• After retiring from school teaching in May, Kelly Williams is pursuing her passion for picking and selling junk full time. She and her husband have operated a booth at the Trade Days in Fredricksburg for more than two years.

Teacher pursues picking passion

Retirement has not slowed Kelly Williams down at all. The 56-year-old retired Jacksboro kindergarten teacher finished her 34-year career at the end of the school year and now spends her time pursuing another passion — junking.

For the last 2 1/2 years, Williams and her husband, Wesley, also a retired teacher, have been sifting through garage sales, barns, you name it, all over the area to find treasures, then reselling them.

“Wesley informed that he couldn’t walk through his barn anymore and said, ‘You’re going to have to do something,’” Williams said. “We had been going to Fredricksburg for years, so I got a booth and the first month, it was crazy how much stuff I sold; how much money I made off of stuff that was just sitting in the barn.”

So they began traveling every month to the Fredricksburg Trade Days at Sunday Farms which is hosted Friday-Sunday each third Saturday weekend.

“The first year, we were outside. It’s covered, but it’s hot and cold and dirty,” Williams said. “Since then, we’ve bought two buildings and it’s so much better. The first one, we bought in January. It’s got air conditioning and I’ve got stuff all over it. The lady next to us decided she wanted to sell her building, so we’ve got two. I really have to work to fill it up.”

When she’s shopping for items to resell, she doesn’t exactly specialize in anything. She’s open to whatever catches her eye.

“I like water troughs. I like the rusty junk first. I like ladders, sometimes it’s just old furniture,” she said. “It’s not always old, but I like to get a little bit of age of stuff. It’s just a mixture of things. It might be a light fixture to a rusty bucket to a ladder. If I see it and I think it looks neat, I try to grab it.”

Her favorite part is the junking itself, the adventure of it.

“I love going and getting it. I love the search for the treasures and digging through stuff,” Williams said. “I went to a place in Gibtown and I was hearing noises. It was an abandoned house. It was a little creepy sounding.

“I got to go to an old Piggly Wiggly warehouse in Mineral Wells and it was so much fun. There were holes in the floor and I don’t even think about that. I just love grabbing and picking; it’s so much fun.”

To read the complete article, see the July 21 edition of the Herald-Gazette.

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