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  • Writer's pictureThe Host

The World's Greatest Dollar

With the exception of maybe apple pie, there is nothing more American than the garage sale. It's the whole bartering system nature of it all. Americans love to pride themselves as "spirited", "entrepreneurial" and what have you. It really comes out at 10:30 am in a garage on a Saturday morning.

Said Saturday morning I was not at a garage sale. This Saturday morning found me taking a mental axe to the news and headlines of the week with a cup of coffee. It was 11 am and while it was way to late for me to still be drinking coffee, shit happens. The news was rough; the Biden administration had shifted narratives on Afghanistan twice in one day. I was playing catch-up.

When a friend of mine called and asked if I was home I said I was. I was actually kind of happy, I needed something to pull me out of my chair. We were out front chopping it up on a lovely summer morning. Before he left he mentioned he'd went to a garage sale and got something for me. He retrieved from his vehicle a plastic bag, something flat was in it. But it was carefully wrapped and that's what really caught me. I was like, what could he have found at a garage sale that warranted such care? As a comic book nerd, my curiosity was piqued.

He produced a copy of Life magazine, with the week in review, including the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I was immediately, overwhelmingly elated and grateful. It was the nicest thing someone had done for me in a while. I was so happy and proud for a number of reasons: first, this person thought about me and captured a piece of history. They took it serious, and had me in mind. The next thing that struck me, was it was an original. It's not a reprint. And while definitely not mint condition it is in excellent shape. All pages intact. It is not a reprint.

And as I stood there marveling over the magazine, my friend went on about the day and the garage sale. Yadda yadda. And as the story progressed, I became even more interested because the person who had this issue knew it's significance. You can find all kinds of things at garage sales; but if you look closely, you can learn about individuals as well. Not everyone has the thought or even care of what takes place in the shared human experience. Most people just exist, and they're col with that.

Think of all the catalogs, junk mail, flyers, kitchen magnets; think of all the periodicals or stuff that an average person throws away. They didn't throw away this issue of life magazine. And the person who sold it was the person who'd kept it all those years. It was not a hand-,me-down. That made me happy too. It made me feel like there is hope for humanity.

Sold it for a dollar.

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