“We’ve bought a few things but none of them were on the list,” said Bob Connor Saturday morning at one of the many sites across Westport Island participating in the island-wide yard sale. He and wife Callie were on the lookout for several items, including a bookshelf.
He showed a wallet he’d bought at a previous yard sale. “I’m hoping I can find a new one for the price of what’s in it,” he said, opening the wallet to show just a single dollar bill. Their odds of finding the items on their list weren’t bad considering that over 45 families participated in Saturday’s event.
Lead organizer and co-president of Westport Island Community Association (WCA) Debbie Lorenson said this was the first time WCA sponsored the event. “The Community Association is really about giving back to the community and we thought it would be a great way for people to get out and enjoy the island.” Not knowing what the pandemic would look like months ago in the planning stages, Lorenson noted WCA chose to plan the plant sale and yard sale this year particularly because they were outside events and would be more likely to happen even if things had not gotten better.
At the home of Jill Cooney, Lilly the cat was helping sell a cat tower by lounging on top and walking around to greet guests. Shoppers were reminded that purchases did not include the friendly calico. When told Lilly would be in the newspaper, Cooney said with a smile, “I’ll make sure she sees it. I’m sure she’ll be pleased.”
Bertha Gardiner was set up with several other families at the old town hall. Gardiner brought some of her own small pieces of art. She said she has really gotten into painting over the pandemic when there really wasn’t much to do. Also stationed at the old town hall was Mary Ellen Barnes, selling raffle tickets for a quilt Debbie Williams made to benefit Friends of Westport Island History. The drawing is Aug. 29.
Donna Curry was stationed on the Wiscasset side of the bridge to the island, handing out maps as potential shoppers pulled through the turnoff. A member of the WCA committee, she gave up-to-the-minute information, letting people know of changes to the map. Each home hosting a sale was well-marked with bright green signs. Sites spanned the island, with many families partnering with one another.
Kate Stoodley, helping at her family’s sale, said they had had people stopping by since 7:30 a.m., a half hour before the event. Two hours in, Lorenson was confident things were going well. “It’s been great, lots of socializing, and people have been coming from all over, even as far as Norway, Maine.”