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Radio-based “yard sales” surprise and delight

SOME OF MY FAVORITE RADIO PROGRAMS when I travel across Kentucky are the live call-in shows where listeners offer items for sale or trade, and post want ads, all for free. 

Their catchy names include Tradio, Dial & Deal, Trading Post, Swap Shop, General Store and Adcaster, to name a few. Most are morning broadcasts hosted by popular air personalities who preside over a virtual yard sale of the airwaves—with a few smiles thrown in. 

Paul Priest of WXBC-FM in Hardinsburg remembered a man calling Bargain Barn with a set of used tires for sale. 

“He said, ‘I’ll tell you what, Paul, I’ll sell ’em right, and I’ll guarantee they’ve never been squalled.’” 

Chrissy Parrish, a Clinton County consumer-member of South Kentucky RECC and longtime host of WANY-FM’s Trading Post in Albany, tells of a caller wanting to trade some chickens for a motorcycle. And Trish Stacy, host of Free Market on WSGS in Hazard, recalls a man wanting to sell 722 boxes of Kraft deluxe macaroni and cheese, “or, I would trade them for a good rooster.” 

Don Johnson of WKYR-FM in Burkesville was once given an item for his Swap Shop program while paying respects during a funeral visitation. 

Dave Cox, a former manager of WIRV in Irvine, now retired to Florida and hosting a Saturday morning program on a Flagler Beach radio station, remembers a call from a woman on WIRV’s Trading Post who was looking to find a good home for her late husband’s artificial leg. But Dave’s most memorable call came from a woman who was trying to locate the owner of an Irvine High School class ring from 1965, which had been found nine years earlier. 

Inside the ring were the initials “DEC.” 

“That’s my ring!” Dave yelled. 

He had looked for it every place he could think of—and even searched his yard with a metal detector—after losing it while erecting a ham radio antenna in his backyard. He’d gone to WIRV to pick up some tools, but was sure he’d lost the ring in the yard. 

The caller, who lived in Irvine, explained that she didn’t have his ring, but that it was in the possession of her daughter, Jeannie Farwell, in Walton, just over 100 miles away. 

She said a retired couple from another state had moved to Irvine many years before, and, after the wife died, her husband briefly took a room downtown where he found the ring near a curb. The man soon moved to Detroit and later passed away. 

His daughter, who lived in Ohio, found the ring in a cigar box while sorting through his keepsakes. Her friend, who was there when the ring was discovered, was acquainted with Jeannie Farwell, and knew that Jeannie was originally from Irvine. 

Jeannie told her mother back in Irvine, and her mother called the Trading Post at WIRV—having no idea that the ring’s owner would answer the phone! 

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