During the U.S. 21 Road Market weekend last year, Karen Layell brought her elderly parents to hang out at the sale stand she operates with her sister-in-law Christy Clark. It was a bright outing in the midst of the early months of the pandemic.
In the winter, her family was struck by the coronavirus.
“We all had it at the same time,” said Layell, of State Road.
Her parents, of Elkin, did not recover and passed away. She took her time these past months sorting through their things, choosing which to keep and which to bring to the booth in the parking lot of the Twice New shop in Thurmond. As is the process of sorting through a loved one’s belongings, she unearthed memories that fueled her healing process, and found some relief and happy memories as she parted ways this past weekend with many of their possessions.
Clark — Layell’s sister-in-law — said this was her fourth straight year doing the road market, and turnout was solid, although last year may have been even busier.
“This is the only one I do all year. And I prepare for it all year,” Clark said with a smile. “I always say, ‘bring man stuff,’ because it gets everybody’s attention.”
Clark and Layell kept cool under tents with generator-run fans, as temperatures pushed quickly each day into the high 80s with thick humidity. Storms Saturday evening destroyed some vendors tents, collapsing them with rainwater. One vendor near State Road had dispatched her daughter to Walmart Sunday morning to buy a replacement tent as the hot sun quickly sent a message that a day without shade would not be bearable.
In Jonesville, the Friends of the Jonesville Library annual sale at Mendy and Jim Peles’ house was doing brisk business the entire week leading up to the sale weekend. The group started setting up Monday.
“People started showing up Monday night,” reported Wendy Thompson, a Friends of the Library member and town clerk for Jonesville.
Proceeds of the sale would go toward the planned library expansion, which will double the library’s square footage.
The fundraiser significantly mitigates shoppers’ desire to haggle on prices, Thompson said, and even prompted many customers to donate their change to the effort, as well. As of just Friday afternoon, the sale had generated more than $1,000 toward the library project.
Thompson said the price tag for the expansion was a constantly moving target due to soaring construction costs lately; the pre-COVID estimate was about $300,000. A planning meeting to contract for design services will take place in the coming months as the group believes prices may be stabilizing enough to start moving forward on the project, she said.
Lisa Michals may be reached at 336-448-4968 or follow her on Twitter @lisamichals3.