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Monday, November 28, 2016






Monday,10:00 AM.  46 degrees F at the ferry dock, 41 on the back porch.  Wind SSE,  moderate, with stronger gusts.  The sky is overcast and the humidity is 86%, after one-third of an inch of rain fell last night.    The barometer is falling, now at 29.30".  The forecast calls for a chance of rain today and tomorrow, then cooler with the possibility of snow on Thursday.
   Small towns are noted for their characters, and Sally was one of Bayfield's best known.  Sally collected and sold junk.  She picked over the freebee's at the end of every garage sale, and was right there on Dumpster Day to rescue anything of possible value.  But, as everyone knows, one man's junk is another man's treasure, and folks came from all over to pick through Sally's junk, looking for treasure.  They usually bought something, but those in the know knew that the good stuff, the really valuable antiques and such were squirreled away in the several buildings that she owned around the area.
   Decorators and wannabe decorators would seek her out.  A few years back I was looking for some  old-fashioned snow shoes, and spotted a pair sticking up out of the junk in the back of her pickup truck, which was usually parked along Hwy. 13 just north of Bayfield, where her junk lines both sides of the road for the length of a football field.
   Stopping to ask what she wanted for them, I was shocked at the price she quoted for the worn-out relics, and told her so  "They're not just snow shoes, you know, they're wall hangers," she replied, "Decorator items."  Needless to say, I didn't buy them.
   Sally was also quite artistic, and made beautiful Christmas wreathes using all natural materials, including Princes' Pine, which she alone knew where to find.  We always bought one to hang above the fireplace, and the one that hangs there now is a rather sorry alternative.
   Sally,  a single woman probably a good deal younger than I, purposely I suppose, dressed the part of a junk dealer, and everything she owned looked the part as well.  She was college educated and very smart, but she chose a different lifestyle than most.  She chose to be a town character.
   Sally died suddenly a couple of weeks ago from a raging infection.  She was given a great funeral sendoff in neighboring Washburn.  Mourners brought items to be recycled; Sally would have loved to sort through the junk.
   Sally may be gone but she won't soon be forgotten, as her football field of junk on Hwy. 13 just north of the Bayfield city limits looks like it will be around for a while.  I envision it being loaded into dump trucks one far-off day when her estate is finally settled, and taken to a landfill. 
   I bet Sally will be there in spirit, sorting out the wall hangers from the junk.

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