The Free Press, Mankato, MN

August 25, 2013

Cross column: Finally, a garage sale for guys

The Mankato Free Press

---- — Garages are generally thought of as a man’s domain.

But garage sales? Not so much.

An exception might be the Sportsman’s Garage Sale that the Garden City Rod & Gun Club will be hosting 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Lake Crystal American Legion.

Forget about tables full of Little Tyke play centers, baby clothes or ceramic figures.

The dominant theme for this sale, which coincides with a city-wide rummage sale also being held in the community, will be man toys — hunting, fishing and camping gear, hand and power tools, just about anything outdoor-related.

“I’ve been running it past the club for the last couple of years,” said Dale Hudson, who hatched the idea of a man-cave oriented event as a fund-raising event for the organization with roots dating back to the 1940s. “This year, we thought it sounded like a good idea.”

“We’re a small club,” he said. “We don’t own any property, don’t have a gun range to maintain,” he said.

Instead, holding true to a mission of conservation, the group reinvests club funds in local wildlife and habitat projects through organizations like Blue Earth County Pheasants, Inc. and the local Ducks Unlimited Chapter.

The sale, Hudson explained, seemed to be a good way to raise funds for the club and allow sportsmen sell gear they no longer need.

The sale will be held in a way similar to area gun shows with sellers renting a 10-foot-by 10-foot area complete with an 8-foot table to display their goods at the indoor venue for $25.

Hudson said he is hoping for 25 tables and that about a dozen already have been claimed. “Then it will be free enterprise at its finest, between the buyer and seller, he said. “The seller will get to keep all of his profits.”

The club will make its money from the space rental and a $3 admission to the event.

In addition to the indoor sales areas, an outdoor sales area will be available for larger items like boats, ATVs, cars, trucks, motorcycles,fish houses, bulldozers.

“Give us $5 and you can park it, display it and maybe sell it,” he said.

Hudson admits that finding enough sportsmen willing to sell some of their unused toys is a bit of a concern.

“My fear is that a lot of guys don’t want to part with anything,” he said. “But I have a feeling their wives might have a different opinion.”

To ensure that the sale really remains a sportsman’s garage sale and not a run-of-the-mill rummage sale, sellers will be expected to adhere to some pretty clear guidelines of what they will be able to sell.

Leave all of those paperback romance novels, the used Tupperware at home, guys. Ditto for the doilies or baby booties you might have spent hours laboring over.

“No Beanie Babies collections allowed and if I offended anyone, it is purely intentional,” Hudson joked.

The dominant theme of the man-cave sale, he said, really will be held to camouflage and blaze orange.

“But I guess we could make an exception for Beanie Babies, though, so long as they’re wearing camouflage or blaze orange,” he said.

The deadline for registering for a sales space is Sept. 10. To receive a registration form, send an e-mail to or call 507-549-3887.

John Cross is a Free Press staff writer. Contact him at (507) at 344-6376 or by e-mail at