WARRENSBURG - In the pre-dawn darkness Saturday, Michael Brennan, Blake Williams and Robert Dover of South Jersey unloaded totes of beauty goods, candles and decorative flags from their 16-foot van and set up their goods on makeshift tables underneath two roadside tents.
The clock in the van read 4:10 a.m.
With only a few hours to set up 7,000 or so bottles of shampoo, conditioner hand sanitizer and lotion, their hands were flying as they placed them in precise rows. The colorful bottles sparkled under the lamps the men had strapped to their head.
"We need to be ready to rock," Brennan said, urging his two friends on in their work.
Within several hours, tens of thousands of people would start streaming into Warrensburg for the renowned World's Largest Garage Sale, browsing through the goods of 500 or more concessions, including the goods that Brennan and friends offered in two stands at the garage sale.
The trio would have set up for the sale 24 hours earlier, but they had gazed out into the night sky to see a downpour, and decided to wait to set up until pre-dawn hours Saturday, Oct. 2.
By Saturday, three days of steady rain had not only dampened the early sales activity at the great townwide garage sale, but it created a critical problem for Brennan. Their van had skidded and sunk in the mud up on the hillside at Oscar's Meat's, and nearly flipped onto its side, but a local tow truck operator righted their rig.
While Brennan's crew were working at warp speed to set up notions, dozens of other venders were racing the clock to prepare displays of their wares in the streets that even hosted a few browsers before dawn.
In only a few hours, the streets were swamped with people from near and far, concentrating on bargain shopping at the hundreds of commercial concessions, and as many as 1,000 private garage sales that saw steady crowds all weekend. The sales stretched south to Lake George and north toward Chestertown.