November 30, 2021

Wheeling, dealing on Route 90

Buyers, sellers line highway for annual 50-mile sales this weekend

Valerie Puma/staff reporter

People look through the items being sold at a garage sale Saturday in Homer. Hundreds of garage sales were set up along Route 90 for the annual 50-mile sale this weekend

Cars slowed to a crawl as drivers looked both ways — not for fellow motorists, but to scour the items scattered across people’s lawns.

This weekend was the annual Route 90 50-mile garage sale, where people from Homer to Montezuma brought out all types of household items, clothing and knick-knacks. Shoppers walked from one sale to another, and some drove from one town to the next looking for the best deals.

JoAnn Malarek drives from Auburn each year with a car-full of items to sell, meeting at a friend’s house in Homer. Her friends take turns manning the yard sale.

“We all take turns shopping,” Malarek said. “I usually end up going home with more than I came with. It’s just a good time to come together, and you end up seeing some of the same people every year.”

Some of the sellers had some odd items to sell — shoe-shaped lamps, half of a lawn mower or couches older than some of the teenagers milling about. The most interesting thing a customer asked Malarek for: a motorcycle jacket for an infant.

Lorri Moore, of Cortland, and Shelly White, of Homer, walked down Main Street in Homer to get some fresh air and check the sales.

The oddest thing they had seen, so far, was a massage table — because it didn’t come with the masseur.

The women decided against the table, but Moore made it home with a new bracelet made of shining brass.

Across the street, two men were going from yard to yard in search of tires they could sell at their used-tire store. Hitched to their truck was a trailer with about two dozen tires so far, when they bought another pair from Jeff Grummons of Homer.

“I’ve sold all sorts of stuff,” Grummons said. This weekend was the 15th year he’s participated in the 50-mile garage sale event. “I’ve had so many unique things, I couldn’t even come up with something too odd. I’ve had everything from tires sold, to a kitchen sink, to an old steam ship’s wooden steering wheel. This year, I’ve sold a beer pong table, and some solid oak tables.”

Grummons’ yard was protected from the sun by a large tent, and, in addition to his collection of household items, he was selling iced slushies.

“So far, Friday has been my best day of sales,” he said. “There has been steady traffic, but I didn’t really have any big ticket items this year.”

For one customer, a big ticket item wasn’t what he had his sights set on. Rather, a 25-cent panda bear stuffed animal was all he needed.

Tanner, a 4-year-old dog from Bridgeton, New Jersey, holds a panda bear stuffed animal he picked out at a garage sale in Homer. Tanner carried the 25-cent toy with him as his owner, Kim Glaspy, toured several blocks worth of sales.


Tanner, a 4-year-old dog from Bridgeton, New Jersey, followed his owner as she went from one yard to the next.

“He picked it out himself,” said Kim Glaspy, Tanner’s owner. “We’re visiting my brother in Syracuse, but Friday we cut off the highway early to go to the park so I could walk Tanner, and I drove past the sales. It was crazy that I just happened to fall right into it.”

Tanner showed off his new toy to his fellow customers as they passed by, bringing a smile to their faces as they gave him a quick pat on the head.