Green River Star -

By Fred Uhrich
Guest Columnist 

The joys found through a lifetime of bargain hunting

 


I really like shopping and don’t mind working on something to get it going again. Here are a few stories from looking for a good deal.

My first bargain came about when I was seven years old. Making a deal, I ran into our house yelling to my mom that I needed a bag of carrots, she hollered back to look in the crisper. Trading a bag of carrots, I now had a red bicycle, what a trade. I was the envy of my little brother and sister. Of course my mother came out to see what all the yelling was about. She made me return the bike, and get the carrots back. Bummer!

While on active duty in the mid 1980s at Ft. Bliss, Texas, all my friends had dirt bikes and where riding out in the sand dunes east of El Paso, Texas on the weekends. Not having much money, as I was putting almost every dime I had in building a jacked-up Ford Bronco pickup conversion. What a money pit – I was young and dumb.

I found a cheap Yamaha YZ 125 for sale in the paper. After getting off duty for the day, my buddy and I were off to check it out. When we got there and met with the kid that owned it, to my luck he still had it for sale. So we walked around to the back of his house, and there it was in all its glory in a chicken coop. I kid you not, chickens where standing on it, what a mess! He said the chickens where his anti-theft alarm. With two flat tires, a leaky gas tank, and a hole in the seat, I asked if it ran. He said yes it does, so I pitched my bid to him that if he could start it, I would give him $150 for it. My buddy looked at me like I was insane! And on the first kick it started, and we loaded it in the back of my pick-up.

At a hardware store in Colorado, in their firearm section, I noticed a used AR-15 marked half price of a new one. I asked the salesman if I could look at it. It was in like new condition. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that the bolt was hanging up when you closed it. I got permission to take the bolt apart; what I found was that the inside of the bolt was covered in carbon. I put it back together and bought it. All that it needed was someone that knew how to give it a good cleaning.

I found a used Burris compact spotting scope at a sporting goods store for $40. I couldn’t find anything wrong with it, so I bought it. Getting home I screwed in a base for a tripod to it, and the brass threads in the scope came out. A little super glue and it were as good as new.

My all-time best buy was an ATV for half price; it was a year old, and only had 50 hours on it. A friend of mine came upon this deal over on the east side of Wyoming. A guy had bought them for him and his wife. Not really having many places where they could ride them, and there high cost, she decided she did not like them and to get rid of them now, or else. So we got two ATV’s and a trailer for what was left on his loan.

Bargains are out there, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for a good deal!

 

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