DRACUT —One by one, Michael Vecchione removed pieces of what was once his livelihood from his dusty green Chevrolet Suburban. A jigsaw, sanders, an assortment of cutting pliers in a plastic bin.
Vecchione, a retired professional mason and contractor from Chelmsford, was getting rid of the tools he used for over 50 years.
"I can't use it no more," he said. "I'm turning 80 this year."
And he's got a swollen left leg, Vecchione added.
On Friday morning at the Dracut Council on Aging, Vecchione joined other locals who plan on selling their old belongings at an indoor yard sale. Hosted by the Friends of the Dracut Elderly, the fundraiser takes place Saturday through Sunday and will help support programs at the senior center. The sale hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 11 am. Sunday.
Just a few weeks ago, Vecchione's big collection of tools were kept inside a shed in his backyard. But the wooden shed was rotting, so his son, Michael, tore it down. That's when the elder Vecchione knew he had to get rid of everything.
The retiree's tools are electric and he plans on charging a fraction of what he paid for them.
"Everything is battery now," Vecchione said. "I don't like batteries because what happens when the battery runs out is you have to pay more money for the battery than you do the tool. It don't make sense to me. I'd rather still use electricity."
COA Director Bethany Loveless said the items brought in by people for the annual sale are typically things they're excited to part with.
"They feel good about purging, emptying out closets, cleaning out basements," she said.
At times, she said, there's some sadness when someone is dropping off items that once belonged to a late loved one.
It was now past 10 a.m. Friday and Vecchione's table was covered with tools. A woman nearby placed Valentine's Day gift wrap paper rolls on her table, along with a stack of old paintings. Suitcases were lined along the edge of another table just yards away.
Vecchione admitted that it was difficult to part with his things.
"I've had this stuff all my life," he said. "But life has to go on, you know?"
Amaris Castillo: @AmarisCastillo on Twitter