, I could be a tenant with a bad landlord. One who doesn’t fix anything and demands higher rent every lease renewal. That is becoming the norm and most people are stuck with it. We’ve been enticed to spend our money rather than save it, beginning with the credit card instant gratification mentality and all the new and shiny things advertised on the television every five minutes. We gotta have it, all our friends have one! We gotta fit in, look alike and be accepted. Being in debt is just a part of life, normal! With all the political correct talk going around, we’re brainwashed and frightened to not even think for ourselves. We’ve also been taught to get a job with benefits, let the company take care of you, better than the government. Is this what capitalism was supposed to be for you and me?

Partner up my Friends. None of us can make it alone.

I just met the guys who bought the house on the corner. It’s a duplex and the two guys are young and good friends. I think they’ll make it and I think I will see more of this as time goes on. It’s a good thing to do because there are so many obstacles to home ownership and the thieving fees hidden through out all that paperwork. Many fees don’t come due until certain conditions are met. Here’s one example: EHCO loans. What is that? I don’t know, it appears to be a fee that only grants permission to buy the property. Hmmm! That didn’t come due until my partner and I refinanced the house and took out a loan that got worked into the mortgage so we could replace the roof. (My partner is not a saver). Because we remortgaged at a higher loan than what we owed, instead of taking out an expensive equity loan, that ECHO loan came due. It started out at $3000 and was up to $4500. So we had to borrow more to pay that off or not get our loan at all for the roof, otherwise it would’ve come due when we sold our house. Well, at least we won’t owe it at the time of sale. These moguls just can’t live and let live!

Try not to look like this guy.

Buying a house shouldn’t be so scary and going in on one with a partner may have is drawbacks, but it’s foot in the door. There are tenancy in common agreements that can clearly spell out the rules and expectations and cost very little to create and file with the county. $246 is all I paid. Don’t let the commercials tell you what you need to fit into society and have friends and save your money. A little at a time goes a long long way! The moguls all started out with partners, none of them got rich all by themselves. It takes trust and mutual respect, not such a high price. Who knows, maybe you’ll be happy after all!

Happy Juneteenth!!

Pandemic Read-athon

Juneteenth is well on it’s way to becoming a National holiday and well deserved too. It not only celebrates the liberation of African Americans from slavery, but it also represents those who are the last to know. Hopefully there will be some positive changes that includes our country’s diverse community into the education system and mainstream. Confronting the uncomfortable history may just be the medicine we need to heal. This book sat in my Amazon box of books for sale for many years and has only just sold. I even forgot that I had it. Ralph Ellison had died before he finished writing this book but his family stepped in and brought it to completion and it was published a few years later. Like most people, I had to go to college for the literature and history classes about our diverse cultures that was missing from my elementary and high school years.

Waste Tide is a Chinese Sci-Fi: “She’s a waste worker on Silicon Isle, where electronics from cell phones and laptops to bots and bionic limbs are sent to be recycled. These amass in towering heaps, polluting every spare inch of land. On this island off the coast of Chin, the fruits of capitalism and consumer culture come to a toxic end.”

I wrote a little before about Junkyard Planet, another good read that takes you on a tour of the scrap trade from the scrapyards of America to the recycling factories of China. Has anybody noticed the disappearance of old junk cars that could be seen abandoned in swamps and ditches around the country over the years? Anyway, I look forward to reading Waste Tide. Sci-Fi is more about the present and preview of things that may come. This book looks promising, an alternative insight into the world of recycling, one that we don’t seem to notice. We know what our side of the story is, this will be the other side. It makes me think that in times like these we should all be more careful about how we spend our money and perhaps not be so picky about buying from the used marketplace or hanging onto what we already have a lot longer if it still works or can be repaired.



People have more time for Spring cleaning this year but don’t know what to do with the stuff they want to get rid of.  Thrift shops are closed and not accepting donations, the used book shops aren’t accepting stuff, yard sales are cancelled, estate sales went online,   and no Flea Markets! However there are lots of curbs full of free stuff.


I finally got my Little Free Library finished.  I named it “The Happy Shaman”. I used an old fish tank stand for the base and that was easy to sink into the ground and stabilize.  The bottom is a shelf I’ve been putting jigsaw puzzles for the taking.  I redid the roof from what you see here.  People have been using it too.  One puzzle went and the books have turned over too.  This are great ways to share with your neighbors and it’s open 24/7. IMG_0205

This photo was taken a few years ago at a very popular neighborhood yard sale festival.  Every weekend in May there are these yard sale festivals in the various neighborhoods around Minneapolis and St. Paul, a different neighborhood each weekend, not all at the same time.  This is one that has food trucks and canoe raffles and even their own T-shirts.IMG_0415 I Posted this picture before


IMG_0416The food trucks were nearby but I didn’t get any photos of them.

IMG_0407These guys were having a good time.

So while the yard sales have been called off for the season people crowd together at the Walmarts and grocery stores.  It’s easier to practice social distancing at a yard sale so I wouldn’t be afraid to have one or go to one.  If you’re afraid to touch the cash then wear gloves.  I think this year would be a great year for yard sales.  People want something to do and finding a bargain at a yard sale can be very satisfying and fun.

I posted on Next-door about the Free Library and was criticized then I posted how this year would be great for yard sales and was criticized again.  The Naysayers and critics will always have their say but that doesn’t mean we have to believe them or cave into their vortex. IMG_0408

In place of the neighborhood yard sale festivals maybe go shopping for free stuff on the curb.

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