Rummaging around

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Anita and Breanna Bruggeman at this year’s sale. Anita bakes 30 pies, all from scratch, to sell at the event. Another poplar item is Anita’s homemade apple jelly, which she’s been making for over 50 years now.

EJ Photo/Angie Hansen.

Anita Bruggeman reflects on 50 years of hosting garage sales

For the past 50 years, Anita Bruggeman has been in charge of what might be one of the biggest, longest running garage sales in the area.

Each year, Bruggeman and a few of her friends get together each year, pulling together items and baked goods for the event.

“We really enjoy it, helping each other out,” Bruggeman said.

Over the years, they’ve sold some interesting items and met some interesting people.

“Denny Koch brought over a duck boat, a big shower, screens and windows, and said ‘You’ll never sell this stuff’,” Bruggeman said. “I sold it all and went right over the Carpenter gym on Saturday night and rubbed it in.

“We’ve sold a lot of stuff. Every appliance I can think of.”

Some of her favorite customers over the years, Bruggeman said, were  Charles and De Lone Whitesides from Mitchell. They came to the sales for several years, and bought all sorts of items which they turned around and gave to charity.

“We never knew it for many many years, but they donated a lot of that stuff,” Bruggeman said.

Bruggeman and her friends also have donated lots of items and proceeds over the years as well, such as donating winter coats, giving to cancer benefits, families who have lost their homes to fire, just to name a few.

“It’s not just about making money, but also doing some good in the community.” Bruggeman said. “We try to help in anyway we can.”

This year, the Bruggemans donated local gift cards and door prizes in honor of their grandson Taylor who passed away early this year.

Next year will be the 51st year of the sale, and Bruggeman said she is already looking forward to it.

“My husband has been good about  letting us use his shed,” Bruggeman said. “And we fill it up!”

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