August 1, 2011
Deals up and down Route 90
Annual garage sales along the road extend from Homer to Montezuma
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Buddy Belonsoff of Syracuse looks through a telescope from his youth toward the center of Summerhill while selling items at his boyhood home Saturday for the 50-mile yard sale along Route 90.
SUMMERHILL — It’s 8 a.m. on Saturday and dozens of people are already parking their cars on the side of the road down stretches of Route 90.
Two artists, Lisa Vaughn from Cincinnati, Ohio, and her friend Laura Walters, from Cherry Hill, N.J., have just started their day in Summerhill. They don’t need anything specifically, but are looking for anything that can be used for art.
Walters spots a vintage red-and-black checkerboard and a dog figurine. She must have both. She looks at the seller and picks them up, along with a few other items, for $3.
“This is just too much fun,” Walters said. “One of the best yard sales you’ll find.”
Walters and Vaughn were among hundreds of people taking part in the annual Route 90 yard sales, a two-day event staged Saturday and Sunday by residents along the highway.
The event, in its 25th year, always takes place during the last weekend in July.
For sellers, the event provides the perfect chance to get rid of some items that have outworn their use. The thousands of things for sale had little in common other than that their owners no longer wanted them.
The items’ values also varied wildly. A 1990 CD from the blues and rock band Blues Traveler or some old baby clothes cost 25 cents. An 8-foot pressure-treated pine table goes for $250, while some of the larger items like tractors or lawn mowers cost much more.
The sales cover about 50 miles, starting in Homer and ending in Montezuma in Cayuga County.
“There are so many things to find here,” Vaughn said of the yard sales.
Walters and Vaughn have been going to this event for the last few years and say it has become part of an annual tradition. They start their day at John Signor’s tent of items and then work their way up Route 90 toward Montezuma. Signor is from Moravia, but he sets up shop in Summerhill for the yard sales.
“Anything you see here, we’ll make a deal,” he said to the gathering of people looking at his collection of glasses, dishware and antiques.
Signor doesn’t assign prices to his items before the event. Instead, people bring him a few items and then he will estimate a price.
“If you come back tomorrow, it will be empty,” Signor said.
For Amy and Russ Mantey, another pair of sellers near Moravia, the yard sale provides a chance to see some familiar faces. They said they are primarily looking to get rid of some children’s toys, video games and other loose items. The couple sat under a shaded tent waiting for interested buyers to come to them.
“It’s just the place to get rid of stuff,” said Amy Mantey, who’s been a seller for about four years during the event.
Marathon resident Lacy Allen was just starting her day near Homer around 10 a.m., with about 50 more miles of yard sales for her to cover. She said she was not sure how far down Route 90 she would go but hoped to find some deals along the way.
“It seems to go on and on forever,” Allen said. “It never ends.”
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