WARRENSBURG The hand-written cardboard sign tacked to the front porch of the house on River Street only told part of the story.
Free dog, it said.
Sure enough. Peering out from behind the screen door was a floppy eared pooch looking unwittingly adoptable.
But this wasnt any ordinary free dog.
Purebred spaniel, the man in the yard said. Trained by the Navy to sniff out bombs.
Apparently there isnt much demand on River Street for bomb-sniffing dogs. Or elsewhere, for that matter. By late Sunday, the dog still called River Street home.
The purebred-spaniel-bomb-sniffing pup proved once again that much like Alices Restaurant, you can find anything you want at the Worlds Largest Garage Sale, Warrensburgs annual Autumn ode to assorted stuff and miscellaneous junk.
Mild temperatures and cloudless skies Saturday and Sunday proved irresistible to thousands who clogged Main Street sidewalks where vendors ranging from Peruvian flute players and discount designer perfume sellers to the ever-popular pre-read book vendor offered their wares.
Food proved a popular item with the bargain award going to the $3 fried dough buried under a mountain of powdered sugar that spilled over the edges of the paper plate that strained to hold it.
Eating it proved to be a tag-team affair, leaving one father-and-son team stuffed but well-dusted.
The health department found some food vendors irresistible too, handing out free advice to several at least free on the first visit, causing the mothers pitching in at one high school fund-raising booth to scratch their heads in wonderment.
On the side streets, parking spaces for rent replaced yard sales at many homes, with $5 per car appearing to be the going rate.
Even I dont have enough junk to sell every year, one homeowner turned parking lot attendant said. So you gotta go with what youve got.
By mid-afternoon Sunday, bargains were everywhere and free was a word commonly heard. Pick-up trucks loaded with assorted stuff crawled along side streets late Sunday, eager to help weary garage-salers who determined it was easier to give their stuff away than to haul it back into the house.
Back on River Street, the government-issue canine curled up for a late-afternoon nap, apparently oblivious to the fact that his human tried to divest himself of some Navy surplus.