Rummage sale blitz caps columnist career for Bakken
After more than 40 years with the Grand Forks Herald, columnist Ryan Bakken celebrated his final day of work at a rummage sale. For the last time, Bakken joined deal-seekers from around the region for "Rummaging with Ryan," an annual contest wher...
After more than 40 years with the Grand Forks Herald, columnist Ryan Bakken celebrated his final day of work at a rummage sale.
For the last time, Bakken joined deal-seekers from around the region for “Rummaging with Ryan,” an annual contest where winners and guests are chauffeured by bus to several rummage sales in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. Bakken and a few other Herald employees followed behind to help transport the bargains.
He was an unlikely choice to carry on the tradition, which started eight years ago, he said. A self-described “anti-rummager,” the idea of scouting sales never crossed his mind before, he said.
“Like most men, I hate shopping,” he said. “This is shopping on steroids.”
But once he became the new face of the event five years ago, he started to have a lot of fun, he said. It’s more of a social gathering, where participants pile onto a bus after each stop and talk about the deals, he said. In a half an hour, everyone’s good friends and having a lot of laughs, he said.
The event was a little sad for some, including Grand Forks resident Gail Sullivan, who said she’d followed Bakken’s columns for years.
“I’m so happy I get to be part of it,” said Sullivan, who brought along her 9-year-old nephew Nate Christianson. “I hope he’s having fun.”
At one rummage sale stop, some children posed with him for a photo. By chance, Mickey Peasland’s stop was included in the event. In the online ad he created for the sale, he invited Bakken to enjoy cookies his children had made. His children visibly brightened when they saw Bakken.
“He didn’t see (the ad) but he’s here anyway, so we’re happy,” he said.
At another stop, Bakken held up one of his final purchases through “Rummaging with Ryan” - a 5-cent rubber bouncy ball. Although he said he’s at the age where he wants to get rid of stuff, his wife Chris reassured a Herald reporter that this wouldn’t be Bakken’s last visit to a rummage sale.
As several of the women headed toward the bus, ready for the next stop, he said he’s ready to retire. But he wanted to do this final event before he left the newspaper, he said.
“It’s a fun way to go out,” he said.