By Donald Wittkowski
Pearl Larsen, an adorable, pint-sized blonde just 3 years old, began learning about the basics of money Saturday during the annual community yard sale in Sea Isle City.
Rule No. 1: It’s fun to buy yourself some cool things.
Rule No. 2: It’s even more fun when you’re spending your mom’s money instead of your own.
“Pearl bought it with her mother’s money,” Dawn Anderson, the little girl’s grandmother, said with a laugh while pointing to a boogie board the family had picked up at the yard sale for just $3.
A smiling Pearl triumphantly held up a dollar bill for everyone to see while her grandmother and her mother, Amy Larsen, of Ocean View, were busy looking for some bargains.
Sponsored by the Sea Isle City Chamber of Commerce and Revitalization, the yard sale allows residents to clean out some of the old items and clutter in their garages, closets and attics while making a little dough.
“You can only hold on to things for just so long,” acknowledged Ron Griffin, who had an elaborate yard sale at the house he shares with Maureen Sheeler at 52nd Street and Central Avenue.
When asked if he had anything old up for sale, the 74-year-old Griffin, without missing a beat, joked, “Yeah, me.”
An oil lamp from the 1880s, antique wooden jewelry boxes, paintings, glassware, an ornate tabletop mirror and an old coffee grinder were among the dozens of items Griffin and Sheeler were selling.
“This is a cleanout. These are things left over from the old house,” explained Griffin, who lived in Pennsylvania before moving to Sea Isle.
The community yard sale is spread across Sea Isle and draws visitors to town during a normally slow time preceding the big Memorial Day weekend celebration, the traditional kick-off for the summer tourism season.
Bargain hunters hovered over tables laden with everything from valuable family heirlooms to just plain junk in hopes of finding something special at a great price.
Genevieve Rogers, of Pine Creek, Del., was able to redecorate her home with a nightstand, an accent table and a picture that she bought for a total of $14.
“It’s beautiful. It was a steal,” Rogers said of the $5 nightstand while hunting for even more items at a yard sale at 67th Street and Pleasure Avenue.
Another yard sale browser, Philadelphia resident Angel Marchini, who was visiting Sea Isle for the weekend with her boyfriend and his mother, was searching for some stylish clothing.
“Anything that looks cool I’m pretty much open to,” she said.
United Methodist Church also set up tables during the yard sale to raise some money. Items were donated by the church’s parishioners.
“Things are priced to go,” said Wayne Guard, a church volunteer who was helping out.
Guard said books were being sold for a mere 25 cents. Most of the children’s books were hot sellers, he noted.
The church also had an array of items for the home – everything from an espresso maker to a vacuum cleaner to dishes and cups.
Michele Hyczka, of Stratford, Camden County, was scouring the church’s tables for some bargains while her husband and two sons were a few blocks away fishing in the bay.
Hyczka showed off one item she bought, a striking photo of a red and yellow sunset at the seashore.
“I bought it for only $2,” she said. “I just love the colors.”