You’ve probably watched a reality show or game show and thought, “Hey, I can do that.” Or maybe you’ve watched folks on TV getting their homes redecorated, their hair re-styled, their clothing changed by experts who know how to place furniture, to tease up a ‘do, or why you shouldn’t wear this with that, and thought, “How do I get in on that?”
seveneightfive and a bunch of Topeka’s finest Tweeters recently met two people who did ask, and then took the steps necessary to be a part of HGTV’s, “Endless Yard Sale.” JD Lindman and Sher Bailey met two years ago when both were working on a web-based travel show. Eventually they felt the show wasn’t quite fulfilling their vision and left, looking for other opportunities to work together. In the meantime, they started a company, Likefox, a new media advertising, marketing and public relations firm.
JD lives in Topeka, and by his own admission, had never been to a yard, garage or estate sale. Little did he know that was about to change.
Sher lives in southeast Kansas, Chanute to be specific. Being a yard sale devotee she started a Facebook page, “Southeast Kansas Garage Sales!” nearly one year ago, which at press time has over 5,000 likes. On a lark, Sher dragged JD and a friend, Ryan “Dude” Cavanaugh to check out some yard sales in the Kansas City area. Dude brought a video camera and filmed the antics of JD’s (the yard sale virgin) and Sher’s experiences. Eventually the video was uploaded to Youtube, but otherwise forgotten about. Sher had heard of the annual, “127 Corridor” yard sale starting in Hudson, Michigan, spanning Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee, and ending 675 miles from it’s starting point in Gadsden, Alabama. According to the website, 127sale.com, what is coined, “The World’s Longest Yard Sale,” is held the first Thursday in August through the following Sunday. Sher had already decided that she and JD were going to go to 127 Corridor Yard Sale. Then one day while visiting the 127 Corridor Yard Sale website Sher saw HGTV had put out a casting call. They were looking for people to compete in the, “Endless Yard Sale,” challenge. Dude filmed an audition tape, and edited the previously-recorded video down to a few goofy minutes and it was all sent in with the necessary applications.
Sher wasn’t very hopeful. “We were planning to go anyway. I just didn’t expect to hear back from [HGTV].” JD was a little more enthusiastic. “The video we submitted was funny. I felt that was what they were looking for.” Alas, they did hear back. They would be one of three pairs to participate in HGTV’s, “Endless Yard Sale,” in Chattanooga, Tennessee .
Over the four days of the sale the three teams took on four challenges: Tableware, Antique Tools/Vintage Toys, Antique Furniture, and, “our choice!” The goal was to find values, then whichever team’s items were estimated by experts to have the highest value would be the winner. (We will not be exposing any winners here, no spoiler alerts needed.) One memorable moment came during the first day, the Tableware challenge. As they were winding down to their last dollar, JD and Sher just didn’t feel they had amassed a lot of value with their finds. Waving that final $1 bill, Sher ran out into the field near the vendors and yelled, “Who has something for $1 dollar they want to sell to me? Someone, sell me something for $1!”
A lady came running to Sher carrying a taxidermic pheasant. Yes, a stuffed pheasant, that was once alive. Sher and JD took a quick minute to determine that yes, a taxidermic pheasant could be used as a centerpiece, and is therefore tableware. Then they named it Ricky. The stuffed pheasant’s estimated value was well over $1. Ricky would become their mascot for the remainder of the trip, and to this day still serves as a point of inspiration for them both.
Okay, so that last sentence may not be completely true, but it does reflect this writer’s view of the lovely, noble pheasant, and the personality of this wacky couple, JD and Sher. “We were the funny ones. The other teams were so serious.” Hence, the team of JD and Sher was named by the show, Team Comedians. The other two teams are Team Farmgirls, made up of two ladies from Wisconsin, and Team Beauty Pageant Directors, two men who were, coincidentally, beauty pageant directors from Mississippi.
Team Comedian came away with many wonderful memories of their experiences in Chattanooga. “The filming took place over three days,” JD recalled. “After the challenges were done we could go out on our own. It was wonderful to watch Sher looking at the vintage jewelry and the connections she made between the jewelry and memories of her mother and grandmother. This allowed her to have conversations, make connections with a salesperson who took much pride in their wares.”
Sher also got to view her teammate in a different role: an auctioneer. For the furniture challenge they found a mission table, but didn’t want to pay the asking price. The salesman, whom JD and Sher describe as a, “weathered Santa-looking guy,” accepted JD’s challenge for a “reverse auction,” to get the price down. “All I heard was, ‘Blabbity, blabbity, blabbity, blab,’” Sher said laughing, “but next thing I know we came away with a great bargain for that mission table!”
So, why should you tune in? JD said, “The production team actually came to Topeka for a few days and followed us around, so the people and places in Topeka will be a part of the show.” He also said Team Comedian ended with a big bang that viewers will not want to miss.
Sher said people should tune in because, “It’s great fun! Silly fun! It was competitive, but it’s a good time.” Sher also used her connections to “borrow” a Chevrolet Volt from GM, which her and JD happily tooled around in, in both Topeka and Chattanooga. “We named her Melanie. She had a personality of her own, and it was perfectly suited to ours.” (You can read Sher’s review of the Volt and see pictures from the TweetUp here.)
The HGTV special, “Endless Yard Sale,” will air October 16. According to JD, this is the seventh year HGTV has featured this show, and it has become their highest-rated one hour special. Please check the HGTV program guide and your local listings for exact times.
[Story by Rio Cervantes-Reed | "Ricky" photograph and videos by Ryan "Dude" Cavanaugh | Cavanaugh Photography]