By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterJuly 20, 2017
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- It's often said that one person's trash is another's treasure, and people were sifting through treasure troves of old toys, clothes and household items during one of the biggest yard sales in the area July 15.
Fort Rucker hosted its Outdoor Yard Sale at the festival fields where hundreds came out to try and find that perfect deal that can't be found anywhere else, Lynn Avila, Fort Rucker special events coordinator, said.
"Yard sales can be a great place to find good deals, but sometimes it takes more than one yard sale to find everything you need," she added. "Fort Rucker's Outdoor Yard Sale and Flea Market cuts out all of the driving and puts several yard sales in one location."
For many, like Derek Atlas, civilian from Daleville, yard sales are an escape from having to navigate the crowds and sometimes confusion of large department stores.
"I'm not really a fan of going shopping in malls or bigger stores because the crowds can just put you off," he said. "I appreciate the intimacy of yard sales. You get to talk with people from the neighborhoods and really learn their story.
"A lot of the things they are selling tell a story, so a lot of times whatever it is you're buying has a lot more meaning behind it," he continued. "I like to go out and see what kind of stories I can find to take back with me. You can't get that at the mall."
Atlas said the convenience of bringing that storytelling journey into one place makes it easier for him. Visiting a one-stop-shop is easier than having to go from house to house in a conventional neighborhood, he added.
"It's like they're taking all the work out of it for me," said the Enterprise native. "I usually like to spend my Saturdays [at yard sales], but it can get a bit tiresome with having to drive around to find them, then if I don't find anything worthwhile, it feels like I wasted my time.
"Even if I don't find anything here, I don't feel like it's anything lost because it's like I'm going to a bunch of different houses all at once," he said. "It makes me appreciate that this is here for us."
For Leslie Hornton, military spouse, the yard sale was a great way for her to find clothing for her children.
"My kids are still young but they grow so fast, so it's hard for me to have to spend money on brand new clothes every few months," she said. "I think yard sales are a great way to save tons of money, especially on clothes.
"Plus you come out and you never know what you're going to find," she continued. "I'm out here looking for clothes, but there are lots of great things, like toys for the boys that I can get. It's just an easy way to spend my weekend."
In addition to the experience and savings, Atlas said that it's nice to know that he's helping others by relieving them of some of their wares.
"Lots of people get overloaded with stuff, so what's a better way to help them out by putting a little money in their pocket?" he said. "A lot of these folks are military and I know when it's time for them to go, they've got to go, so I think this is a great way to help them out. I guess it's my small way of giving back."