Some people tend to shy away from yard sales, but those people are missing out on the thrill of a good hunt. Often I find unusual items or tools that I don't really need, yet they're just too appealing to put down.
Last summer I came across a box of fishing lures that looked a lot more valuable than the $3 price tag might suggest. I decided to confirm with the young man who was hosting this garage sale to make sure these lures were really just $3 each. I had my doubts, because I could have sworn that I had seen one or two of these antique fishing lures going on eBay for at least $20. I wasn't interested in using or selling these lures if I got them, but just adding them to my collection of unique items found at yard sales.
I'm glad I asked about the price because it turns out I was wrong. The lures weren't going for $3 each; this guy was asking three bucks for the whole box! I nearly dislocated my shoulder reaching for my wallet in excitement to get the three dollars out. Once I had the box in my hand and the transaction was complete, I asked the guy where he had picked up these lures and why he was getting rid of them.
"I hope my grandpa forgives me for selling his lures, but I have no use for them," explained the young man. "He gave them to me before he passed away, but I don't even fish."
Sadly the box of fishing lures seemed tainted as I walked away. Not because I had picked up some possibly valuable fishing lures from a kid who didn't understand their true worth, but because this guy was letting go of something that was important to his grandfather.
Some lures looked more used than others, but I'm guessing these were important to the old timer who once owned them. He probably envisioned his grandson going fishing with these lures and remembering him each time he opened up his tackle box. Or maybe he hoped his grandson would at least take one and put it in his office or den to remind him that working hard will get you ahead in life, but to also take time to appreciate life by going fishing every once in awhile.
Today, a few of these lures can be found in my office. They serve as a reminder of that day when I came across this box of antique lures at a garage sale. As the years go by I'll probably change my story when people ask me where I got them. I won't specify which grandpa or acknowledge that I'm not actually related, but I'll tell people that grandpa wanted me to have the lures and that's why I still have them.