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No 100-Mile Madness for me!Posted Saturday, May 14, 2011, at 3:02 PM
I took this photo on Highway 25 across from Advance Town & Country last year or the year before. This is a reasonably good location for the sale, as shoppers can pull off the highway and browse without risking life and limb.
Memorial Day approaches, dear reckless denizens of Southeast Missouri, and the inevitable madness creeps upon us! By May 25, old and young will be gathering up the priceless treasures of their attics, basements, and garages, spreading them out on tables and tail gates in a topsy-turvy display of irresistible consumerism.
Carloads of treasure hunters will journey up and down Highway 25 to see if they can find some bargains to tide them through these tough times.
I traveled the old highway from Gordonville to Dexter yesterday, so I know that section is open. Trucks are lined up in Dutchtown, as MoDot takes up the sandbag levee on Highway 74--but that highway wasn't open to through traffic yesterday. However, I've since heard that Highway 74 is clean and clear. I don't know the status of 25 down to Kennett, but I haven't heard of any problems.
Activity on 25 starts as early as Tuesday and Wednesday, though the actual "yard sale" is usually scheduled for the Friday and Saturday before Memorial Day. Eager Beavers can't resist opening their stalls to get first crack at the buyers. It doesn't take long for the highway to become a real obstacle course!
I was headed to Cape on Highway 25 a couple of years ago, when a over-eager shopper slammed on her brakes and actually BACKED UP on the highway right in front of me!
In 2004, I was working at a library book sale in the old Crader gas station lot, when a car pulled up to the yard sale across the street in the DG parking lot--and three people got out, leaving their SUV on the edge of the highway. They proceeded to purchase a large wooden cabinet of some kind. Then, to my horror, they carried it out to the highway and tried to stuff it into their van. When that didn't work, they tied it on top of the van. Traffic stacked up during this procedure, and I readied my camera, expecting to see an accident any minute. Fortunately, they made it through okay--though heaven knows what happened to the motley crew after they left Dollar General!
Most Advance residents take an alternate route to the big city if they have to go to the doctor or run errands during this chaotic time.
I myself have no stomach for this activity this year, so I am going to make myself scarce for a bit. I hope the weather is good, the roads are safe, and the bargains are worthwhile!
From the green, remote hills of Tillman, this is your rural reporter, back into the long socks and sweatshirts of winter!
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 573-722-5322.
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