View images of fans and the items that they each bought at Vikings legendary Head Coach Bud Grant's annual garage sale.
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. –It's essentially unheard of to see a "FREE" box at Bud Grant's garage sale, but fans Friday evening could walk away with a memento from the legendary coach's residence without spending a cent.
Or should I say, scent?
Plenty of unique items make their way onto tables at Grant's garage sale each spring. The unique item that most drew my attention this year, however, was a cardboard box filled with travel-sized shampoo bottles and individually wrapped bars of soap.
A humorous, handwritten sign marked the box with ideas for the soap.
Asked about the fragrant – and free – assortment, Grant offered his explanation nonchalantly.
"Every time you travel, you go to a hotel and they have the free soap. Well, I usually have my own soap, so when I left I would take the soaps that were in the hotel, the free little bars, and I'd put them in my bag. I'd get home, and I'd put them in another bag," Grant said. "There's probably 30 years of hotel soaps in that bag.
"It still smells good, and it probably still is good, so that's how I acquired them," he added. "I finally decided, it's time to get rid of them. If anybody's interested in soap."
But customers are less concerned about garage-sale prices and more about owning a piece of Vikings history, snapping their photo with the Hall of Fame coach and receiving an autograph – for 25 dollars, of course.
While Grant normally can be found wearing a camouflage or Vikings-themed baseball cap, he appeared to have dressed up for the occasion Wednesday in a black top hat.
"Well I had to wear a hat. I went to walk to out the door, and it was sitting there, so I put it on. It's a celebration hat," Grant said. "I'll be back in natural attire [Thursday]."
Families and individuals travel from all over to shake Grant's hand, including Alex Kirby, who flew in from Indianapolis. Kirby said he had hoped to make it to last year's sale, which was initially labeled "the final sale" by Grant, and couldn't pass up the opportunity when he saw the event recently advertised.
Kirby admitted that he's not specifically a Vikings fan but is a fan of Grant and the legacy he's left on the NFL.
"A guy who's that successful for that long, there's something there. And he did it the right way. You don't ever hear anybody say anything negative about him," Kirby said. "He coached against Bill Walsh, [Vince] Lombardi, Tom Landry, all of them. I just enjoy the game and enjoy reading about the history of the game. And obviously Bud's a huge part of the history of the game."
So will this be the year Grant's final sale? Well, we may never really know.
"You have to remember that I haven't drawn a paycheck in 30 years," Grant quipped with just the hint of a grin. "So I've got to make a living in some way."