Heat, economy, tornado damage impact Dixie Highway Yard Sale - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Heat, economy, tornado damage impact Dixie Highway Yard Sale

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RINGGOLD, CATOOSA COUNTY, GA. (WRCB)-- Who better to help you sniff out a bargain at the Dixie Highway Yard Sale, than a nine-month-old hound best described as a 'mixed breed'?

Her handlers call her Hope.

"Her family was just unable to care for her anymore and they surrendered her to the shelter after the tornado," says Magin Wilson, a volunteer for Catoosa Citizens for Animal Care (CCAC).

"There's been a lot of strays and people just have given up, and dumped them on the sidewalk."

CCAC is hoping that Hope will help move the memorables, and the collectibles it's selling to raise enough money to help feed or adopt those castoffs.

The Sale is in its sixth year. It covers the 90-mile stretch of US Highway 41 between Ringgold and Marietta, Georgia.

But the crowd that this year's sale has attracted to Ringgold, isn't quite what vendors saw last year.

"It does seem like there were more organizations and more people out of the long highway here," says CCAC volunteer Karen Ford-Eickhoff. "But it's been a great day for us."

Not so much---at least not yet- for Bill Akridge, who's been banking on an eclectic assortment of wares to give him a leg up on the competition.

He'll even sell you that mannequin leg.

"A friend needed a torso, so she could have the innards for a class project," says Akridge. "I hollowed it out. She got an A by the way."

Bargain hunter Barbara Hudgins believes she knows why fewer than half a dozen "official" vendors are hocking along Ringgold Road this year.

"People don't have jobs, you know," says Hudgins. "A lot of folks have lost their jobs."

Others say that Job One in Catoosa County remains cleaning up and building back from what only April 27's EF-4 tornado could have wrought.

"Considering what's happened, I think today is really good," says Akridge. "There is no make or break. I can't have that attitude. I have to have this as a hobby."

Success, for Akridge, will be covering more than the cost of his hour-long drive back to Ducktail, Tennessee.

But CCAC is sure Hope has delivered. Sales had topped $400 before Eyewitness News paid its visit early Saturday afternoon. Hope's made lots of new friends, but not found a new family.

"I'd love to have her, but I already have 5 dogs at home," says Wilson. "Still, I'm willing to keep her until she gets that new home."

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