Summit Up 7-26-09 |

Summit Up 7-26-09


Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column with no change to spare.

You may recall our indignation July 5 with the burden of coins weighing down our pockets.

Things have changed, however, since we started getting up early on weekend mornings to scour garage sales for priceless bargains.

Summit County is a veritable gold mine for knick-knacks – and we don’t mean the little villain from “The Man With the Golden Gun.”

Why, just yesterday morning we picked up a framed recipe written rather artistically in some kind of old English that’s tough to read. It’s for something with hog fillets.

It cost $1 and looks great in our kitchen.

We found a real treasure last week at a sale in Silverthorne. An original, 1982 issue of Kurt Vonnegut’s “Deadeye Dick” cost only 50 cents.

The sellers didn’t know what they had.

Seriously: We went to pay and they told us they loved Vonnegut’s “Catch-22,” which any American ought to know was written by Joseph Heller.

We chuckled to ourselves while loading up five wicker stools that cost $10, total.

It made us feel so good we went and spent $180 on a fancy longboard. That wasn’t at a garage sale, but who cares?

Longboards are so awesome.

This one’s a Never Summer, made in Denver, complete with a fancy graphic that has a Colorado flag.

You may have seen us blasting down the street with a big, stupid grin on our face. We get so much speed that not even the vicious neighbor dogs can catch us.

And here in the middle of summer, our legs are already itching to carve up something – with a longboard, the pavement is as responsive as mid-season powder.

People are always looking at us with admiration, wishing they had a board of their own.

Now when we stop by garage sales, we keep our eyes out for accessories like knee pads and wrist guards.

We figure that with enough gear, we could ride just about any grade – perhaps Moonstone Road above Breckenridge – without getting scared.

Fear is the sole impediment to greatness.

When you stop by a garage sale and that cast-iron desk or Members Only jacket catches your fancy, don’t be afraid to bargain for it.

Ah, bargaining. Here’s an art practiced regularly by most of the world but not America. And it’s a true shame.

We once found an 8-foot bullwhip in Matamoros, Mexico that we needed, but the guy was asking $20.

Poppycock, we said.

We offered $5 and the man just laughed. We walked away.

Moments later, as we contemplated which ukulele identified best with our vibrant personalities, the bullwhip guy reappeared.

“I sell it for $10,” he said.

No. We said $5.

We put down the ukulele and stepped into the hot Mexican sun.

We went to a restaurant and ate frog legs with our sisters.

On the way back to the border station, we again encountered the man with the bullwhip.

“OK, amigo. You win. $5,” he said.

Great success. That story is 15 years old, and to this day the genuine leather bullwhip hangs proudly in our bedroom.

We can crack it better than Harrison Ford.

Back when we lived in a city, we had this neighbor who would hold garage sales with real bizarre stuff like weapons of steel, gas masks and firearms.

Every garage sale has board games. We’ve never bothered making an offer, though.

Pieces are sure to be missing.


We interrupt this lecture to bring you a fantastically poetic submission to our Summit Up Dogs Gone Wild Contest!!

This comes from Rex Murdock of Dillon:

There was a red dachshund named Flyboy, who went on a hike above Straight Creek.

Everything was going just fine, until we went up a salient incline.

I heard a bird scream and turned back around.

I looked up to the sky and then to the ground.

Flyboy was fleeing- struggling to cross a small stream.

We have to save Flyboy my husband did scream.

Pulled out of the water, wrapped-up and taken home.

Flyboy was hurt, three front teeth were nearly gone.

Down to the ER in Denver we went.

Flyboy now has an expensive dental splint (with three root canals to come).

What got Flyboy, we will never know.

But he is not a chicken, on a hike he’ll still go.


Wonderful. Dogs are treasures. We’re still accepting submissions, so keep sending your wacky dog stories at


One last thing about garage sales: We’d really prefer it if our local homeowners would start kicking off their garage sales around noon rather than the wee morning hours.

It’s Sunday, and we can’t sleep in because somewhere nearby, a lamp with our name on it is about to be purchased by someone who doesn’t deserve it.

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