From its debut in 1969, it's been called "the greatest garage sale on earth." On March 9, the Junior League of San Jose will hold its 23rd biennial Rummage Sale.

Many dedicated volunteers work tirelessly to make the highly anticipated event a success. Past rummage sales have earned the nonprofit organization a total of more than $1.7 million, with the upcoming sale expected to raise as much as $100,000.

Donations have poured in and will be spread out across 45,000 square feet of space inside Expo Hall at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. Expect to find bicycles, electronic goods, kitchenware, appliances, toys, garden tools, clothing and lots of miscellany.

From its debut in 1969, it’s been called "the greatest garage sale on earth." On March 9, the Junior League of San Jose will hold its 23rd
From its debut in 1969, it's been called "the greatest garage sale on earth." On March 9, the Junior League of San Jose will hold its 23rd biennial Rummage Sale. (Pauline Lubens/Staff Archives)

I hear that the nifty goodies up for grabs include a set of Limoges dishes, an old Singer sewing machine, a roll-top desk and vintage glass. Since donations are still arriving, there will undoubtedly be surprises.

Thousands of folks attend this one, so be sure to line up early. Head to the Santa Clara Fairgrounds, 344 Tully Road, San Jose. Hours: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission is free. Parking costs $10 on-site, or $8 across from the fairgrounds. For more details, call 408-264-3058, or go to www.jlsj.org.

As a bonus, a free Community Health and Services Fair with health care providers and community agencies will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Rummage-sale proceeds will go to the Junior League's Community Program, which helps children enter elementary school ready to learn and thrive.

Huge Oakland sale

Remember that the White Elephant Sale, which benefits the Oakland Museum of California, takes place March 2-3.

Thousands of donated items have been neatly placed in an enormous warehouse. Since everything is reasonably priced, you'll have a hard time leaving without making several purchases.

I'll be honest. The parking may bedevil you, so arrive early. Or use the provided shuttle service. Be sure to wear shoes with good support, since you'll have quite a bit of territory to cover. But go and enjoy!

If you didn't attend the White Elephant preview, make a point of getting early to 333 Lancaster St., Oakland. Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. Free. 510-536-6800; www.whiteelephantsale.org.

Airline memorabilia

The 18th semiannual San Francisco Airline Memorabilia Show and Sale happens March 9. It's not unusual for a contingent of enthusiasts to fly in from out of state for this highly specialized event.

Aviation aficionados will be in search of advertising paraphernalia, posters, playing cards, timetables, pamphlets, postcards, pins, china, glass and flatware.

The fun will take place at the Best Western Grosvenor Hotel, 380 S. Airport Blvd., South San Francisco. Hours: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission: $5. Details: 650-281-4486; www.sfoairlineshow.com.

Farewells

Rena Graham, one of the most respected and best-known antique vendors in San Jose, passed away Jan. 29. Graham, 97, was a commanding presence in the antiques scene for decades. She always had a lovely array of vintage goods and warm smile for her customers.

Colleague and good pal Jack Fischer died Feb. 8 at 59. His knowledge of arts and letters ran deep. As such, I often tapped him for counsel concerning photography and rare books. If the former visual arts critic, reporter and voracious reader did not have an immediate answer, he gladly said he would do some research. He never failed me.

Thanks, and Auburn

My wholehearted appreciation to the hundreds of readers from all over the Bay Area who attended the 43rd annual St. Christopher Ladies' Guild Antiques Show and Sale. It was wonderful to visit with so many of you and share our thoughts on our favorite topic of conversation.

Since some folks asked: I'll once more make my yearly trek to Auburn for a fundraiser benefiting the Placer County Libraries. I'm on board to give evaluations of antiques from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

For the uninitiated, Auburn is a charming town loaded with antiques stores and good restaurants about 30 minutes north of Sacramento off Interstate 80.

Join me and about 50 super antiques merchants at the Gold Country Fairgrounds, 1273 High St., Auburn. Admission: $5. Details: 530-823-4533; www.tbcashows.info.

Contact Steven Yvaska at steve.yvaska@sbcglobal.net or 750 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, CA 95190.