The handwritten “garage sale” signs directed curiosity seekers down residential streets of Bloomington. Most knew exactly where they were going, and they knew exactly when they had reached their destination because of the crowd and the purple banner that read “Grant.”
One poor woman, though, just innocently followed the signs. “Does someone famous live here?” she asked, then drove away when it was established that this wasn’t just an ordinary garage sale. It was a garage sale at the home of Hall of Fame former Vikings coach Bud Grant.
On Thursday morning, Day 2 of a three-day sale that concludes Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, Grant and his possessions were again the centers of attention. This is actually the 10th time he has held a garage sale, but this one took on a life of its own thanks to advertising and media attention, said Grant’s granddaughter, Kelly Reger. She was checking receipts as people walked down the driveway.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Reger said. “He’s been enjoying it. He tells stories, meets people, just talks.”
An old cutout used for basketball drills advertised the time and date of the sale upon our arrival Thursday; upon our departure, it had “sold” written on it. But as much as people were there to look at old Vikings memorabilia, as well as Grant’s hunting and fishing gear, many were there primarily to see the man himself.
“I’m a die-hard. I had to come see Bud,” said Dawn Bobick, who came with co-workers on a lunch break. “I posted it to my Facebook so I wouldn’t forget.”
Grant, who turned 87 on Tuesday, didn’t disappoint. Throngs of people worked their way through an autograph line, as requests from family members to take a break and have a sandwich went unfulfilled.
“It’s a good way to deactivate a lot of your merchandise,” Grant said, as he kept signing. “And you get to meet people. It’s fun. Whoever is in charge of the weather gets a congrats, too.”
There appeared to be no particular motivation other than what motivates pretty much anyone to have a garage sale: there was a lot of stuff cluttering up his house. Some of it had been there for a very long time.
“A fellow just [bought] my ammunition box that I hunted ducks,” Grant said. “I’ve used that for 50 years, but I finally had to give it up. I have a different seat and a different shell box. … When you have birthdays, Christmases, you get a lot of presents. You accumulate stuff.”
And if you are a coaching icon, it’s easy to get rid of it.