Valley News – Hannover-Dartmouth garage sale a sign of things getting back to normal

HANNOVER — For the first time since 2019, the Dewey Field parking lot was filled with all kinds of items looking for new homes and hundreds of people looking to bring treasures home on Saturday during the Hanover- Dartmouth.

Items on offer at stalls arranged in four rows in the Lyme Road lot next to the Geisel Medical School in Hanover ranged from books and chairs to glasses, games, skis, toys, clothes, a kayak and a rocking horse.

Kelly Bergeron, from Norwich, has become the proud new owner of a large red kite adorned with a white daisy. She said she was drawn to the bright color and when she heard from the seller it was only $2, she was sold. The seller told him it was his 14 year old son when he was 6 years old.

Bergeron, who came with her daughter, said her family usually comes to the event every year.

“It’s a good place to find stuff,” she says. “You see people you haven’t seen in a while.”

Organizer Susan Edwards, who is retiring from her role as chair of Sustainable Hanover’s recycling subcommittee this fall, was busy closing deals with customers at her own booth on Saturday.

“It’s so much fun in a way,” she said between sales. But to sell her own items, which included homemade potholders, candle holders and leftover craft supplies, she “had to be super organized,” she said.

It’s been hard for her to let go of some sewing items because of their sentimental value, she said, but there’s a “limit to what you can use”.

Clear skies and sunshine on Saturday came as no surprise to Edwards, who said the weather had been the same since she launched the event, working with others at Sustainable Hanover and the Dartmouth Sustainability Office, he 13 years ago.

Given his upcoming retirement, Edwards said the garage sale’s future is in question. It “might not happen next year,” she said.

But this year’s event was at least something of a celebration. Hannover resident Lynn Swett Miller, who also helped organize the first community garage sale, hailed the evident return to normalcy of the spirited turnout.

For “two years we were away,” she said of the pandemic-related hiatus. It’s “so nice to see him start again”.

Although she didn’t sell this year, Miller said she remembered selling a box of Legos that her children no longer used to a young family another year. It was “just like heaven” to the young boy of around 6 who took possession of it, she recalls.

Donna Ron of Mount Etna attended the event with her family for the first time on Saturday. She had only recently arrived at the parking lot but had already found an ice cream cone costume for one of her children, starting their Halloween preparations early. The family was examining a pile of dolls and stuffed animals offered at another stall.

“That’s pretty cool,” Ron said.

Volunteers near the Hampshire Cooperative Nursery School, located just up Route 10, also known as Lyme Road, next to the Dartmouth Organic Farm, were selling baked goods and children’s items to help raising funds for the school.

Heather Hopley, from Lebanon, said her youngest child, who is 4, is in her last year of school this year. Noting the generosity of parents of students who provided items for the booth, Hopley said she hopes it will be a good year for the school.

Now that masks are optional at school and even younger students are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, Hopley said “it feels like things are getting more and more normal.”

Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at [email protected] or 603-727-3213.