By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer
Princess Di was at the Bell County Expo Center yesterday, with an $11.50 price tag on the back of her head.
The life-size cardboard cutout of the famous royal figure was one of the garage sale items of the 14th annual fund-raising event for the Bell County Museum.
'I didn't want to sell her,' said Vanda Gardner of Gatesville, the vendor who brought Princess Di to the Expo Center. 'I just wanted to set her up to attract attention to my booth. But then my husband told me to put a tag on her. He said everyone was just going to ask how much it was.' At about 1 p.m. Sunday with the garage sale half over, Mrs. Gardner said she was glad it hadn't sold.
'I really wanted to keep her. Still do,' Mrs. Gardner said. 'I'm glad the serious Princess Di collectors haven't shown up.'
Princess Di stood in an arena that almost overflowed with stuff you'd find in a storage closet.
Of just about every size and color, there were dishes, second-hand clothes, furniture, handkerchiefs, doilies, toys, jewelry, perfumes and knick-knacks.
Bob Gillard of Temple was one of the vendors there, selling some Texas-shaped windchimes he had made.
'They're the best in the country,' Gillard said, pointing to his creations. 'Jim Weaver (of Temple) was my only competitor. He was the only other person who knew how make a windchime right.'
Shopper Frankie Barao of Killeen had his eye on some sports magnets showcased on a center-aisle display board.
'I'm waiting here for my wife. She had to go home to get more money,' Barao said while guarding his find. 'I want those magnets.'
The magnets looked like miniature pieces of sports equipment that ranged from football helmets to soccer balls to baseballs.
'I'm a collector,' Barao said. 'Mainly it's cars and trucks that get me. Iron ones. Not plastic.'
Vendor Dub Martin of Elmott, a town just north of Waco, sat in the left corner of the arena, exchanging money for money.
Martin had a large display case of coins that dated back to the 1900s, some foreign currency and a variety of U.S. dollars, both paper and silver.
'I started collecting money when I was 10,' Martin said. 'It's neat.'
And apparently, profitable.
The $2 bills were selling at $4 a piece, and he said several of the coins are now worth more than 10 times their face value.
Regarding the fundraising effort, Director Stephanie Turnham said the sunny, clear weather and the fully booked Expo Center teamed up to make a profitable day.
'This is by far the largest turnout we've ever had,' Ms. Turnham said at about 2 p.m., three hours shy of shutting-down time. 'Ballpark, I'd say 10,000 tickets have been sold.'
The $2 tickets were for admission into the garage sale.
Proceeds of the garage sale will benefit the educational programs and exhibits of the Bell County Museum.