4 Days, 690 Miles, Countless Stalls: Behold the ‘World’s Longest Yard Sale’

When we drove into Tennessee, it was all blue fog, green leaves and black stone rivers. The roads switch-backed up mountains, a collar of trees protecting motorists from the fact of their ascension till the sky suddenly split open onto a vista. One sale, wedged in the curve of a mountain pass, had a table filled with Fisher-Price and Mattel toys that hummingbirds were trying to pollinate.

In Tennessee, the 127 Yard Sale scales up. The whole thing is professionalized. There were major stops every few miles. People ate ribbon potatoes, pulled pork, funnel cakes and fried pies, drank sweet tea from food trucks and lemonade from children’s stands. Ice-cold water was sold from coolers for $1.

Neighbors brought each other potatoes and tomatoes and eggs, gossiped, complained about the heat, shared their finds.

I met a man in Pall Mall, Tenn., minding his daughter’s yard sale and feeding her chickens the biscuit part of his breakfast sandwich. We introduced ourselves — “Joe Poor, spelled like the opposite of rich.” I gushed about how gothically pretty this part of the country is. “They say God waved his hand over Fentress County twice,” he replied.

Saturday, the third day of the sale, had a kind of euphoria to it. Sweaty and dirty, I’d snagged a hand-painted “Wizard of Oz” dish set for $20, a heavy cluster of silver Figaro chains with dice charms, a knockoff Gaultier dress, a silk handkerchief, a Victorian candy dish for my cat and a purse shaped like a bullfrog.

What Next?

Recent Articles

Leave a Reply

You must be Logged in to post comment.