By Jeanne Sager
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS November 23, 2004 There were treasures hidden in the White Sulphur Springs Firehouse Saturday, just waiting to be discovered.
The 6th Annual WJFF Music Sale drew a crowd of vinyl lovers who were chomping at the bit to get at the 40,000-record collection donated to the Jeffersonville non-profit radio station for this years holiday fundraiser.
We get people who come two hours beforehand and line up at the door with milk crates in hand, said Station Director Christine Ahern. Just like we strategize beforehand about how to set up, people strategize what theyre going to get.
Six years after the first sale at the Jeffersonville branch of the Western Sullivan Public Library, the popular event had to find a new, bigger home to host the standing-room-only crowd that converges annually on tables of CDs, old cassettes, and rare 45s.
They settled on the White Sulphur Springs Firehouse which drew huge crowds Saturday, despite the driving rain.
Some were first-timers pouring over the classics; others, like David Ginsberg of Liberty, have come to look on the sale as a pre-holiday tradition.
I was agonizing over whether I should sneak in early and what would be the scruples of doing that, said the self-described friend of the station.
Asked if hes found anything particularly spectacular in his years of flipping through boxes upon boxes of records, Ginsberg shrugged.
Its hard to say, he said. I have so much vinyl it just disappears into the collection before I get around to playing it.
But I love it, he added with a grin.
Ahern said the station depends on people like Ginsberg who have made the music sale a huge success.
Although the radio has its own direct-to-the-public advertising, this fundraiser in particular has really become what it is on word-of-mouth, Ahern said.
And on support from listeners who donate everything on sale, from instruments to videos.
It varies each year, Ahern said. Thats kind of what makes it so fun it kind of depends on what we get.
Last year, for example, she explained, there were a lot of CDs.
This year there are a lot more records.
Old U2 recordings were mixed in with Italian operas, Billy Joel classics boxed to sell next to rare 50s pop albums and many who walked in empty-handed walked out with arms full and less than $100 poorer.
The music is all priced to sell in bulk, Ahern explained.
Meaning folks walked out with six CDs for just $10 or a handful of 45s for a buck some in the original shrink-wrap that were just waiting to be picked up by an unsuspecting fan picking through the piles.
Where else can you get that? Ahern asked.
Even with rock-bottom prices, the record crowd sent the profits through the roof.
The station drew in $4,500 on Saturday.
Thats the best weve ever done, Ahern said.