Sleepy Hollow Woods is part of Annandale-just west of Sleepy Hollow Road and north of Columbia Pike. It includes 365 homes and supports a lively civic association.

When spring starts busing' out all over, yard sales also become more numerous. Last year, somebody in Sleepy Hollow Woods put forward a new merchandising idea for yard sale entrepreneurs: Why not hold all the yard sales on the same day?


Wouldn't that mean fierce competition and diminished sales for everybody?

No, the argument went, it will draw more customers to our area, and all the sellers will benefit. Let's try it.

So they did. At least 100 of the 365 homes participated. Mamas and papas cleaned out their closets and attics and basements, and even the young people got into the spirit of the thing and trotted out toys, bicycles, athletic equipment, outgrown clothing and all sorts of other possessions.

Clotheslines were strung in the yards, and clothing and other items were displayed from the lines. Lawn mowers, used TVs, tools, lawn furniture, chairs, tables and chinaware appeared. There was even some expensive new merchandise, some of it goods bought abroad by military or government families that had returned from foreign assignments.

Buyers came from miles around. They parked their cars and walked up one side of a block and down the other-and then went on to the next block. A carnival air enveloped Sleepy Hollow Woods. The Buying and selling were brisk, partly because many of the sellers joined the shopping throngs and became buyers. Having converted the cast-off items from their own attics and basements into money, they were using the money to buy items that had been culled from the attics and basements of their neighbors. One man (he runs the Ted Louis men's shops in Northern Virginia) even sold his house.

When it was all over, everybody agreed it had been fun and they'd have to do it again next year, with even more participants. And now it's next year. Sleepy Hollow Woods is preparing to put on its gigantic, unified, consolidated and coordinated community yard sale this Saturday (May 5) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and you're invited to attend. Keep Virginia green; bring money. If it rains, they'll postpone the sale until the following Saturday.But it wouldn't dare rain and ruin such a nice event, would it?