Originally created 03/10/02

Bargain hunters line up at sale



By 4:30 Saturday morning, lines of bargain hunters had already formed in anticipation of the 50th annual Attic Sale sponsored by the Junior League of Augusta.

Shirley Mosley of Harrisburg and daughter Norma Batchelor of North Augusta were part of about 600 customers briskly entering the gate at 7.

"The prices are great, and there's so much available," Mrs. Mosley said.

Heavy fog increased caution for drivers heading to the North Augusta site, but it was no more of a deterrent than last year's cold weather, Mrs. Mosely recalled. "No matter, we still come every year."

Marjorie Kilchenstein, the event's chairwoman, said quality merchandise at great prices keeps people returning. "We like to think we've established a good reputation," said the seven-year Junior League member.

Betty Stephens of Bath agrees. "This is an opportunity to buy good items for good prices," she said while inspecting a small kitchen table.

Electrical items, sporting goods, pianos, vacuum cleaners, rugs and furniture also were on sale.

For expectant couple John and Amy Markwalter, the sale meant timely savings. "We're mainly looking at baby toys," said Mrs. Markwalter, an Episcopal Day School kindergarten teacher.

Maria Andujar of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, searched for bunk beds, sofas and TV sets. "The deals are tremendous," said the customer service Spanish language translator.

Junior League President Mary Anne Plunkett said people are adjusting to the move from the Augusta Exchange Club Fairgrounds to the Hippodrome Horse Complex Indoor Arena on Jefferson Davis Highway.

"It was a difficult decision. We spent 48 years in Augusta."

After the 2000 event, contractual reasons caused the group to move across the river, she said.

The local group has 250 active members and part of the New York City-based Association of Junior Leagues International Inc.

"We want to help area communities through proceeds raised at the attic sale, Festival of Trees and by selling our cookbook," Mrs. Plunkett said.

The nonprofit group also helps homeless youths and volunteers at schools.

Reach Timothy Cox at (706) 823-3217 or tim.cox@augustachronicle.com.