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Castleberry Fairs

Ashland yard sale brings out the community

Mel and Brenda Torsey (back) with their granddaughters Christina and Rachel Manita in front of their yard sales. (Erin Plummer) (click for larger version)
September 19, 2012
ASHLAND — Locals gathered around town for another year of treasure hunting and getting rid of old stuff during the annual Ashland Town Wide Yard Sale this past weekend.

Sellers gathered their wares around town on Saturday afternoon, many setting up tables at Ashland Memorial Park, with many putting up sales in their yards or outside of businesses.

The yard sale is organized by the Community Council of Ashland, a nonprofit organization that benefits community programs. Community Council Chair Sue Langley said funds raised through entry fees and sales of the $1 map will benefit events such as Christmas Night in Ashland, plays put on by the Hampstead Players, and other events. A portion of the fees for the Memorial Park Location goes to the Memorial Park Committee.

Langley said there were around 15 different sales in Memorial Park, and around 33 in outlying areas. Langley said predictions of bad weather earlier in the day threatened to deter crowds, but then the sun came up and brought in a much nicer day than expected. By 11 a.m., around 125 maps had been purchased by shoppers.

"It's a great feeling in the community, lots of people walking around going to the different stores, restaurants," Langley said. "You can see the smiles on people's faces; they're meeting old friends, they're having a good time."

The event had much volunteer support. This included Police Chief Anthony Randall and other officers donating their time to direct traffic and help pedestrians.

In Memorial Park, Melissa Noyes held her third sale. She said she has taken part in the sale as an empty nester settling into a two-bedroom apartment.

"If I don't need it, I get it out, and it saves a little more space," Noyes said.

Noyes said last year, she made enough to cover what she paid for the entry fee, and this year, she was doing better.

"It's well organized, and it gives those of us who are in apartments a place to do it," Noyes said.

Linda Jenness and her daughter, Natasha Jenness, have shopped in the yard sale for around 25 years, holding their first sale this year in the park. Most of the items in the sale were clothes and toys for small children that Natasha Jenness' three-year-old daughter had grown out of.

The Jenness family has always enjoyed taking part in the yard sale.

"You can talk people down in price, and you can get something that's 20 bucks in the store for $2," Natasha Jenness said.

Natasha Jenness said it was also a good opportunity to see people in the community they do not normally see.

"The weather is nice for it, and everybody is looking for other people's junk," Linda Jenness said.

They said they do plan to be back next year.

This was also a first time sale for Karen Daly-Dawson and her husband, who are also empty nesters looking to get rid of some stuff.

"This is my year to get organized and move on," Daly-Dawson said.

Daly-Dawson also plans to use some funds raised from the sale towards the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), an organization for which she will be taking part in a benefit walk. She also works with organizations related to autism awareness. Her son is autistic, and he went on to complete the rank of Eagle Scout with Troop 55 in Meredith.

It also gave Daly-Dawson a good opportunity to meet other members of the community.

"I felt it was a nice way to meet people," she said. "At least try it, and basically get to know the other people nearby."

Melvin and Brenda Torsey sold products from their farm, Hillcrest Maple Farm in New Hampton. The Torseys sold products such as maple syrup, jams, jellies, and many others made at their farm. Mel Torsey also sold books of his poetry. In addition to their products, the Torseys also sold items from around the house they wanted to get rid of. Their granddaughters, Christina and Rachel Manita, also sold their old stuffed animals at a table beside them.

"We just have a good time here," Mel Torsey said.

He wrote a poem about the sale in 2007, observing the many people looking for bargains and treasure on a Saturday morning.

"It's always interesting, it's always different," he said. "We get a chance to meet people from nearby and from far away. So many interesting people, that's what I enjoy so much; sharing with interesting people."

Many sales took place around other locations in town, including many private homes.

Joshua and Monique Perkins held a huge sale at their house near the center of town for the second year. Many of the items were baby things, glassware, tools, books, and many others. Joshua Perkins often acquires free items and the sale has been a good way to get rid of many unwanted things.

"I think it's a good event for the town," Joshua Perkins said.

Kim LaMarche of Manchester has an RV in Ashland, and first visited the sale last year, saying she liked the number of places to shop. LaMarche was looking around for whatever items she could find, finding some baskets and dishes by the afternoon. LaMarche said she has been to the sales in Ashland and Twin Mountain, saying she preferred the Ashland sale.

"It's a nice, friendly atmosphere," LaMarche said.

Phil Marden of Center Harbor said he has lived in the area since the 1950's and this was the first year he ever checked out the yard sale in Ashland.

Marden said he was especially impressed by Torsey's homemade, organic products.

"The fact that it's organic and the fact it's made by a local place is special," Marden said.

While he was not as enthused with the rest of the items for sale, he did pick up a painting as well.

Garnett Hill
Parker Village
Martin Lord Osman
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