“Would You Take a Dollar?”

by Lee Wilbur

 “Sweetie, will you take 3 dollars for these place mats” to the elderly white-haired lady in the rocking chair.

“Well dear, what did I mark on them?


And the battle has begun. For two days now, local newspapers have carried the advertisements. Extra copies have been snapped up. Summons and orders have poured from Division Headquarters. Generals have passed strategic orders to the Colonels at Battalion Headquarters, Majors of Brigades have been alerted, Company Commanders, Squad leaders all have their driving orders. Cities and towns coordinates have been issued. Telephone wires are burning. Neighborhoods have been studied and debated. Google maps downloaded, GPS's programmed and and routes rigidly studied for this is Friday in Florida and the beginning of the weekly two-day ritual of WEEKEND YARD SALES.

“But sweetie, why five dollars? Will you take four?”

“Well dear, these will be very valuable. They belonged to my grandmother and her mother before and now I've got to sell them. My children, the little bitches don't seem to want all these beautiful heirlooms I'm having to sell today. Would four dollars and fifty cents be alright.”

Visiting grandchildren are rousted from sleep, compliant husbands, threatened with church on Sunday and no golf, fishermen—brow-beaten, coffee and breakfast forgone—are all shepherded to waiting automobiles at the crack of sun on high palm trees to get on the road.

Major highways fill. Legions of sheriffs, and local police cruisers and platoons of Highway Patrols are in force for they know that Friday is the day. Speed limits are disregarded. Red lights on school buses will become signals of antagonism and 15mph schoolyard zones will be completely ignored by the bargain inflamed hordes.

Banks from Wednesday forward have had to place extra tellers on the line as 50 and100 dollar bills are exchanged for scarce ones and fives flown in from around the country. Social Security checks are cashed and monthly expenses figured to the penny. Remainder to be judiciously traded at “Yard Sales.” Contractors' nail bags or pocketbooks are tied to ample waists for ease of money retrieval, deal completion and speed of exit to the next.

“My goodness, look at the prices here. What are they thinking? Why just look...35 dollars for that bicycle. Tooo high. Twenty’s plenty.”

“But dear,” the guy says to his wife. He just bought it two weeks ago and found he couldn't ride a bike any longer. Says he paid one hundred and seventy dollars for it.”


Cars now line both sides of the subdivision streets. Passage becomes a game of “Chicken.” Deadly stares, necessary armament. Strung yellow “Police Barricade” tape and signs of “If you value LIFE, don't park on my lawn” are soon trampled to the ground. Heads of lawn sprinklers are decimated as the demented veterans of prior Fridays jockey for near proximity parking.

Breathlessly she says, “You let me off here and go find a place to park,” as she leaps from the moving vehicle and runs up the driveway, head high to capture another lamp before some other wretched yardsaler lays claim.

To the lady driving the Cadillac Escalade “Dear, you can't get through here,” from a later-aged white-haired and concerned gentleman. She doesn't stop. She's on a mission. Hand signals ensue. Mirror is clipped from an in-the-way vehicle. Minor matter. She doesn't stop. She's on a mission. More bargains just a'calling on the next block.

Time: eight o’clock. Other thousands have queued at golf clubhouses, church halls, trailer park clubhouses, Legion halls, Elk-Moose-Eagle-Crow lodges. The ravenous arrive before daylight with delicious anticipation. War stories are traded of yesteryear's bargains and mis-priced tools. Guardians of the vast wealth therein finally, as interminable minutes drip by, open the floodgates and the legions flow forth. Eagle eyed, they rush to respective tables. Books: fiction/non-fiction. Housewares, clothing, paintings, golf clubs and balls by the thousands. Two hundred dollar tennis rackets, $5 each. Hundred dollar drill, $15. Televisions, any size shape or manufacture, line a table and floor under. Five dollars each and no takers. Clothes by the racks. Vases, pots, pans, kitchenware, christmas ornaments, rugs, the ubiquitous lawn mowers and shovels, fishing rods and lures. The list is huge. Anything coveted by the maddened hordes can be found at THE YARD SALES...cheap!!

“Look Dear. Isn't this sweet and just 50 cents.”

“Why yes, Dear. It's just like the one you found three weeks ago and it will go real well with the six you already have in the closet.”

Come 11 a.m., invasion is winding down. Victory in hand. The “good stuff” on it's way to someone's garage or living room or kitchen to be marveled over for at least five minutes. Some to be squirreled away, soon to be forgotten. Bargain was found, thrill recorded. Phone lines heat up once again as the morning's finds are re-lived and peace returns to the roads of the sun drenched flatlands.

“I know I didn't need it DEAR. That's not the POINT!! I WANTED IT!!

Over the last few years and with all the Eat Better advice, I’ve gotten away from the eggs and bacon routine and have enjoyed Dark German breads slathered with goat cheese and topped with a fresh slice of tomato in the morning. Not that I'm any walking picture of health. Course of events, I now look for neat recipes and excuses to buy more goat cheese. This is a keeper. “Herb and goat cheese Chicken Roulade”


* * * R e c i p e * * *

(use equiv. dry measure for herbs)

8 oz. Goat cheese, slightly softened
1-1/2 tsp. fresh sage, chopped
2 skinless, boneless large chicken breasts
1-1/2 tsp. fresh marjoram, chopped
4 slices prosciuttto ham sliced thin
1-1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1 cup all purpose flour
1 t fresh rosemary, chopped
2 eggs beaten
4 tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 deg. In a small mixing bowl, mix goat cheese and herbs together and set aside. Pound chicken breasts between wax paper to 1/4''-inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper. Place 2 slices of prosciutto on each breast. Divide the goat cheese mixture in half and spread on each breast. Roll up each breast and tuck in ends to secure cheese using toothpicks. Dredge chicken rollups in flour (shake off excess), then dredge in the beaten eggs and then dredge in the panko bread crumbs. Heat olive oil in a medium frypan and lightly saute' each side of the rollups until slightly brown. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 20minutes or until internal temp. reaches 165 deg. (juices should run clear) Remove toothpicks and cut each piece in half to serve. Accompany with rice and a good green vegetable such as asparagus roasted in foil with olive oil, cracked salt and pepper at 450 deg for 25 min. If it's difficult to find fresh herbs try half-teaspoons of dried herbs and leave out the marjoram. Another combination is rosemary and basil.


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