Give, give, give (and then buy, buy, buy)

Back in the day, when the average island family could get by with a one-car garage – down from today’s apparent standard of three – the clutter that accumulated therein was a bit more modest too.

Even our modes of transportation were simpler. From the June 22, 1966 Review:

“Two saddle horses joined the list of goodies for the Rotary Auction this week. The horses, gifts of an anonymous donor, will go to the highest bidder Saturday when the annual fund-raising auction gets under way. Island Rotarians were busy this week with other last-minute collections for their annual auction and rummage sale – an occasion that has developed into one of the island’s top merchandising events and has helped to pay for a lot of civic improvements here...

“Other items, well, there will be a case of canned salmon, a brand new motor scooter, some excellent furniture (‘Put down that it’s antique-type,’ said Rotarian Bud Barnes), a four-band short-wave radio and a bearskin rug... A door prize for some lucky auction-goer will be a pony donated by Bainbridge Jaycees. And if you’d rather drive than ride, there’s already an automotive entry in the auction. It’s a 1941 Chevrolet.”

Our look back to the archives is occasioned by the advent of Rotary Auction “season” – it’s no longer a day, or even two, but a good 10 days worth of activity – as volunteers begin taking donations this morning at Woodward Middle School.

Dawn to dusk, by trunkload and truckload, items will be pouring in for the massive auction and rummage that raises equally massive dollars for local community projects.

Furniture, clothing, electronic equipment, sporting goods, automotive and boating gear, bicycles, toys, books and all the unclassifiable ephemera of island living will be sorted, priced and displayed for the throngs that will descend upon the auction site cash and checkbooks in hand June 30 and July 1.

Got stuff to donate? Two suggestions:

1) Don’t bring junk, or Rotarians will turn you around at the gate or charge you for use of the their dumpster, and 2) don’t wait until the very last minute, or you could find yourself one of the hapless souls turned away when the drop-off period finally closes at 9 p.m. June 28. And if you don’t have anything tangible to give, there’s always your time (and for those who can move furniture, your back); volunteers are welcome daily in the auction/rummage’s many departments. Looking back to the 1966 auction:

“Rotarians Eddie Rollins and Fred Tyszko, members of the pick-up crew, said their work isn’t as hard as it sounds. Consider what happened when the stopped to pick up some donations at the home of Dr. and Mrs. J.H. Baker. “We wound up getting a champagne lunch along with the donations,” Rollins said.

“It’s not required that donors feed the Rotary pickup crews, though. Call the Winslow post office of Puget Power headquarters in Winslow and they’ll arrive at your convenience, including evenings...”

And that’s still true, within reason. Transport of large items – for donors who don’t have pickup trucks or aren’t quite as spry as they used to be – can be arranged by calling 842-9111. We can’t guarantee champagne for auction-site volunteers, but Rotary will feed you a pretty good dinner.

So, Bainbridge Island, clean out that garage (all three bays) and bring in your excess stuff – pretty much everything except livestock, which the Rotary Auction and Rummage no longer accepts.

Horseless carriages, yes. But no horses, please.

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