IF YOU GO
* What: Lake Winnepesaukah Yard Sale
* When: 8 a.m.-2 p.m. today.
* Where: Lake Winnepesaukah, 1730 Lakeview Drive, Rossville
* Information: 706-866-5681
Stephen Finch hit the road Friday morning when he saw on TV that Lake Winnepesaukah was having a yard sale to get rid of old amusement park gear.
By 11 a.m., Finch, who lives on Lewis Chapel Mountain, had spent about $1,800 on items that included a slide from Lake Winnie's old swimming pool, five "sky bucket" seats from a chair lift and a whale-shaped bumper car. He's going to set the equipment up on a pond at Vista Ridge, the gated community where he lives, so his five grandkids can play on it.
"We're going to set up our own little park," said Finch, who took a day off work from the bulldozer and backhoe service he owns in Dunlap, Tenn.
The cost of entertaining his grandkids is insignificant, he said.
"They're worth it."
On Friday and today, Lake Winnie is holding its first yard sale in at least 12 years, said Dale Williams, a food service manager at the park who helped organize the event.
"We're just cleaning up a little bit," he said.
Lake Winnie plans to construct a five-acre water park that will open next summer and wants to get rid of some of the old equipment, he said.
And it seems that a lot of people want a look at that amusement park stuff.
"They were waiting in line at 6 o'clock" for the 8 a.m. opening, Williams said.
Clay Cochran, of Chattanooga, was disappointed that four kid-sized race cars had already been sold by the time he got there Friday morning. He hoped to fix up one of the cars and put it in a playroom for his 2-year-old son, Cole.
"I guess I'm a little kid at heart," said Cochran, who also was disappointed to see "sold" tags on sky buckets near the race cars.
"I was going to paint one of these Tennessee orange," he said.
Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.